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  1. Aribo strike secures three points for far from invincible Rangers A first-half strike from Joe Aribo secured three points for Rangers and a first win at Dens Park for Steven Gerrard on Saturday, but it was yet another performance which provided strong evidence that Rangers are some way off their invincible form of last season. Rangers arrived on Tayside on the back of a disappointing home draw in the league against Motherwell last Sunday, and looking to secure three points to maintain their place at the top of the pile. Gerrard reintroduced Ianis Hagi and James Tavernier to his starting eleven. He also opted with Jon McLaughlin in goal again, and the former Sunderland man having to be lively to deal with a close-range header from Jordan McGhee in the early stages. The match saw Leigh Griffiths play against Rangers for the first time since his loan move from Celtic to Dundee. Griffiths has been targeted by away supporters since he was investigated by Police Scotland for allegedly messaging an underage girl on social media. Police found no evidence of criminality, but Griffiths has faced a stream of abuse from opposing supporters since, culminating in him reacting mid-week to barracking from St Johnstone supporters by kicking a flare into the away support. He has since been charged by Police Scotland for culpable and reckless behaviour, and his fortunes didn’t improve any here. Firstly he missed a great chance he should have scored, hitting the ball weakly at the Rangers goal, then he was substituted on the 39th minute – much to the joy of the travelling support. The goal was a one a few bright moments from Rangers. James Tavernier played a nice ball into Alfredo Morelos, who dinked a lovely reverse pass into the path of Joe Aribo who took a touch to set himself before placing it past Adam Legzdins in the Dundee goal. Kemar Roofe then came close with a shot at goal after some nice work had taken him past Liam Fontaine, but overall Rangers lacked any real attacking threat despite enjoying the majority of possession. John Lundstram has enjoyed an indifferent start to his career at Rangers, but this was yet another improved performance by the former Sheffield United man. He came close to doubling Rangers lead early in the second-half, with a curling effort from the corner of the box forcing Legzdins into a fine save, but more importantly the under-fire midfielder drew much praise from his manager. “He was the best player on the pitch by a mile,” said Gerrard After the game. “I’ve been almost smiling in disbelief, really, at some of the reaction on the outside.” ‘John’s a fantastic player. He’s showed his quality in the last three games. Ok, he’s been finding his feet and it does take time to get up to speed and work out how people play, but he was an absolute powerhouse today. “He was Man of the Match and the best player on the pitch by a mile.” Dundee were handed a lifeline back into the game when they were awarded a penalty on the 59th minute. The foul came from a long ball played by Max Anderson which Connor Goldson misjudged, allowing Paul McMullan to run in on goal to be fouled by Jon McLaughlin. Bobby Madden was left with no option but to award the spot kick, McMullan and the home support also appealed loudly for McLaughlin to see red - the double-jeopardy rule, however, meant only a yellow was forthcoming. The defending from Goldson was yet another example of some within the Rangers squad struggling to reach the heights of last season, with him and James Tavernier in particularly having an uncomfortable afternoon defensively. Former Rangers striker Jason Cummings, who had replaced Griffiths in the first-half, stepped up to take the spot kick, but hit his shot at the legs of McLaughlin – allowing the the Rangers keeper to gather the ball safely after an initial failed attempted to punch the ball clear. The incident enraged Dundee manager James McPake, who was red carded at full time for protesting over-zealously. When asked if he felt McLaughlin should have been on the pitch to face the penalty, he was blunt in his response. "In my opinion, no. I know the rule is if you make a genuine attempt, and people will disagree and say it's a genuine attempt. "But Paul McMullan is clearly by him and the leg comes out. If it's Adam Legzdins would my answer be different? Probably not.” For Rangers and Steven Gerrard focus now switches to the trip to Prague on Thursday night in Europa League. "We came here for three points. No-one will remember how we got them, and I've also managed to keep people fresh for Thursday, so a lot of positives to take away." Three points was indeed the objective for Rangers here, but improved performances are required if they want to secure a second successive title. DUNDEE: Legzdins; Ashcroft, Fontaine, Sweeney; Kerr, Anderson, Byrne, McGhee, Marshall; McMullan, Griffiths. SUBS: Jakubiak, McGowan, McCowan, Panter, Lawlor, Sheridan, Cummings. RANGERS: McLaughlin; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Bassey; Lundstram, Kamara, Aribo; Roofe, Hagi, Morelos. SUBS: McGregor, Davis, Patterson, Wright, Bacuna, Fashion Jr, Barisic. REF: Bobby Madden
