Rangers’ English defender James Tavernier runs with the ball during the UEFA Europa League 1st round Group D football match between Rangers and Standard Liege at the Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow on December 3, 2020.ANDY BUCHANAN - POOL - AFP

Rangers captain James Tavernier produced an influential display as the Scottish Premiership leaders won 2-1 at Dundee United on Sunday.

Tavernier scored a superb free-kick for his 17th goal of the season and then swung in another for Connor Goldson to seal the points at Tannadice.

That was the 13th goal the English right-back has set up this term, making him a strong early contender for the Scottish Premiership’s Player of the Year.

Thanks to Tavernier, Steven Gerrard’s team look well set to end Celtic’s bid to win a 10th successive Scottish title.

Liam Smith had equalised for United before Goldson’s winner.

Rangers sit 16 points clear of their Glasgow rivals, who play Kilmarnock later on Sunday.

The only concern for Gerrard will be the form and behaviour of volatile Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos.

He missed a glorious chance to put Rangers further ahead in the second half, having escaped punishment for what appeared to be an elbow on United defender Mark Connolly.

Morelos should have been marching towards the dressing room in the 12th minute after deliberately planting an elbow into Connolly’s face, but he escaped with a booking.

After that let-off, Rangers took the lead in the 26th minute when Tavernier whipped his free-kick over the wall and past Benjamin Siegrist.

United responded with a well-worked goal of their own seven minutes later.

Smith fired in off the far post as they became the first Scottish side since Motherwell back in September to net against Gerrard’s team.

Rangers were back in front a minute before the break as Tavernier’s free-kick found Goldson, who flicked his header into the net.

Morelos has not scored a league goal for almost three months and let another big chance to break his drought slip by as the ball got stuck under his feet, with Siegrist racing from his line to smother.

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