December 6, 2021

Balogun and Aribo in action as Rangers extend unbeaten run against Aberdeen

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The Nigerian stars impressed in their respective roles to help the Gers secure a comfortable victory at Ibrox Stadium

Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo featured prominently in Rangers’ 4-0 win over Aberdeen in Sunday’s Scottish Premiership game.

The Nigerian stars struggled with injury problems at the start of the season but since they regained their fitness they have continued to play significant roles for club and country.

Balogun and Aribo only recently returned from international duty after helping the Super Eagles maintain their lead in Group L of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers following back-to-back draws against Sierra Leone. 

The players were handed starting roles by the Gers and they gave good accounts of themselves in the encounter.

Balogun formed a four-man defence along with Connor Goldson, Borna Barisic and James Tavernier and helped Steven Gerrard’s men to keep a clean sheet.

Aribo, meanwhile, paired Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack in midfield behind Ryan Kent, Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos in a 4-3-3 formation.   

Kent ignited the surge of goals in the 15th minute, hitting his effort beyond the reach of goalkeeper Joe Lewis.

Roofe doubled the lead moments before the half-hour mark and Scott Arfield got the third in the 49th minute after he was set up by Kent.  

James Tavernier then sealed the victory with a well-taken effort from the penalty spot as the Gers continued their unbeaten run at Ibrox Stadium.

Balogun featured for the duration of the game, won two aerial contests, made two interceptions and had an 89 per cent successful pass rate.

Aribo, meanwhile, was replaced in the 74th minute before he was replaced by Ianis Hagi in his eighth league appearance this season. 

The victory ensured Rangers consolidated on their lead on the Premiership table with 41 points from 15 games.

The Super Eagles stars will hope to continue their fine displays when Rangers take on Benfica in a Europa League game on Thursday.