  2. Lyon hand out a French lesson to slack Rangers The last time Olympique Lyonnais made their way to Govan in 2007 they ended the hopes of Walter Smith’s side of progressing to the knock-out stages of the Champions League with a 3-0 drubbing. Smith and his players consolidated themselves by making the final of the UEFA Cup. Whether Steven Gerrard and his side can recover in a similar fashion after this 2-0 defeat is up for debate, but one thing which is not up for debate is that this was another difficult night at the hands of the French side. This would be Steven Gerrard’s and his coaching staff’s 50th European match at the helm at Ibrox, and they went into it defending a nine game unbeaten run at Ibrox in the group stages. But Gerrard had warned prior to the game that this was the hardest opponents his side had faced in European competition – add to that the fact that Rangers have yet to hit top gear this season and this always looked like it could be an uphill task. Rangers have looked disjointed in both performance and personnel so far this season, thanks to a combination of Covid and injuries. Saturday’s win against St Johnstone came at the cost of losing defender Filip Helander until December with a knee injury. The Swedish defender is a crucial part of Gerrard's team and his absence is a huge blow. If such a blow wasn't bad enough, Ryan Kent has become the latest player to succumb to injury, limping off in the 70th minute with a hamstring injury, adding to already significant headaches Gerrard has suffered this season. The injury to Kent was the final act in what was a miserable night for the winger. The Englishman has struggled to find anything remotely resembling his top form this season and tonight offered no redemption as he was caught in possession twice in moments of slackness which led to both Lyon goals. The first error saw Kent lose possession cheaply on the half-way line. This allowed Lyon to counter and Karl Toko Ekambi to score with a superb curling shot in the bottom corner on the 23rd minute. The second error saw Kent caught in possession again just outside the Rangers penalty box early in the second half. This led to Allan McGregor denying Lucas Paqueta, but the resultant goalmouth stramash ended with the ball ricocheting off James Tavernier and into the net to all but end the game as contest. Despite not being at their fluent best, Rangers did create moments. Joe Aribo, John Lundstram and Ryan Kent all had efforts at Lopes’s goal in the first-half when it was 1-0. If one of these efforts had went in Rangers may have been able to rally and recover, but it was not to be. Tavernier came close with free-kick in the second-half, and Balogun also came close with a header in the closing stages. But by that point it felt like this Lyon side were to savvy to let any lead slip and that Rangers' race was run. One potential positive from the game was the performance of John Lundstram. He has struggled to convince since his arrival in the summer, but his performance tonight gave hints at the player we thought we were getting when he signed – although he did allow Toko Ekambi to cut inside to his favoured foot too easily for the first goal. For Gerrard it was a night to forget, for Lyon coach Peter Bosz it was a case of déjà vu – the Dutchman was in charge of Bayer Leverkusen when they secured a 3-1 victory in March 2020 in the last sixteen of the same competition. The defeat is the first group stage European loss on home soil since the 2010-11 Champions League defeat against Manchester Utd, and it puts a huge dent in Rangers chances of topping the group – which is now the only way of confimring a place in the knock-out stages. But despite the defeat, Steven Gerrard was still relatively upbeat in his post-match comments. "We played some good stuff and created some half-decent openings. Their keeper has made a top save from Ryan Kent which would have got us back into the game at 1-1”, he said. "We created some decent moments without being clear cut. I think the scoreline is slightly harsh on us. We have made two mistakes in the game, clear mistakes if you like. We've had the ball turned over in the first half and we have been punished for it because good players do that to you. "I'm a bit disappointed with our defending on the second goal. The players know at this level you will be punished. With all due respect, domestically if you give the ball away in those areas, maybe you will get away with it. But not at Europa League level against high-calibre players. If you turn the ball over while the team is open, you leave yourself vulnerable.” Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic, Lundstram, Davis, Kamara, Aribo, Kent, Morelos Subs: McLaughlin, McCrorie, Bassey, Patterson, Bacuna, Wright, Roofe, Kelly, Fashion Jr, Arfield, McClelland. Lyon: Lopes, Emerson, Denayer, Ekambi Aouar, Paqueta, Gusto, Slimani, Caqueret, Boateng (Diomande, 65), Guimaraes. Subs: Diomande, Shaqiri, Pollersbeck, Bonnevie, Lukeba, Milagres, Cherki, Kelta, Da Silva, Barcola. Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
  3. Four goals provide Highland spring for Rangers Nobody could have foresaw a few weeks ago that Rangers would be arriving for this fixture with it being suggested that the pressure was already mounting on Steven Gerrard and his players. But after Celtic’s thrashing of St Mirren on Saturday, and on the back a period of indifferent form, there was an air of nervousness as Rangers headed up the A9 to Dingwall to take on Ross County. The next seven days are huge for Rangers. Firstly they head to Armenia to play the second-leg of the Europa League group stage qualification tie against Alashkert. Gerrard has made meat and drink of these ties in his previous three attempts, however the inexplicable loss to Malmö has created doubt where there was once belief. Failure to qualify will put further pressure on the manager and his players going into next week’s Old Firm fixture – the first of this season. Rangers go into Thursday night’s game with a one goal advantage, however the game did not come without a price with Michael Beale revealing prior to Sunday’s game that Ianis Hagi and Scott Wright had picked up knocks and could be out for a couple of weeks. Hagi recovered to take his place in the starting eleven – Wright, however, missed out and as things stand is unlikely to feature on Thursday night. This announcement by Beale added further weight to feeling that Rangers preparations and start to the season have not been ideal, with players returning at different times due to international duty, with injuries and suspensions adding further headaches for manager Steven Gerrard. “Some people have had a disrupted pre-season after coming off the Euros & Copa America”, said Beale. “There is a lot going on with the squad that is background noise really. We’re managing one or two things but that’s fine, that happens at all times of the season.” One extra thing to manage has been added to that list after it was revealed that Nathan Paterson had been the subject to a £5m bid from Everton, with The Athletic reporting that the offer was submitted on Friday. Such a paltry amount is unlikely to force Rangers’ hand, but it highlights that potential suitors of Rangers’ top assets are aware that the loss to Malmö was an expensive one, and that they are prepared to use that as a bargaining tool. Steven Gerrard reintroduced Leon Balogun to the starting eleven and he found himself subject to a penalty claim in the opening minutes when he handled in the box, but referee David Munro awarded free-kick to Rangers for an earlier foul. The scare was an early reminder that Rangers needed to be at their best and they set about taking control of the match, culminating in Joe Aribo providing the opening goal after 15 minutes with a superb strike, curling the ball into the top corner from the corner of the 18 yard box. Goldson doubled that lead four minutes later, getting on the end of a James Tavernier corner to head home. It seemed that a routine win and potential thrashing were on the cards as Rangers clocked up further chances through Hagi, Aribo and Goldson, but, as has so often been the case so far this season, just when Rangers looked to be on safe ground they contrived to find a way to make hard work of things. Harry Clarke’s goal with five minute left of the first-half was Ross County's first of this season and it reopened a contest which had appeared to be over. Clarke reacted quickest in the box after Allan McGregor made a fine initial save from Jordan White’s effort to hit the rebound home. Nine minutes into the second-half Alfredo Morelos put further distance between the sides again with a left foot finish. But yet again Rangers could not finish the job, dragging themselves back into a fight with thirteen minutes to go when Jordan White scored from the spot after Calvin Bassey had handled in the box. The prospect for a potentially