Kyle Lafferty celebrates at Tannadice Park

Rangers were crowned SPL champions on Sunday with a 3-0 victory over Dundee United sealing the title. 

Goals from Kyle Lafferty, Pedro Mendes and Kris Boyd ensured The SPL trophy returns to Ibrox for the first time since 2005.

Walter Smith’s side came out the traps desperate to settle their nerves and straight away United found themselves pinned back deep in their half.

With barely two minutes gone Steven Davis sent a great low cross into the box, but Kris Boyd missed the ball when he would have been fancied to score.

That was a warning for the home side and the Ibrox club carried out their threat four minutes later when Lafferty scored.

Davis found Boyd in the box and his cross-come-shot reached the striker twelve yards from goal. Lafferty outmuscled Michael Kovacevic and side-footed beyond Lukasz Zaluska to give his side a valuable lead.

The men in light blue were desperate to bring the title back to Govan and at both ends of the pitch they were giving their all.

Defensively Sasa Papac was on hand to block a David Goodwillie shot from the edge of the area, while at the other end Boyd was looking dangerous.

The former Kilmarnock striker brought a long-ball down in the box before shooting from the penalty spot, but somehow Kovacevic got back on the line to clear.

But Rangers did breach the Dundee United goal again on the stroke of half-time when Pedro Mendes hit a scorcher to virtually seal the championship.

A Papac free-kick deflected off the wall to the midfielder who unleashed a left-footed volley that nestled neatly in the bottom corner.

The one-way traffic continued after the interval with Kris Boyd getting on the score-sheet with 51 minutes on the clock.

Right back Steven Whittaker sent a tantalising cross into the six-yard box that the forward comfortably dispatched beyond Zaluska.

Any doubt over where The SPL trophy was going to rest for the next 12 months was confirmed with that strike with Rangers hardly troubled by Dundee United.

Craig Levein sent for Francisco Sandaza as his side searched for a comeback as their bid for a Europa League spot was left in tatters.

With Aberdeen beating Hibernian the Tannadice outfit needed a point to finish in fourth place, but that never looked likely as Rangers dominated their opponents.

Smith sent Barry Ferguson and Nacho Novo on as the clock wound down to ensure two stars who played on ‘Helicopter Sunday’ had a role this time around.

The latter should have made in four-nil when he went one-on-one with Zaluska, but his composure escaped him and the goalkeeper smothered the attempt.

As the match came to conclusion Garry Kenneth brought Neil Alexander into action for the first-time, but it was nothing to scare Rangers on a worry-free afternoon for their jubilant fans.