Report: Three Goals & Three Points At Livingston

RANGERS earned an excellent three points at snowy Livingston this afternoon, claiming a richly-deserved 3-1 victory.

In freezing conditions, Scott Arfield and Joe Aribo were on-target early-on and while the home side pulled one back before the break, Fashion Jr made sure of the points 11 minutes from time.

Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst named one change to his side for his first Scottish Premiership match here at Livingston this afternoon.

From the side which qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League in midweek by defeating Sparta Prague at Ibrox, Scott Arfield came in for Steven Davis.

That meant it was the same back five of Allan McGregor in goal with James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Calvin Bassey and Borna Barisic in front of him.

Arfield joined Glen Kamara and Joe Aribo in midfield, while up front, Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent provided support to Alfredo Morelos.

Gers fought hard in the early minutes for possession at what is always a difficult venue, and the earned a reward for that endeavour on eight minutes with the opening goal.

Scott Arfield began deep but made a super dart forward into space in the area to evade any marking, where he was picked out superbly by Tavernier.

Arfield took the ball brilliantly under control and from 15-yards, lofted it beautifully over Stryjek and into the back of the net.

Gers were really motoring here, and nine minutes later, they had another – and what a super goal this was.

Goldson switched the ball out of defence to Kent on the left, and he then fed it into the area for Morelos.

The Colombian flicked on for Joe Aribo on the edge of the area to curl a sublime effort in off the bar from the edge of the box for 2-0.

It looked like the next goal was only ever going to come for the visitors, but on the half-hour mark, Livi pulled one back.

McGregor saved well initially from Alan Forrest, but there to follow up was Bruce Anderson for 1-2.

Gers continued to push for a second, but it was the home side who came close to a second, with McGregor required to make a phenomenal, point-blank save from Forrest at the back post on the end of a Nicky Devlin ball.

Hagi came close to re-establishing the cushion at the start of the second half with an audacious lob from the by-line which landed on the roof of the net, before minutes later Stryjek was at full stretch to deny the young Romanian international with a half-volley at the back post.

Stryjek then made a super save from Aribo, tipping over his effort from 18-yards when the showed classic Aribo skill, before Arfield shot over a Hagi cutback.

Finally, the third goal arrived on 79 minutes, however, thanks to a superbly-worked set-piece. James Tavernier’s corner was on the money for Fashion Jr, who hadn’t long come on, to break clear of his marker and with an incredible leap, bullet a header beyond Stryjek from close-range.

The goalkeeper was to deny Morelos making it 4-1 with another great save, while he also held on well to a late Arfield effort.

Jermain Defoe, who was a late sub, also tested the goalkeeper, but 3-1 is how it remained with Gers moving on to play Hibs at Easter Road on Wednesday night.

RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic, Arfield, Kamara, Aribo, Hagi (Patterson, 73), Kent (Fashion Jr, 73), Morelos (Defoe, 90)

SUBS NOT USED: McLaughlin, Lundstram, Wright.

LIVINGSTON: Stryjek, Devlin, Fitzwater, Parkes, McMillan (Penrice, 59), Holt, Omeonga, Montano, Bailey (Kabia, 79), Forrest, Anderson (Shinnie, 59).

SUBS NOT USED: Maley, Longridge, Sibbald, Panayiotou.

REFEREE: David Munro


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