uncomfortable last few minutes didn’t last long, and was put to rest when Scott Arfield slotted home in the closing stages after coming on for Hagi on the 78 minute. With such a big week looming there were many positive signs hinting that Rangers are returning to something resembling the standards they know they can hit, but the slack moments in defence continue to be a cause for concern. "That's the way I want my teams to play, organised and hard to play against” said manager Steven Gerrard after the game. "We want to be as relentless and ruthless in the box as we can be. That is the way Rangers teams should look. It was much more like us, both in and out of possession. "I'm a lot happier today. As you can see quite clearly what we are trying to do. We are trying to be more organised at times and we are still trying to fine-tune that. "We are still waiting to have a full squad and be fully settled so we will get better.” RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Bassey, Aribo, Davis, Kamara, Hagi, Kent, Morelos. SUBS: Lundstram, Arfield, Roofe, McCrorie, Helander, Itten, Patterson. ROSS COUNTY: Laidlaw, Randall, Cancola, Spittal, Callachan, Iacovitti, Cook (Samuel, 90), Clarke, Tillson, Paton, White. SUBS: Hungbo, Maynard-Brewer, Samuel, Shaw, Robertson, Watson, Donaldson. REFEREE: David Munro
  4. Morelos secures win for ten man Rangers If Rangers get the result they require next week in Yerevan to secure passage to the Europa League group stages for the fourth consecutive season under Steven Gerrard, then John Lundstram will owe his teammates a huge debt of gratitude. It was the Englishman’s sending off late in the first-half which put a huge question mark over a tie which was deemed as a fairly routine affair for Rangers, although they had huffed and puffed for large parts of the first-half. But Lundstram’s dismissal, after a second booking, put Rangers in a speculative position, and one which will not have pleased manager Steven Gerrard. All the chat prior to the game surrounded the capture of Juninho Bacuna from Huddersfield Town. The 24 year Dutch midfielder provides further options for Gerrard in an area where he has not been short of problems so far this season. Speaking to Rangers TV Bacuna seemed delighted at his move. “There was interest last season, unfortunately it didn’t go through”, said the Dutchman. "I am ready to prove myself and learn from the boys, learn from the manager. I am ready to get started and I can’t wait. "I had experience in the Premier League and unfortunately it didn’t go like I wanted but I will take the experience from that and bring it here and show what I can do here. "I think the style the team is going to play will suit me and I think I can be at my best here." This was a tie that Rangers had hoped to avoid, but the capitulation against Malmö last week ended the prospect of reaching the Champions’ League group stages and the riches that come with it. The two defeats to Malmo are the first that Steven Gerrard has experienced as Rangers manager in Europe in qualifying stages. He is well versed in these Europa qualification ties, which added to the sense of inevitability to tonight’s game. However Rangers looked slow and ponderous in a poor first-half where the only real chance fell to Ryan Kent when he somehow managed to strike the bar when scoring seemed easier. The Englishman has struggled so far this season to find the form which has him highly tipped for a big money move at some point in the future. This was the latest in a line of performances littered with loose distribution, wild attempts at goal and attempted runs which resulted in possession being lost. Gerrard has been remarkably loyal to Kent during other periods of poor form. The fact that Kent did not reappear for the second-half suggested the manager’s patience with one of his mainstays had worn too thin on an important evening for the club. Kent’s replacement was Scott Wright, a player who must be wondering what he has to do to earn a start. The former Aberdeen man’s running and urgency gave life to a support that had started to doubt. All of a sudden there was an improved vigour about Rangers’ play. At the heart of that was Alfredo Morelos. He had a hooked shot cleared off the line, then headed wide when he should have scored after a great cross in from Ianis Hagi. But the Columbian got the goal he deserved on 68 minutes when he latched on to a long ball from James Tavernier and drove his shot low and hard through the legs of Cancarevic to give Rangers a deserved lead. Rangers should have made it 2-0 when Connor Goldson headed wide from close range, meaning Rangers would have to settle for the one goal lead going into the second-leg. The