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Arfield earns Rangers narrow Livingston win as transfer expectations rise

Rangers earned a vital 1-0 victory over Livingston at Ibrox courtesy of a goal from substitute Scott Arfield as the club’s underperforming fringe players highlighted a need for fresh blood.

The Gers went into the match without several key first team players as the absences of Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent and Joe Aribo in particular contributed to a lack of attacking identity in the Rangers side.

The decision to start with two central defensive midfielders against the Livingston low block also raised eyebrows as American international James Sands started alongside Glen Kamara in midfield.

Watford Hiring Roy Hodgson Is A Joke.

And it was the man who would replace the New York City FC loanee in the second half who’d make the difference as the returning Scott Arfield earned a priceless three points with a creative lob over Livi keeper Max Stryek.

The likes of Cedric Itten and Scott Wright failed to impress and had particularly underwhelming performances against a side they really need to be taking their chance to impress against.

The biggest highlights from the game were the performances of Fashion Sakala – named MOTM for his direct if not indecisive performance – and Rangers youngster Alex Lowry, who twice flashed the ball across the Livingston six-yard box in the first-half without any takers.

The return of Ryan Jack – a calm and composed presence in the latter stages of the match who showed flashes of quality – is also a huge bonus to Rangers who will be determined to keep him fit.

Rangers will be happy just to be getting out of Ibrox with three points on a rain-soaked evening in Glasgow and so will the fans, with their nerves frayed come Scott Arfield’s pressure-relieving goal.

Rangers maintain Scottish Premiership lead as Livingston win all that matters

The result keeps the Ibrox side four points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with title rivals Celtic eking out a 2-1 victory over Hearts at Tynecastle.

A potentially pivotal night in the title race, the three points are almost certainly all that mattered but Gers fans will be happy never to see that same starting line-up take to the pitch on league duty.

The night and the evening’s Scottish Premiership action also highlights Rangers’ need to move in the transfer market as this January’s window threatens to pass the Ibrox club by.

With Nathan Patterson leaving for Everton and Juninho Bacuna now likely to join Championship Birmingham, Rangers have also lost creative outlet Ianis Hagi to injury.

Only James Sands has joined in the window and objectively as things stand Rangers have been weakened in the last four or so weeks rather than strengthened.

A lack of invention was evident throughout the game and as we enter the final few days of the window there’s an increasing feeling that Rangers should strengthen with the club very much in a title race in the second half of the season.

For many supporters, the next few days will test the likes of Ross Wilson as transfer expectations rise at Ibrox.

With Rangers notoriously tight-lipped on any transfer dealing, Rangers fans got themselves excited amid spurious claims surrounding a £7.5m-rated Serie A star.

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