Rangers 2-0 Livingston RECAP: First half double from Aribo and Defoe extends Ibrox lead at top to six points

Rangers returned to domestic duty looking to extend their position at the top of the SPFL Premiership this afternoon with the visit of Livingston.

Gary Holt, manager of Livingston interacts with Kemar Roofe after the Scottish Premiership match between Livingston and Rangers at Tony Macaroni Arena on August 16, 2020. (Photo by Willie Vass/Pool via Getty Images)
Gary Holt, manager of Livingston interacts with Kemar Roofe after the Scottish Premiership match between Livingston and Rangers at Tony Macaroni Arena on August 16, 2020. (Photo by Willie Vass/Pool via Getty Images)

Steven Gerrard’s side were in fine fettle following consecutive 2-0 victories over Celtic and Standard Liege in the past week, added to the same scoreline success over Ross County at Ibrox before the international break.

They added another through Jermin Defoe and Joe Aribo’s goals in the first half.

Rangers: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Rangers: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

The Light Blues have only dropped points on two occasions this season, however the first was to Gary Holt’s men in a 0-0 draw at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Holt’s side made the trip from West Lothian in joint eighth place with 11 points from 11 games, but they couldn’t add any despite some second half pressure

Follow the action as it happened in our live SPFL Premiership matchday blog including all the build-up, in-play updates and post-match reaction and analysis from the SPFL Premiership clash.

Rangers v Livingston RECAP: Build-up, in-play updates, match reaction and analysis

Last updated: Sunday, 25 October, 2020, 19:48

  • FT - Rangers 2 Livingston 0
    (Aribo 9, Defoe 15)
  • Aribo scores rebound to give Rangers lead
  • Defoe adds well-weighted second on first start since January

Hello, and welcome to The Scotsman’s live coverage of Rangers’ SPFL Premiership match at Ibrox with Livingston.

The sides met earlier this season and drew 0-0, but since then Steven Gerrard’s side have been on a fine run, dropping points just another once away at Hibs. Gary Holt’s side are in 9th place with 11 points from as many games.

Kick-off at 3pm and teams are expected at 2pm.

Kick-off is around two and a half hours away, and we have plenty for you before then. 

But if you’re tuned in expecting some action within 90 minutes or so - you’ll be disappointed - and you’ve forgotten to put your clocks back.

Will Alfredo Morelos play this afternoon?  

It’s one of the big questions ahead of Steven Gerrard’s team selection around 2pm but the boss intends to freshen up his side.

 Stephen Halliday looked at the Colombian’s recent form in light of Kemar Roofe’s return from injury while Steven Gerrard reckons the goals will return for ‘El Buffalo’.

'I don't know what goes on in Alfredo Morelos' head' - but Rangers boss says it's not all about goals

Having gone six games without scoring, it might be tempting to believe Alfredo Morelos is currently suffering from a crisis of confidence in front of goal.

Just because he’s not on the scoresheet doesn’t mean that he hasn’t done the job for the team or we’re not happy with the job he has given. 

Steven Gerrard on Alfredo Morelos

Of course, it wouldn’t be a week in Scottish football without some developments on the coronavirus crisis engulfing the game.

Yesterday, St Mirren’s match with Hamilton couldn’t go ahead because the Paisley side couldn’t name the requisite number of squad players.

Rangers have, so far, been unaffected, but opponents in the Europa League Standard Liege recorded cases before - and now after - Thursday night’s match. Including players involved in the 2-0 win for Steven Gerrard’s side.

Rangers' European opponents Standard Liege hit with three further Covid cases

Standard Liege have reported another three positive Covid-19 results just two days after facing Rangers.

One player who won’t be involved today is Robby McCrorie.

The on-loan Livingston goalkeeper isn’t permitted to play his parent club so will sit out on his return to Ibrox. He’ll likely be be replaced by Max Stryjek.

The talking point in the build-up to this match undoubtedly has been - and still is - Kemar Roofe’s wonder goal from halfway against Standard Liege.

Steven Gerrard was full of praise, calling it the best he’s seen live, but where does it rank in the pantheon of Rangers goals? 

Stephen Halliday looked back at five of the best European goals for the Light Blues.

Five of the best Rangers goals in Europe - but is Kemar Roofe's the greatest ever?

Steven Gerrard has described it as the best goal he has ever witnessed at first hand during his 22-year professional career – but was Kemar Roofe’s wonder strike in Liege on Thursday night the greatest scored by Rangers in their 64-year history of European football?

“It’s the best goal I’ve seen on a pitch when I’ve been involved, possibly the best goal I’ve ever seen with my own eyes.

Scott Arfield

It’s back to SPFL duty for Rangers but the SPFL have been in touch with all clubs around Scotland this week to gauge their opinions and options IF the season cannot be fulfilled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Steven Gerrard had his say in the Scotland on Sunday this morning.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard calls for Covid-19 fairness from SPFL

Steven Gerrard has called for ‘fairness and clarity’ from the Scottish Professional Football League as they bid to secure executive power to determine the outcome of another Covid-19 disrupted season.

Rangers are big favourites for this afternoon’s match, as you’d imagine.

They’re best priced 2/9 to get the win (Skybet, Betfred, BoyleSports).  The draw is 11-2 with PaddyPower and Skybet while an away win is around 11-1 and 12-1 but as big as 14-1 with Boylesports and WIlliam Hill.

First scorers include Alfredo Morelos 3/1 (Boylesports), Jermain Defoe 15/4 (888.com) and Scott Arfield 9/1 (Betway)

Steven Gerrard makes five changes to the side which won 2-0 against Standard Liege

Livingston also ring the changes

Rangers’ five changes to the starting line-up have very contrasting previous starts.

Here’s a look at the five

Steven Davis - last start vs Celtic, October 17

Joe Aribo - last start vs St Johnstone, August 12

Filip Helander - last start vs Celtic, October 17

Jermain Defoe - last start vs Ross County, January 29

Calvin Bassey - last start vs Motherwell, September 27

DJ at Ibrox has had a topical song choice for the pre-match music, among the tunes was, unsurprisingly, the 'Roof is On Fire’

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