result is a positive one given the circumstances, but there is yet again feeling that Rangers had somehow managed to take less from a game they were in a position to take a lot more from. Much of the talk will centre on Lundstram and his reckless sending off. His first booking, for a trip on David Khurtsidze, could be deemed as taking one for the team. But his second booking, for a pull on Jose Embalo after he had needlessly conceded possession, was an incredulous act of naivety for a player who came to Scotland boasting English Premier League experience. The Liverpudlian has had a poor start to his Rangers career, he needs to realise the required levels soon if he doesn’t want to join a long list of players who found the Rangers jersey too heavy for them. For Steven Gerrard the result leaves him with problems he would have rather avoided. A more convincing scoreline would have allowed him to avoid taking some key players on a ten hour all-round flight to Armenia three days before the first Old Firm game of the season, and that frustration showed in his post-match comments. “In terms of our performance collectively it was so far away from how I wanted it to look in the first-half. It is difficult for me to comment on that”, said the Rangers manager. “At half-time the players listened to the information we gave them and we went out and carried it out. I am sure the fans appreciated their efforts in the second-half. “But in the first-half? Honestly, it was so far away from how I want it to look and how far away I need it to look.” Rangers now head to Dingwall on Sunday for the league game against Ross County, before travelling to Armenia for the second-leg on Thursday and “welcoming” Celtic for the first Old Firm game of the season next Sunday. It’s a busy schedule, and one which will require more than Rangers offered in the first-half tonight. RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Bassey, Lundstram, Davis, Aribo, Hagi, Kent, Morelos. SUBS: McLaughlin, McCrorie, Itten, Simpson, Patterson, Wright, Balogun, Kelly, Arfield, Barisic ALASHKERT: Cancarevic, Voskanyan, Kadio, Tiago Cameta, Boljevic, Grigoryan, Hovsepyan, Papikyan, Khurtsidze, James, Jose Embalo. SUBS Yedigaryan, Gome, Aghekyan, Bezecourt, Glisic, Tankov REFEREE: Anastasios Sidriopoulos
  5. @Rousseau Hi mate - can you post on the main site? Cheers Colin
  6. Defeat at Tannadice ends Rangers’ unbeaten run. If the old adage that seven days is a long time in football needed further evidence of its validity, then Rangers’ defeat at Tannadice provided a timely reminder that just when you think you’re on solid ground is usually the moment the floor disappears from underneath your feet. It was only last weekend after Rangers had secured a routine victory over Livingstone, whist Celtic dropped points in dramatic fashion at Tynecastle against Hearts, that the talk was that Celtic were a club in crisis and that Rangers’ road to two successive titles was going to be fairly routine affair. Now Gerrard and Rangers are facing questions about their title credentials after a European defeat to Malmo and defeat here to an average Dundee Utd side. Make no mistake, this was a bad and potentially costly defeat for Rangers. Gerrard arrived in the City of Discovery with added numbers in the squad from the one which was at his disposal in Sweden on Tuesday night. Back came Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe – who were both suspended against Malmo – and striker Alfredo Morelos, who re-joined the squad after a period of isolation on returning from his summer break. However Gerrard was dealt a major blow when Kemar Roofe had to leave the squad at short notice after one of his children was admitted to hospital. With Zambian striker Fashion Sakala omitted from the squad entirely, it forced a far earlier introduction to the starting eleven for Alfredo Morelos than was initially intended. With the return to the team of such players as Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo and Morelos, you would have been forgiven for expecting a higher standard of performance to that which Rangers produced on Tuesday night, but in truth this was a continuation of Tuesday's below par performance. Dundee Utd were without Lawrence Shankland, whom it would appear is the subject of a potential move to Belgium, although the official reason given for his absence was a hip injury picked up in training on Friday. United would not miss the striker. This was a bad day for the new players at the club. Sakala, as mentioned earlier, was omitted from the squad completely and John Lundstram had another poor day at the office. The former Sheffield Utd man has looked slow and off the pace for large