Rangers win at Aberdeen thanks to Scott Arfield’s late double; Fashion Sakala gave Rangers an early lead; a magnificent free-kick pulled the hosts level at the interval; Leighton Clarkson scored for Aberdeen in the 53rd minute. Rangers won 3-2 against Aberdeen thanks to a stoppage-time double from Scott Arfield, keeping their championship chances alive. Jim Goodwin’s men were on the brink of defeating the Ibrox side in the league for the first time since 2016, but substitute Arfield scored twice in injury time to seal the victory.
The midfielder scored in the 95th and 97th minutes to cap an incredible comeback and leave Aberdeen astonished. Earlier, Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes’ brilliant free-kick canceled out Fashion Sakala’s opening before Leighton Clarkson’s thunderous goal put the Dons ahead. Rangers have closed the distance on Celtic to six points ahead of their encounter against Livingston on Wednesday, while Aberdeen sits 14 points behind the Ibrox club in third.
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Rangers win in dramatic fashion late in the game
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Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin faced heavy criticism after his team’s defensive performance in Saturday’s 1-0 home loss to Celtic, and his team was eager to make apologies, making early advances into the Rangers box. The visitors, on the other hand, were assured and purposeful in control, scoring following a one-two between former Aberdeen midfielder Ryan Jack and Alfredo Morelos.
When the Colombian striker passed the ball back to Sakala, his first poor effort from 12 yards was stopped by Dons captain Anthony Stewart, but his second went in.
Aberdeen stumbled, and Ibrox midfielder Malik Tillman set up Morelos inside the box, but his effort was saved by Dons goalkeeper Kelle Roos. The hosts roared back, as Richardson’s right-wing cross glanced off James Tavernier and struck the post before Duk’s attempt was deflected for a corner.
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Aberdeen, on the other hand, was heartened, and Duk’s left-wing cross minutes later found Ylber Ramadani, but the midfielder missed the goal from 16 yards. The equaliser occurred after Gers defender James Sands was penalized for a foul on Aberdeen attacker Bojan Miovski 20 yards from goal by referee Willie Collum. Duk curled the free kick over the wall and beyond the writhing McGregor, who seemed to be capable of doing better.
Aberdeen came out firing in the second half and quickly took the lead. Sands cleared Scales’ cross into the box, but only to Clarkson, who blasted a dipping effort from distance over McGregor and into the corner of the goal. In a bid to flip the game back in the Rangers’ favor, Beale substituted Ben Davies, Scott Wright, Arfield, and John Lundstram for Sakala, Sands, Jack, and Glen Kamara.
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The Govan men, on the other hand, seemed fragmented and frantic.
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Roos parried Arfield’s 16-yard shot in the 76th minute before defender Ross McCrorie cleared the loose ball to safety.
Rangers controlled the closing minutes, but the pressure paid off when Roos misjudged a 25-yard drive from Kent, enabling Arfield to shoot in from close range – before the Gers midfielder bundled in a third from six yards to complete a dramatic turnaround.
Beale: That gives me more confidence
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Rangers manager Michael Beale told Sky Sports that his new team has a lot of work ahead of them: I’m quite pleased with the outcome. I’d give it a 10/10 for character and a 5/10 for performance. We were nervous and were not playing properly [after falling behind]. Arfield came up trumps after I made four substitutions. I’m happy for him because it’s unfair for Scotty not to have started either of the two games.
But that’s what Scotty does: he gambles and enters the box ” I see a bunch that isn’t the most confident, but perhaps their recent two victories over third and fourth in the league will boost their confidence. Away here is a tough game, and I believe they remained together and crossed the finish line. We’ve got some work to do, that is plain for everyone to see”.
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Arfield: A significant victory
After his spectacular late double, Scott Arfield talked to Sky Sports: Big attitude week, with two, difficult away games. It was critical that we get off to a good start, so getting three points was essential. He (Beale) is aware of our talent; nevertheless, we may have lost sight of it mentally. Whether you win the game in the first five minutes or the final five minutes, it’s the same three points.”
Goodwin: Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin told Sky Sports that it would take some time to recover from that late defeat, I’m devastated. What just transpired is difficult to put into words. For the most part, the lads played well. I believed we deserved to not just take something from the game, but also to win it. That is an astounding amount of late goals. I’ve never had anything like that happen to me.
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It was incredibly aggravating. The equalizer came as a result of a mistake, but to be fair, the goalie has been outstanding all season, not just today. He was really unfortunate; the ball bounced just in front of him, and he was unable to make it stick. We should see the game [out] at 2-2. We go into every game with the intention of winning. I think we played with genuine energy tonight; there was a real fight there. We scored a couple of fantastic goals.
We had to make adjustments since the lads were losing energy. They were out of breath. It’ll take some time to get over this one. Boyd is “tired of talking about Morelos.” Kris Boyd expressed his dissatisfaction with the Rangers’ inability to manage a football game. He’s not a moron, Michael Beale. He understands there’s a lot of work; he’s acknowledged it, and we’ve discussed it “Boyd said. They’re waiting for someone – that spark – to act.
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And if you look at the top end of this pitch right now, and I don’t want to go on about it because I’m sick of talking about him, Morelos, he has to do more. Looking forward to Friday night, are you thinking Scott Arfield may fill in as a false nine?
The rangers need to be a lot better at the top of the pitch.
What comes next?
Rangers play at Ross County on Friday, live on Sky Sports at 7.30 p.m. Aberdeen’s next game is against St Mirren on Saturday at 12.30 pm.
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