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Sport 3 talking points as Rangers complete Invincible campaign thanks to Kemar Roofe inspired Aberdeen romp

17:35  15 may  2021
17:35  15 may  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Invincible Rangers ended 10 years of hurt by inflicting pain on Aberdeen before hoisting the Premiership trophy at Ibrox this afternoon.

James Tavernier did the honours at the end of a 4-0 win that didn’t tell the full story of a game that saw the champions finish with 102 points, complete a record-breaking 26 clean sheets and end 25 points clear of second placed Celtic.

Steven Gerrard’s men were coasting at the break thanks to a Joe Lewis own goal and Kemar Roofe strike but had to withstand a storming start to the second half from the Dons, who missed a couple of golden chances before Roofe added a third on the hour mark and Jermain Defoe added the icing on the cake with three minutes left.

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  How Rangers players rated in 4-1 win over Celtic to complete Old Firm clean sweep Rangers concluded their first unbeaten season against Celtic since 1999-2000 with a 4-1 win at Ibrox. © GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 02: Kemar Roofe of Rangers celebrates after scoring their team's first goal ... First half goals from Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos, either side of Odsonne Edouard’s header gave the hosts the half-time lead – and the y capitalised on Celtic’s ten men to add another through Roofe in the second half. © Incredible fingertip save shortly before opener to deny Elyounoussi, then to keep Kenny’s cross out....

The players emerged to fireworks and flares, inside and outside the stadium, and it took Rangers only four minutes to produce some pyrotechnics of their own.

They might have been given a helping hand by their visitors but Tavernier wasn’t caring about that.

The captain had 19 goals to his credit before kick-off, and although he’d love to have claimed this one as the 20th, it has to go down as a Joe Lewis own goal.

Tavernier had been picked out by a terrific switch of play from Ianis Hagi and when his cross was delivered into the box it struck Jack MacKenzie’s knee and should have been stopped by the Dons keeper.

Somehow, though, he managed to fist the ball into his own net to give the champions the perfect start.

Rangers continued to go for the throat and young MacKenzie did well to deny Kemar Roofe from close range after the striker got on the end of a superb Joe Aribo - in the left back role - cross at the far post.

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From the resultant corner, taken by Tavernier, Connor Goldson’s eight yard header flew just wide.

It took Aberdeen 15 minutes to escape the shackles but when they did they produced a superb flowing move that almost resulted in the equaliser. Flo Kamberi got them moving up the left with a good pass to Jonny Hayes and the Irishman’s low delivery was only just out of the reach of the inrushing Lewis Ferguson.

After Rangers’ turbo-charged start, the game settled down with Aberdeen content to let the home side have possession at the back and trying to condense the space in front of them. Gerrard’s side continued to dominate without asking further serious questions of them as the half hour approached.

Ryan Kent had been fairly quiet but in the 33rd minute he exploded into life and carved out the second goal that killed the contest.

Kent, collecting the ball out left, did brilliantly to keep it in and charged to the byeline before cutting back for Roofe to show great movement in coming to the near post and clipping it home off MacKenzie’s chest.

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Roofe’s effort was on target for his 17th strike of the season and that one won’t go down as an OG,


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The goal galvanised Rangers, and Kent in particular, Suddenly he was causing chaos and the half time whistle couldn’t come quickly enough for the visitors.

They got in without further damage and re-emerged with Dean Campbell and Fraser Hornby on for Kamberi and Callum Hendry.

James Tavernier holding a football ball: McCoist heaped praise on Rangers captain James Tavernier © SNS Group McCoist heaped praise on Rangers captain James Tavernier

And Aberdeen immediately showed a great intent on going forward, In fact, they should have pulled a goal back in the 49th minute when Ryan Hedges swept in a cross from the left that should have been converted by Hornby. The sub was unmarked eight yards out but somehow managed to jab the ball past Allan McGregor’s left hand post.

It was better from the visitors, though, and Rangers struggled to make an impression for the first 10 minutes of the second period, which was played out against the backdrop of another firework display outside the stadium.

The Dons really should have got back into the game in the 57th minute when Ferguson missed an absolute sitter from six yards out after being picked out by Hornby. The sub squared the ball, taking McGregor out of the game, and Ferguson, with an open goal gaping, slammed the ball off the underside of the bar.

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Hedges then forced the Rangers keeper into a save after slackness from Goldson and Jack Simpson at the back allowed the Welshman another good look at goal.

And how the Dons were made to pay for those misses on the hour mark when Rangers showed them how to be ruthless by storming three up with their first real attack of the second half.

Andy Considine played a poor pass to Ianis Hagi, who quickly slipped in Roofe and the striker raced in on Lewis before beating him with a low left shot from the edge of the box.

It was a really open game now and McGregor came to Rangers’ rescue with a fine save to deny Hedges, whose slaloming run had earned himself a good look at goal.

Greg Stewart, on for Hagi in the 68th minute, fired inches wide within two minutes of appearing, as the champions tried to finish in style.

They did just that with three minutes to go and to the delight of his manager, the final goal of the season - and the 92nd of the campaign - fell to Defoe.

Stewart slipped him in but the veteran still had work to do, cutting inside Tommie Hoban and Considine before doing what he does.

The finish was as clinical as Rangers have been all season.

The party could begin.

THREE TALKING POINTS

Fireworks aplenty

Fireworks off the pitch and firepower on it summed up a terrific day for Rangers and their supporters, who celebrated trophy day with a victory that summed up their season. Ruthless in front of goal and, despite a couple of scares, unbeatable at the back.

Dreary Dons

Aberdeen have failed to score in 16 league matches this season and it was clear to see why because they carved out three or four great chances in the second half and didn’t have the composure to take them. Stephen Glass will be encouraged, though, by the second half display.

Journey complete

Ten years to the day since they clinched their last title, Rangers served noticed that they are going to take some shifting from their perch at the top of the Scottish football tree. They’ve been miles ahead of the rest and completed their Invincible season with the minimum of fuss before revelling in the party they’d undoubtedly earned.

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