chunks of his game time so far, and he was culpable for United’s winner, not following the run of Jamie Robson as he ran onto a deflected pass which put him through to shoot low and hard past Jon McLaughlin in the 64th minute. Lundstram was replaced by Scott Wright five minutes later. With the omission of Sakala, who has struggled to get into the games has featured in, the poor performances Lundstram and the unavailability of Nnamdi Ofoborh through a heart issue, Gerrard is still waiting on a meaningful contribution from any of his summer signings. Good recruitment has been the cornerstone of Gerrard’s success at Rangers, he will be hoping the early struggles of his newest recruits will soon pass. Gerrard also remains without Ryan Jack whom has suffered a setback in his rehabilitation. “He'll probably be another couple of weeks, all being well”, said Gerrard at his press conference on Friday morning. Reassurance that Jack is close to returning a reoccurring narrative in recent months, the player and his manager must be praying that the surgery in the summer will finally put an end to such updates. As was the case against Malmo, there was a disjointed and off the pace look to Rangers performance at Tannadice and given the importance of the return leg against the Swede’s at Ibrox on Tuesday night, Gerrard will need to find a way to put the intensity back into Rangers’ game. Even after going a goal down Rangers struggled to find the desired reaction to get themselves back into the game, although Tavernier did pull a good save from Siegrist in the Utd goal with a shot from distance, and Connor Goldson came tantalisingly close to an equaliser when he headed a corner just past the post. But with almost 70% possession and 14 shots on goal (only two of which were on target), it is obvious that Rangers are lacking a cutting edge at the moment. Morelos looked off the pace, although perhaps understandably so, Ryan Kent had one of those days that make you question the hype around him and both Barisic and Tavernier failed to put decent enough deliveries from the flanks to trouble the likes of Charlie Mulgrew and Ryan Edwards. Outside of Joe Aribo and the evergreen Steven Davis, it is hard to think of anyone who reached the required performance level for Rangers. Jermain Defoe was introduced with eight minutes to go in a last ditch attempt to get the equaliser, but it was to no avail and Rangers had to accept their first defeat on league business since 4 March 2020 when Hamilton took all three points at Ibrox. "From our point of view, it was not good enough”, said the Rangers manager after the game. “I think over the course of the 90 minutes we didn't deserve to lose the game but you always put yourself in that position if you don't score goals. "We didn't create enough today and whilst the game is at 0-0 there's always a risk if you get one or two things wrong. The result and the performance is on me and my team. We'll have to accept that and move on pretty quickly.” DUNDEE UTD: Siegrist, Edwards, Mulgrew, Fuchs, Smith, Harkes, Butcher, Clark, Robson, Pawlett, Chalmers. SUBS: Sporle, Carson, Reynolds, Neilson, Freeman, Mochrie, Watson RANGERS: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Kamara, Davis, Lundstram, Aribo, Morelos, Kent. SUBS: Wright, Itten, McGregor, Patterson, Simpson, Arfield. REFEREE: Don Robertson
  7. Routine victory provides early signs that Rangers have the Wright stuff If there is any truth in the old adage that a side who churns out victories whilst not at their best is a sign of a championship winning side, then Rangers provided strong evidence on Saturday that they will be the team to beat this season. On a day when supporters were allowed back into Ibrox for a competitive game for the first time since 12 March 2020, and the visit of Bayer Leverkusen, the hosts provided plenty of evidence that they will take some stopping, despite looking a bit sluggish for long periods of the game. The moment of the match came with twelve minutes to go when Scott Wright curled a sublime effort with the outside of his right foot past Max Stryjek in the Livingstone goal, to all but secure the points. The former Aberdeen player has impressed since his move to Ibrox in January, and much is expected of him this season from manager Steven Gerrard. "Scott probably deserved to start the game but we have got four games in 10 days so I am going to need him to be ready”, said Gerrard after the game. "He came on for Ianis Hagi, but we are hoping he is going to pull through and be okay, but Scott has taken his chance - I thought he came on, was direct, was quick, played a lot of penetrating passes and scored a wonderful goal and that is the part of the game we are