Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos made it 100 not out in Light Blue as his strike helped see off St Mirren and open up a three-point lead atop the Premiership summit.

The 25-year-old's strike came less than two minutes after Kemar Roofe scored from the spot just before the break to leave the Buddies reeling.

Morelos was cautioned for his exuberant celebrations that led him into the front row as the Rangers blitz cancelled out Connor Ronan's goal of the season contender.

St Mirren's brilliant start was full of endeavour but Steven Gerrard and his side fully their 2-1 victory and the three points that opens up a gap between them and their nearest rivals.

The early kick-offs are susceptible to sleepy starts but the atmosphere was crackling long before Ronan's stunner found the top corner.

And the Buddies were proving to be no friends to their opponents as the harassed the Premiership champions at every turn during a turbo-charged opening.

Their uncompromising opening was rewarded as the Irishman watched his 30-yard stunner find the net, which provided the travelling fans protecting the eyes from the sun with an unwelcome surprise.

Gerrard has watched his team trail on numerous occasions over the years but he has rarely witnessed his side pushed back in such a manner as they were during a frenzied opening 15 minutes.

But Rangers found their feet and they were an overcooked Morelos pass away from setting Roofe in on goal. Connor Goldson also had a pair of headers direct from corner kicks well saved by Jak Alnwick.

This was sustained pressure from the Ibrox side and St Mirren were putting bodies on the line to deny the likes of Ianis Hagi and Joe Aribo in dangerous positions.

The Romanian playmaker was emboldened by several key contributions and he was full of confidence when he cracked a low effort from the left side of the penalty box that Alnwick turned behind for a corner.

And he was left cursing his luck minutes later as his swivelled effort on the edge of the box landed wide of the post. A rather hefty deflection was also missed by referee Steven McLean.

But the man in the middle had the perfect view moments later to see Hagi clumsily tripped by Alan Power inside the box.

Roofe had an extended wait to take but he ripped an emphatic penalty into the bottom corner as the visitors roared the equaliser before the break.

And better was to follow as Morelos secured his Ibrox centenary goal as he touched home James Tavernier's teasing cross after Conor McCarthy made a meal of clearing at the near post.

El Bufalo celebrated the big moment as he headed into the crowd to soak up the adulation for him adoring public but was issued a yellow card for the celebrations.

The opening 45 minutes was thrill-a-minute stuff but the second half started at a more sedate pace as St Mirren found their feet after being floored by an Ibrox one-two punch.

But Rangers had the first real chance as Borna Barisic picked out fellow full-back Tavernier with a stunning cross from 30 yards out but the skipper's header landed in the hands of Alnwick.

The pace wasn't as frenzied but Gerrard's side were creating the better chances with Morelos skimming an effort wide and Hagi's deflected effort causing Alnwick real anxiety.

St Mirren were coping better with the Rangers attack but sub Fashion Sakala was left vexed as he mistimed his jump to head wide of Alnwick's goal.

And the home side's day ended on a sickener as star man Jamie McGrath was forced off after they had used all their three substitutions.

The Republic of Ireland was down for six minutes and a stretcher was required to take him off as he appeared to be holding his side and lower back.

That reduced St Mirren to 10 men and Rangers were able to see the game out without any late panic as they built upon their convincing midweek win over Brondby.

Hagi proves a gamechanger

The Romanian playmaker doesn't get it right every time but he is a risk taker with a short memory - the Ibrox star doesn't let near misses get him down, that's for sure. He watched a couple of flicks and tricks fail to come off but he was the most dangerous player for the away side before they launched their comeback. He won the penalty and was a constant menace that the Buddies had to account for. Gerrard waxed lyrical about his star's desire to improve and it's evident Hagi has bulked-up to make himself capable of coping with the rigours of Scottish football.

Saints have six appeal

Goodwin was gutted to see his side miss out on a top half finish last season after appearing destined for a spot among the big boys last season. It's even more of a challenge this time around with Hearts in the mix and Dundee United looking strong but there was a lot to like on Sunday. Ronan and star man McGrath are a handful and not many teams would have been able to weather the storm Rangers created during a thundering finish to the first half. A lot now depends on the severity of McGrath's injury.

Blue Sea of Paisley

Buddies boss Goodwin offered up a diplomatic answer when asked about the decision to give Rangers supporters two stands within the Simple Digital Arena and who could argue when they were basking in the glow of Ronan's outrageous opener? But, in truth, this had the look and feel of a home game for Rangers and the wall of noise was certainly needed during a challenging opening exchange. The away supporters were in fine voice from first minute to last and their cheers were vital in a game that was going to plan early. Goodwin admitted the financial rewards outweighed the advantage of a reduced travelling crowd. However, the mini Ibrox created certainly made a difference