Alfredo Morelos sealed Rangers’ 2-0 win over Motherwell but a return to former bad habits means he will be banned for Friday night’s trip to Hibernian after he was sent-off at Fir Park.
The Colombian followed up Nikola Katic’s first-half opener when he fired home his 27th goal of the season midway through the second half.
But the striker – sent off five times last season – let his emotions get the better of him as he aimed an inflammatory gesture at the home support during his celebrations and was punished with a second yellow card.
Steven Gerrard has been keen to praise his talisman’s new-found self-control this term but the Ibrox boss will now have to turn to Jermain Defoe for the Easter Road clash after seeing Morelos yet again lose the plot.
Stephen Robinson was back in the Motherwell dugout two days after being arrested following an alleged incident in Edinburgh but his side were unable to prevent Rangers ending their run of three games without a win.
Fourth-placed Well’s success this season has come on the back of Robinson’s decision to ditch their direct style in preference for a possession-based gameplan but the Steelmen have lost none of their spikiness.
They were fortunate not to find themselves a man down just six minutes in as Devante Cole landed late on Glen Kamara’s ankle.
Having got off without even conceding a free-kick, Cole was involved soon after as Motherwell created an opening that should have handed them the lead.
Borna Barisic left it to Katic to attack a Mark Gillespie punt but he got nowhere close as Cole leapt highest to flick on. The ball broke off Connor Goldson to send Chris Long racing through against the on-rushing Allan McGregor.
Long took it round the goalkeeper but could not tee up Cole in the middle as James Tavernier raced back just in time to clear.
Rangers took their time to get going after a sluggish start.
Gillespie pulled off two decent saves to deny Morelos, the second a smart stop down to his right.
But from Barisic’s outswinging corner came the opener after 27 minutes. Bevis Mugabi was supposed to be keeping tabs on Katic but found himself being dragged along as the Croatia defender bulldozed through to power home with a header that Gillespie could not keep out.
There were further incidents before the break. Mugabi was again so worried about stopping Katic from meeting another Barisic that he bowled over Morelos.
The Colombian was left astonished as referee Don Robertson refused to point to the spot, although he did flash yellow at Liam Donnelly after he caught Rangers’ leading scorer on the ankle.
The Well midfielder and Gers rival Ryan Jack had to be separated when things got spicy as the players went down the tunnel at half-time. When the teams returned after the interval both Jack and Declan Gallagher were cautioned.
Morelos could have landed a knockout blow within five minutes of the restart but Gillespie blocked again.
The hosts thought they had levelled as Goldson failed to clear Jake Carroll’s long throw. The ball dropped for Long at the back post but McGregor spread himself brilliantly to deny the striker’s point-blank range header.
But the game was put to bed after 68 minutes as once again the two sides of Morelos came to the fore.
First he did brilliantly to collect Joe Aribo’s cut-back before spinning away from Gallagher to fire past Gillespie.
But with the Colombian already on a booking after a late challenge on Carroll, he left Robertson with no choice but to send him off as he aimed an offensive gesture – bringing his left hand down on his right bicep – at the Well supporters in the East Enclosure.
Motherwell could not make use of their man advantage and almost fell three down in stoppage time as Barisic rattled the post with a free-kick.