on his case over as we want him to keep getting numbers in his game and be a killer in the box and he was today.” Hagi had come off after a crunching and rather naughty tackle from Adam Lewis, but the Romanian didn’t leave proceedings without making a huge contribution in scoring the opening goal after only eight minutes. The Romanian controlled a Tavernier free-kick superbly at the back post, as he shaped to shoot he took out what felt like the entire Livi defence before shooting high into the net from close range to give Rangers the early lead they and the 23,000 supporters had craved. The return of supporters at Ibrox could not be understated, and the frustration of the last few months during lock down was audible in the roar which greeted Hagi’s opener. Everyone involved with the club is praying that this is just start start of a more normal matchday experience. Prior to kick-off both sets of players took the knee in the continued fight against racism. On Friday afternoon, James Tavernier had written an open letter to supporters telling them that the players would "take the knee to stand against racism, nothing more, and nothing less.” That message appears to have gotten through with the overwhelming majority of the crowd applauding in support when both sets of players took the knee. There was also a minutes silence prior to kick off for former Rangers captain Ally Dawson, who died last week at the age of 63. Dawson made 315 appearances for the club, and captained the side for two of his six major honours. Dawson was the very epitome of a real Rangers man, joining the playing staff straight from school in 1975 at the tender age of 16 and staying with the club for twelve seasons. He was introduced to the Rangers Hall of Fame in 2011. The side selected by Gerrard suggested he had one eye on the Champions League qualifier on Tuesday, but it also gave a hint to the strength and depth of the squad he has amassed since arriving three years ago. There were no places for Alan McGregor, Filip Helander, Borna Barisic or Scott Arfield – with only McGregor of that group making the bench. When you consider that Ryan Jack and Alfredo Morelos are still to come back into proceedings, you can see just how strong Rangers are at the moment. Fashion Sakala was drafted in for his first competitive start, with John Lundstram having to console himself with a place on the bench as Rangers went with a midfield three of Davis, Kamara and Aribo. Davis, yet again, showed that he is ageing like a fine wine, with yet another man of the match performance. The Northern Irishman may be 36, but he shows no signs of dropping his performance levels just yet. Calvin Bassey was also impressive on the day, covering for Barisic superbly in a back four of him, Tavernier, Goldson and Balogun. For Sakala, however, this would prove to be a frustrating afternoon, with the Zambian unable to repeat his heroics of the previous week against Real Madrid. For large chunks of the game he struggled to get going, and was replaced by Kemar Roofe on 71 minutes. It was Roofe’s introduction which re-energised Rangers, and within six minutes of his arrival they'd secured the three points with that superb Scott Wright goal. Wright instigated the move with a cross into the box. Kent collected on the penalty spot and shot, but his effort was deflected up in the air and nodded on by Tavernier to Wright, who executed it superbly. Roofe added insult to injury in the dying minutes when he reacted quicker than anyone else in the six yard box and scored the third, which put a slightly flattering look on proceedings. But even if Rangers weren’t at their best here, they never really looked like conceding on the day, with Jon McLaughlin having what most of us would describe as an easy day at the office. For Gerrard and Rangers the focus now shifts to Tuesday night and Malmo. For Gerrard, the prospect of managing in the biggest European competition will be a huge incentive. For Rangers, it will surely mark the full recovery of the club after a decade of turmoil. RANGERS: McLaughlin, Tavernier (c), Bassey, Goldson, Balogun, Davis, Kamara, Aribo, Kent, Hagi, Fashion Jr. SUBS: McGregor, Lundstram, Itten, Simpson, Patterson, Wright, Roofe. LIVINGSTON: Stryjek, Lewis, Fitzwater, Obileye, McMillan, Holt, Sibbald, Pittman (c), Penrice, Forrest & Anderson. SUBS: Barden, Devlin, Kelly, Montaño, Kabia, Reilly & Hamilton. Referee: John Beaton Attendance: 23,000
  8. Wrote this on the Rangers v Arsenal game in 1973 to commemorate Rangers' centenary. https://thelowerthirddotnet.wordpress.com/2021/07/13/friends-reunited-when-rangers-welcomed-arsenal-for-a-centenary-celebration/
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