Rangers 6-0 St Joseph's (agg 10-0): Alfredo Morelos nets a hat-trick

The shrubbery in and around the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg will surely not be disturbed this summer.
Two years after Pedro Caixinha was seen ranting in a bush outside the Stade Josy Barthel, Rangers will be forced to return to the scene of the crime.
Little Progres Niederkorn, the side responsible for inflicting the worst result in 64 years of Scottish clubs' involvement in European competition, now lie in wait. But the prospect of history repeating itself seems somewhat remote. 
Rangers (4-5-1)
: Foderingham 6; Polster 7, Edmundson 6, Goldson 7, Halliday 7; Stewart 7, Kamara 7, Aribo 8, Docherty 7 (McPake 68) Hastie 6 (Arfield 57); Morelos 8 (Defoe 67)
Subs not used
: Firth, Katic, Barjonas, Mayo. Booked: Goldson
: Aribo 3, Morelos 45+1, 57 pen, 66, Defoe 77, 86
St Joseph's (4-5-1)
: Robba 4; Fernandez 4, Guerrero 5, Cornejo 4 (Green 67), Boro 4; Martinez 5 (Reyes 72), Serra 5 Hernandez 5, Pena 5, Villar 5; Ferrer 5 (Garro 77)
Subs not used
: Vera, Casciaro, Lobato, Warwick
: Fernandez, Boro
Man of the match
: Alfredo Morelos
: Christopher Jaeger
: 45,718
This routine second-leg defeat of St Joseph's was pretty much executed in third gear, the ease with which Steven Gerrard's men got the job done further evidence that the Ibrox club have long awoken from the living nightmare that was the Portuguese's reign.
In every conceivable way under the Englishman, they are measurably superior to the rabble that were humiliated in the little landlocked country two years back.
Fourth in their league last season and having narrowly seen off Cork City on aggregate, Niederkorn do represent a minor step up in class from the minnows from Gibraltar.
Doubtless, they will boldly talk of lightning striking twice ahead of their trip to Glasgow next week. Who can honestly blame them? They've won the right to do so.
But if Gerrard's side apply themselves over the two games as they did against the men from Gibraltar, without beating about the bush, there should only be one winner. 
The only nag Gerrard may have had on the night was that his side's dominance did not manifest itself in quite the number of goals it might have done.
Joe Aribo continued his impressive start to life at Ibrox with a first competitive goal in blue, with Alfredo Morelos' flying header on half-time bringing up his second of the campaign.
In ahead of Jermain Defoe, the Colombian wrapped up a tidy night's work with a second-half penalty conversion before claiming his hat-trick from close range.
Defoe appeared for the final 23 minutes and still had time to squeeze in a brace to bring up double-digits over the two legs.
The tie safe, Gerrard was afforded the luxury of wholesale changes. Only Connor Goldson and Glen Kamara were retained from the starting side which won comfortably in Gibraltar meaning competitive debuts for George Edmundson and Jake Hastie.
Speaking prior to the match, Gerrard had stressed that no mercy would be shown to their lowly opponents. It quickly became evident that his players intended to heed his words.
St Joseph's had not even made it over the halfway line when they were sliced open for the first time inside three minutes.
Starting on the right flank, Greg Stewart instigated the move with a smart pass to Greg Docherty. Spotting Aribo bounding into space out of the corner of his eye, Docherty rolled the ball into his path. The former Charlton man fired it past the helpless Jamie Robba from nine yards.
Already, supporters of a certain age were questioning if we might see the record ten goals put past Maltese minnows Valletta in 1983 surpassed. St Joseph's had kept it tight on their dry plastic pitch last week but here, on the larger lush Ibrox surface, they were quickly pulled all over the place.
Stewart was inches away from claiming a second with a glancing header from Andy Halliday's free-kick. The same combination then tip-toed their way through what passed for a defence, Stewart eventually only denied an eight-yard conversion by Daniel Guerrero's timely stretch.
A quarter of the game had elapsed before the visitors even threatened to register a consolation. Ernesto Cornejo did well to steady himself for a shot from 20 yards but Wes Foderingham's first meaningful contribution was a routine low save.
Hastie had his eye-catching moments but also distinguished himself through some rash decision-making. Having been gifted the ball by Guerrero 25 yards out, a glance across the park would have paved the way for Morelos to be sent clear on goal. Instead, he got his head down, tried to the run the defenders and was dispossessed.
The early flurry of chances for Gerrard's men dried up. Halliday got a free-kick up and around the wall but watched it drift a foot wide of the far post.
Morelos never gave the minnows a moment's peace. Showing commendable determination not to let a loose ball simply run out for a goal kick, he squared to the unmarked Hastie. With the goal gaping, the teenager pulled his shot beyond the far post.
On the cusp of half-time, though, the former Motherwell winger redeemed himself with a part in the second goal. His outswinging corner from the left was eased on by the rising Goldson. Flying through the air, Morelos thumped home a diving header at the far post.
Together with Aribo, the Colombian was the pick of the men in blue. The opportunity to claim his second of the night arose when Guerrero barged the advancing Docherty to the ground 12 minutes after the break. Morelos powerfully drilled the penalty to Robba's right.
Scott Arfield took the field for the remaining 33 minutes, his first since returning from international duty with Canada.
Morelos might well have had a hat-trick had Austrian referee Christopher Jaeger not somehow missed a blatant trip by Mauricio Fernandez on American full-back Matt Polster inside the visitors' penalty area.
He would not be denied the match ball, though. Running into Docherty's whipped delivery from the right, he bundled the ball beyond Robba before the keeper could even think.
He departed the scene a minute later to be replaced with Defoe with teenager Josh McPake also making his debut from the bench with Docherty making way.
Defoe added a fifth with 13 minutes remaining with a typically deft finish to Polster's cross with his second of the night arriving three minutes from the end after Stewart's delicious flick had put him clear on goal.
The closest St Joseph's came on the night was a late flashing header from a corner by substitute Jose Reyes that Halliday hacked off the line.
It said much that the prevention of a consolation was met with a roar in the stands and fist- pumping on the field. As Progres Niederkorn will soon discover, Rangers measure themselves by different standards these days.

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