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‘I definitely meant it’ – Rangers’ Aribo revels in scoring wonder goal vs Livingston

10:45 GMT+3 29/11/2021
Rangers FC Joe Aribo of Nigeria.
The 25-year-old Super Eagle insist his wonder goal for the Gers at Almondvale Stadium was not a fluke and he meant to score it

Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo has maintained he meant to score the wonder goal in their 3-1 Scottish Premiership victory against Livingston at Almondvale Stadium on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Nigeria international was named man of the match after his beautifully taken strike helped make it two wins in two games for new manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst and keep the team at the top of the table.

It was Scott Arfield who put the Gers ahead in the eighth minute before Aribo curled home the second in the 16th minute, before the home team pulled a goal back courtesy of Bruce Anderson in the 30th minute.

Zambia international Fashion Sakala was introduced with 15 minutes left to the final whistle and he scored the third goal in the 78th minute from a well-taken header.

However, it was the goal by Aribo which stood out, after the Super Eagle curled a left-footed effort over Livingston goalkeeper Max Stryjek and it went in off the underside of the bar from just inside the box.

Aribo has explained that he meant to score the goal and it was not a fluke.

“Some of the players have been giving me stick, saying it was a hit of a loopy strike but I'm happy it went in and I was excited by it. I definitely meant it!” Aribo told reporters after the game as quoted by Rangers Review.

“It was a tough game and the boys knew they'd have to dig deep. I'm just happy we were able to get the result and the three points.

“It was vital [to have a fast start]. In football matches, you need to start fast and to score goals first. That makes the game easier and so we knew it was important to get that first goal.

“We needed to kill the game off and to give them no chance of staying in the game, so that goal was vital for us.”

On the outcome of the game, Aribo explained: “It was a good result. The boys are buzzing with it. We knew we had to dig deep and we are just happy we were able to get the three points.

On what van Bronckhorst told the team at the half-time break, Aribo revealed: “We are told to make a lot of runs forward into the box because it makes mayhem, it makes the defenders not know what to do so it’s nice to have that.

“Definitely. I had a joke and a laugh with my brother about it. He said, ‘you need to make it right and score today’. I was happy to be able to do that.

“We had to stay comfortable. We had to keep moving it fast. Keep making them having to chase it and we knew the chance would come, we just had to take it.”

On whether they have adapted to the new manager, Aribo said: “It’s all learning. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It will take time to get there but we have to keep improving, learning, and keep getting better.

“It was important to get some results given recent results so it’s important to keep getting wins and keep doing what we are doing in performing during matches.”

Rangers will next take on Hibernian at Easter Road on Wednesday and Aribo insists they are ready for the battle.

“We are ready for it. We are going to make sure. We want to get the three points as always and we know what we have to do to get the result,” Aribo concluded.

The win against Livingston put Rangers four points clear at the summit as they have 33 points from 14 matches.