Scott Arfield’s dramatic extra-time brace gave Rangers a stunning 3-2 victory over Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League.
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin was widely criticized for his side’s defensive performance in a 1-0 home defeat by Celtic on Saturday and his side were keen to patch things up but fell back to a Vachon Sakala goal after 12 minutes.
The Granite City men equalized just before half-time when striker Luis Lopez beat Ibrox goalkeeper Alan McGregor with a 20-yard free kick.
Aberdeen came out strongly from the second half and quickly took the lead. Liam Scales cleared a cross into the box by Rangers’ James Sands but only to Leighton Clarkson, on loan from Liverpool, who sent a shot from long range over McGregor and into the corner of the net.
Aberdeen kept up his work-rate as Rangers dominated the closing stages, but the pressure paid off when Ross fumbled a 25-yard drive from Kent, allowing substitute Arfield to shoot from close range, before the Gears midfielder smashed home in the third moments after six. yards to complete a marked turnaround.
It was Michael Bell’s second game as Rangers manager and a second 3-2 victory after beating Hibernian by the same scoreline last Thursday but he said: “I don’t want to spoil the players but they need to be better. They showed 10 out of 10 in terms of character.” And mentality, especially at the end.
“I made the four subs and asked us to gamble a bit and I’m glad Scotty hit a couple targets. Once something went wrong we didn’t seem like we were together sometimes and we made some minor mistakes.
“I was happy because we won as it looked like, for a long time, we’re going to be defeated. The guys have had some traumas over the last few weeks and months. We missed a ridiculous goal and when they scored the second we really struggled. But sometimes luck favors the brave. I’d say it was 10 Out of 10 for mentality and personality and five out of 10 for performance We need to keep improving.
Aberdeen manager Goodwin was stunned by the defeat. “It’s very difficult to put into words,” he said. “There are probably a lot of emotions involved in this moment. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my career. It’s hard to process.”
“I thought the boys were stellar in big runs tonight, and they deserved to go ahead after half-time. I thought we were ahead and maybe it looked like we were getting third and when you get to those late stages in the game we just need to see it, that simple. It’s that. Pretty much all I can say at the moment.”
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