Rangers down Dundee to claim first Premiership win of season
Rangers gave a signal of their intentions as they battled to their first Ladbrokes Premiership victory of the new season with a 2-1 win at Dundee.
First-half strikes from Harry Forrester and Kenny Miller put the Light Blues two up as Mark Warburton's side produced some tidy attacks.
However, Mark O'Hara - relishing a new advanced midfield role - gave Dundee hope just before the interval when he lost Joey Barton at a corner to score.
Dundee made Gers graft in the second half but the newly-promoted Ibrox side held on to collect their first top-flight success since beating St Johnstone 4-0 back in May, 2012.
Having sold star man Greg Stewart to Birmingham on Friday, Dark Blues boss Paul Hartley went with the same side that defeated Ross County 3-1 last weekend.
Gers, meanwhile, made six changes to the line-up which romped past Peterhead in the Betfred Cup on Tuesday, with Miller given the nod ahead of Joe Dodoo to deputise for injured frontman Martyn Waghorn.
The game took time to warm up but once it did, it was compelling stuff.
When the sides met in the William Hill Scottish Cup last season, it took Forrester just 14 seconds to fire his side ahead. This time, it took 14 minutes.
Dundee failed to cope with a Rangers raid down the right and Barrie McKay was allowed to knock a loose ball into the box. Forrester still had it all to do as Cammy Kerr put him under pressure but he did well to hook an impressive finish into the top corner.
The hosts tried to counter with a Danny Williams effort which Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham gathered comfortably.
But Gers were quickly back on the front foot. Andy Halliday sent Wallace down the right but Forrester fired over from the skipper's cut-back before the former Doncaster playmaker headed over from a James Tavernier cross.
Their second goal after 39 minutes, however, was clinically executed as McKay clipped a perfect ball forward for Wallace to sprint on to. The captain pulled the ball back again, with the on-rushing Miller rifling the ball into the roof of the net.
The 36-year-old should have killed the Taysiders' challenge off moments later but allowed Scott Bain to pinch the ball as he tried to round the keeper.
And instead of going in at the break 3-0 up, suddenly their lead was cut to one when Barton allowed O'Hara to bullet home a header from Williams' corner in the final minute of the half.
The tempo dropped a couple of notches as the second period got under way but Rangers relaxed too much on 65 minutes when Williams was allowed to run in behind. Foderingham, though, came to the rescue.
The keeper was almost at fault, however, when he fired a clearance straight at Nick Ross, but was relieved when Dundee substitute Yordi Teijsse could not provide a finish.
Forrester, booked just two minutes after the break, was then replaced by Michael O'Halloran to ensure there was no chance he might be sent off after a couple more risky challenges.
McKay should have made added a gloss to the scoreline when another of Gers' replacements, Dodoo, sent him galloping through on goal, but he nudged his stoppage-time effort wide.