By Sheryl Ritchie
Steven Gerrard went back to the future with his team selection – apart from Fashion Sakala the starting 11 were all players who starred last season. Jon McLaughlin was in goal with Allan McGregor on the bench.
Before the match there was a minute’s silence in memory fo former captain Ally Dawson.
The weather was fine, the fans in full voice, and everything was right with the world.
Before the match the players took the knee to resounding applause and cheering from the fans who fully backed the call from captain James Tavernier to support him and his men in the gesture.
In eighth minute a free kick on the right hand side corner of the box from Tavernier saw the ball fired right over the box to be collected by Hagi – he seemed initially to have fluffed his lines but he merely moved the ball into a position for a better shot, wrong footing the defence and smashed the ball into the net.
On the half hour Aribo skipped down the left and slid in a pass to Sakala but he lost out in a challenge with the keeper.
Just before the hour the Rangers team circulated the ball around the pitch with most players taking touches before the ball ended with Kent inside the box who offered only an ineffectual shot.
The game was developing into a game of chess – of moves being made and countered and the reset with only the occasional flourish.
In the 70th monte Rangers again put a long period of possession movement and passing play with Tavernier, Davis, Wright, Bassey and Kamara all contributing to the move before it ended with a Wrigh header saved by the keeper.
Scott Wright intervened in the 78th minute to break the deadlock. Great work by Tavernier down the right brought the ball into the danger area, he interchanged with Wright before Kent got the ball in thearea and twisted and tuned looking for the shot, up stepped Wright from the right hand side for a stunning shot into the opposite side of the goal.
In the last minute of normal time Rangers took advance of a ball into the Livi box. Bassey attempted to control it but it broke free and the Livi defence failed to clear leaving the onrushing Roofe and excellent chance to score and the end game 3-0