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Rangers win in Van Bronckhorst’s first league game in charge


Glasgow (AFP) – Rangers held off Livingston as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s first league match in charge of the Scottish champions ended in a 3-1 away win on Sunday.

Victory kept Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers four points clear of Celtic, with their Glasgow arch rivals defeating Aberdeen 2-1 later in the day.

Scott Arfield and Joe Aribo were on target in the first 16 minutes for Rangers before Bruce Anderson pulled a goal back prior to half-time.

Fashion Sakala, however, put the result beyond doubt 12 minutes from time.

“I think we controlled the game,” Van Bronckhorst told Sky Sports.

“We had a great start in the first 20, 25 minutes and scored two goals. First goal was excellent, second goal was also really good.

“I think after that we lost a little bit of the intention of playing and also the speed of play.

“We were a bit sloppy and of course the 2-1 made it a real game. I think second half we controlled more, we didn’t give any chances away.”

The Dutchman, who has succeeded Steven Gerrard as Rangers boss, added: “If you control so much of the game you need to make sure you finish the game as early as possible and we kept Livingston too long in the game.”

Livingston manager David Martindale questioned the thinking of Rangers fans who delayed the start of the second half by pelting home goalkeeper Max Stryjek with snowballs. 

“We shouldn’t be standing here talking about the doughballs with the snowballs,” he said.

“I just don’t understand it. You could maybe see it if your team is getting beat and there is a bit of frustration there, but when your team is winning 2-1, to hold up the second half, I don’t understand that at all.

“I know the majority of Rangers fans were not throwing snowballs but it doesn’t look good for anyone.”

Scott Brown went off injured on his return to Celtic Park after his successor as Hoops captain, Callum McGregor, scored a fortunate winner against Aberdeen.

McGregor had his back to goal as he diverted a clearance from former team-mate Jonny Hayes into the Dons goal on the hour mark to earn Celtic a 2-1 victory.

Jota had opened the scoring for the hosts with his eighth goal of the season but Aberdeen drew level with a Lewis Ferguson penalty in the 33rd minute.

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