RANGERS have found themselves at the eye of the storm in more ways than one over the last week. The forecast is now better, albeit just slightly, for Steven Gerrard after this victory over Livingston.

After seeing his side fall ten points adrift of Celtic in midweek and 13 behind as their Old Firm rivals beat Aberdeen earlier in the day, this was a hugely significant outing for Rangers.

The row over when this fixture would be played caused something of a storm in a teacup after Dennis had blown through Glasgow and left Ibrox unplayable with a deluge of rain. The delay of 24 hours was an inconvenience, but neither Mother Nature nor Gary Holt’s side could deny Rangers the points they so desperately needed.

The Ibrox pitch was showing plenty of signs of wear and tear once again but the surface – which Gerrard has been critical of in recent weeks – was playable at the second time of asking.

With Braga making the trip here on Europa League duty on Thursday evening, Rangers needed to get this game played, and get it won. It was job done in both regards as Scott Arfield netted the only goal of the game.

The conditions overhead and underfoot were difficult for both sides to deal with but it was Rangers that fared better. After a sluggish start, they were comfortable overall and were more than worthy winners.

A low effort that Aymen Souda pulled wide of the far post after five minutes was really all that Livingston could muster in the first half. The visitors were combative and competitive but they didn’t carry enough of a threat.

There were moments of anxiousness when the ball swirled in the air or bobbled along the ground near the Rangers box. But that said more about the nervous state of the Ibrox crowd than it did about Livingston’s quality in front of goal.

Some of the moves Rangers put together were decent but their efforts were unrewarded as a combination of excellent goalkeeping from Ryan Schofield and lacklustre finishing ensured it was goalless at the break.

Alfredo Morelos should have opened the scoring after 17 minutes but Schofield denied him from close range after Andy Halliday nodded a Ryan Jack cross down in the box.

Just seconds later, Rangers would break well as Arfield sent Ryan Kent clear. When he got to the edge of the area, he shifted the ball onto his right and fired wide of the far corner.

Rangers continued to press and probe but there wasn’t enough invention about them when it really mattered. There had been moans and groans from the stand and the ever-deteriorating weather in Govan wasn’t helping the mood.

It should have been lifted after 35 minutes. Steven Davis combined well with Morelos and slipped in Halliday as he found himself just yards from goal.

He was denied by Schofield as the keeper somehow got down quickly to divert Halliday’s effort up onto the bar.

Schofield had frustrated the home crowd with his very purposeful dithering at goal kicks from the early stages and he was doing so again with some smart stops.

His final one of the half saw him deny Davis. Morelos was again involved as he found Ianis Hagi and Davis was slipped in down the right but he couldn’t convert on the angle.

Livingston would have been content at that stage but they should also have been a man down. A challenge from Jon Guthrie on Connor Goldson only brought a yellow card from referee Euan Anderson but the defender was late with a crude lunge and should really have seen red just before the interval.

Rangers would pick up where they left off after the break. It was far from scintillating viewing, but Gerrard’s side largely controlled proceedings.

Morelos wasted a chance as he blasted the ball high and wide at the end of a neat move involving Jack and Hagi. Kent was then denied by Schofield just before he was replaced by Florian Kamberi.

At the other end, Livingston had their biggest moment to date. A long throw Ciaron Brown wasn’t dealt with and Allan McGregor made a terrific reaction save to ensure Souda didn’t score.

The deadlock was soon broken. Hagi picked out Arfield as he found space and moved to within shooting distance.

His strike was powerful and through Schofield as Rangers had the goal to settle their nerves and give them the advantage they deserved before the hour mark.

Having lost leads against Hearts and Kilmarnock in recent times, Rangers would have been well aware of the importance of not settling for what they had here.

Jack came close with a strike from the edge of the area, while the offside flag denied Morelos as he nipped in ahead of Arfield and finished well. The same fate befell Kamberi as Rangers – who survived a scare when Lyndon Dykes struck the post – looked to see it out.

The closing seconds were more nervous than they had to be but Livingston couldn’t capitalise. Rangers had weathered the storm.