A dramatic Scott Arfield double in added time gave Rangers a stunning 3-2 win over Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.
The Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin came in for widespread criticism following his side’s defensive display in the 1-0 home defeat by Celtic on Saturday and his side were keen to make amends but fell behind to a Fashion Sakala goal after 12 minutes.
The Granite City men levelled just before the break when forward Luís Lopes beat Ibrox keeper Allan McGregor with a free-kick from 20 yards.
Aberdeen came out for the second half fired up and soon went ahead. Liam Scales’ cross into the box was cleared by Rangers’ James Sands but only to Leighton Clarkson, on loan from Liverpool, who sent a dipping shot from distance over McGregor and into the corner of the net.
Aberdeen kept up their work rate as Rangers dominated the latter stages but the pressure paid off when Roos fumbled a 25-yard drive from Kent, allowing substitute Arfield to fire in from close range, before the Gers midfielder bundled in a third moments later from six yards to complete a remarkable turnaround.
It was Michael Beale’s second game as Rangers manager and a second comeback 3-2 win after beating Hibernian by the same scoreline last Thursday but he said: “I don’t want to be a party pooper to the players but they need to be better. They showed 10 out of 10 for character and mentality, especially at the end.
“I made the four subs and I asked us to gamble a little bit and I’m delighted Scotty has come up with two goals. Once something went wrong, we didn’t look like we were together at times and we made some simple mistakes.
“I was delighted we got the win as it looked, for a long time, we would get beat. The players have gone through some trauma over the past few weeks and months. We gave away a silly goal and when they scored the second we really struggled. But sometimes fortune favours the brave. I would say it was 10 out 10 for mentality and character and five out of 10 for performance. We need to keep improving.
Aberdeen manager Goodwin was shellshocked by the defeat. “It is very hard to put into words,” he said. “Probably too much emotion involved at the minute. I have never experienced anything quite like that in my career. It is a difficult one to process.
“I thought the boys were excellent for large spells tonight, and deservedly went in front just after half-time. I thought we were on the front foot and possibly looking like getting a third and when you get to those late stages in the game we need to just see it through, as simple as that. It is pretty much all I can say at the moment.”