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Aribo, Balogun impressive as Rangers split points with Motherwell

Rangers Cedric Itten seals a leveler with the head

 

Nigerian duo of Joseph Aribo and Leon Balogun were impressive as Rangers split points with Motherwell in the Scottish league Sunday.

The duo who were in action for the full duration of the match fought hard alongside teammates to earn a point away and moving 21 points clear of Celtic at the top thus pushing ahead with their title chase.

Cedric Itten however turned out to be the hero of the day as he netted his fourth goal in three games against Motherwell to rescue a point at Fir Park as Rangers missed out on equaling Jock Wallace’s post-war record run.

Steven Gerrard’s squad were looking to match the 16-game winning streak set by Wallace’s team back in 1973 – but could only muster a 1-1 draw.

Itten netted his first two Gers goals away to Well back in September and grabbed another as the stuffy Steelmen were edged out last month at Ibrox.

He produced another big moment to level up after Devante Cole had given Graham Alexander’s team the lead.

Frustrating as the dropped points are, Gers remain 21 points clear at the top and very much on course for the title.

New Fir Park boss Alexander got his Well reign off to a reasonable start last week with a 1-1 draw away to St Mirren and another point means his side climb off the bottom on goal difference.

Alexander was forced to make two changes to the team he sent out in Paisley, with Robbie Crawford and Sherwin Seedorf coming in for the concussed Mark O’Hara and on-loan Gers winger Jake Hastie, who was barred from facing his parent club.

It was becoming a familiar pattern to last month’s clash between the teams as Rangers mounted wave after wave of attack in search of an equaliser.

The Ibrox boss held his head in his hands as Itten failed to react to James Tavernier’s knockdown after the skipper was brilliantly picked out by Kent at the back post.

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But Gerrard had nothing to worry about afterwards  as Itten showed why Motherwell are fast becoming his favourite opponent with 18 minutes left. Left unmarked at the back post, he powered home with his head

Fellow substitute Jermain Defoe could have snatched the victory in stoppage time but could not find a way past former Gers keeper Liam Kelly.

 

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