The visitors were stunned by their rivals, who barely settled in either half but enjoyed the support of their 5,000 fans
Nigeria’s Leon Balogun and Zambia’s Fashion Sakala were missing as Rangers went down 1-0 to Dundee United at Tannadice Park on Saturday.
The home side scored the only goal of the game in the second half through Jamie Robson to stun the Premiership heavyweights as Sakala and Balogun were not included in the matchday squad.
Dundee came close to getting an opener in the fifth minute when Logan Chambers shot low from the edge of the box, but his right-footed effort was collected by Jon McLaughlin.
The visitors could not capitalise on a seventh-minute chance when Joe Aribo put the ball in Alfredo Morelos’ path, but his first shot was blocked.
Soon after, Aribo recovered the ball for his side and his cut-back was collected by the Colombian, but this time around the ball flew over the bar.
James Tavernier swiftly moved forward in the 12th minute down the right-wing and set up Aribo, whose shot from distance was blocked by Dundee United’s Calum Butcher.
Aribo was lucky to continue with the game after a rough 50-50 challenge on the ball which forced referee Don Robertson to stop the game for him to get medical attention and, after a while, he resumed his duties in the 19th minute.
Dundee’s Jeando Fuchs did well to intercept a John Lundstram pass that could have breached their defensive line. Then, Robson did well to win the throw-in contest against Aribo in the 22nd minute, as the hosts looked more solid, especially in stopping Rangers’ attacks.
Ryan Kent created himself some space on the left wing before he produced a cross that found Morelos at the far post, but the forward’s header went out slightly off target in the 27th minute.
Dundee’s calls for a penalty in the 36th minute were dismissed after Charlie Mulgrew’s shot hit Connor Goldson’s stomach and the home side claimed the Rangers defender handled the ball in his attempt to clear.
Rangers’ Tavernier tried to find the back of the net with a 25-yard strike in the 43rd minute, but he was denied by the crossbar.
Dundee United were forced to make a change in the 49th minute when Logan Chalmers was injured and Adrian Sporle was brought on to fill his place.
Four minutes after the hour mark, Dundee United – who had barely settled in the second half – broke the deadlock through Robson’s hit.
His combination with Sporle down the left-hand side caught Rangers off guard as the scorer tapped home with tangible composure.
A combination between Morelos and Aribo in the 76th-minute almost worked well for Rangers, who were desperately looking for an equaliser, but Ryan Edwards was alert to make a last-ditch challenge that stopped Rangers’ dangerous move towards the goal.
Rangers – who have failed to score only once in their last 44 Premiership matches – saw another goalscoring chance go to waste when Tavernier failed to find the back of the net even after he was spotted in a promising spot by Borna Barisic.
As a result of the defeat, Steven Gerrard’s side have seen their 40-game unbeaten league run come to an end.