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Four-star Rangers lick Lilywhites
Published : 17 Oct 2009 17:01:48
Briatore had shrugged off the doubts surrounding his ownership of the club to take his place in the Loftus Road directors' box for the first time since the infamous 'crashgate' scandal came to light. And the Italian, who is still the subject of the Football League's fit and proper person inquiry after being thrown out of Formula One, was on his feet after 11 minutes when one of his glamour signings produced a stunning goal to spark a Rangers romp. Tottenham loanee Taarabt collected the ball on the left wing, strolled inside past a couple of weak Preston challenges and, from 25 yards out, floated a superb curler over keeper Andy Lonergan and into the corner of the net. Taarabt was branded 'silly' by manager Jim Magilton after appearing to gesture towards disgruntled supporters during Rangers' last home match, but he made his peace in the perfect fashion. Akos Buzsaky added a second from the penalty spot after the break and further strikes from Jay Simpson and Wayne Routledge saw Rangers reignite their promotion bid and dent Preston's fine start to the season. They could have been out of sight in the first half but for the efforts of Lonergan, who denied Routledge twice in the first half when the winger was clean through. Buzsaky also grazed the crossbar with a snap-shot from 20 yards just before the break. Preston had their moments in the opening period, with Radek Cerny saving well from Neil Mellor and Ross Wallace shooting narrowly over. At the start of the second half Lonergan came to Preston's rescue again with a fine diving save to keep out a fierce drive from Gary Borrowdale. Rangers were given a warning as the hour mark approached when Chris Brown was left alone in the penalty area and his angled drive was tipped round the post by Cerny. But the hosts finally doubled their lead in the 63rd minute when Mellor clumsily felled Taarabt in the box and Buzsaky stepped up to tuck away the penalty. Ten minutes later Simpson raced on to Buzsaky's pass and side-footed the ball past Lonergan and in off the post. Routledge finally beat Lonergan from outside the area for the fourth with three minutes to go, and there was even time for sub Rowan Vine to clip the bar in a dominant display from the hosts.