Aribo wonder strike inspires Rangers' win over Livingston

Nigeria midfielder Joe Aribo was among the goals for Rangers in their 2-1 away win at Livingston on Sunday.

Joe Aribo (Instagram/Rangers)

The table-toppers were off to a blistering start at the snowy Tony Macaroni Arena, opening the scoring inside eight minutes. James Tavernier’s pass over the top from deep on the right was perfectly weighted for the run of Scott Arfield, who took it down and lobbed home goalkeeper Max Stryjek from just inside the penalty area.

Eight minutes later, the reigning champions made it two. After neat interplay on the left flank, striker Alfredo Morelos laid the ball off to Aribo on the edge of the penalty area. The 25-year-old still had a lot to do, but produced a nonchalant scooped finish with his left foot, which arced over the goalkeeper and dropped inside the far post to double the advantage.

The hosts, however, were not minded to go down without a fight. Forward Bruce Anderson pulled one back, seizing upon a rebound from Alan Forrest’s saved shot to halve the deficit. They then came close to tying the scores just before the half, drawing an outstanding save from Rangers’ goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

The Gers wrested back control after the break, however, drawing a couple of vital saves from the Pole Stryjek. Ultimately though, their dominance was rewarded with 12 minutes to play. This time, it was substitute Fashion Sakala getting his fifth league goal of the season -- the Zambia international rising highest to power home a header from a Tavernier corner from the six-yard line and put the result beyond doubt.

The result takes Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s men six points clear of second-placed Hearts at the top of the Scottish Premier League table, ahead of Celtic’s match over Aberdeen later in the afternoon.

Nigerian defender Calvin Bassey also featured for the Gers, playing the full 90 minutes, while Leon Balogun was absent from the matchday squad on account of an injury sustained in Rangers’ defeat to Hibernian in League Cup action a week ago.

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