Joe Aribo and Calvin Bassey combine to rescue Rangers from Dundee United defeat

The two Nigerian stars were the game changers for the Ibrox giants as they helped the champions keep up their title chase

Super Eagles midfielder Joe Aribo got Glasgow Rangers’ only goal, supplied by international teammate Calvin Bassey, in their 1-1 draw at Dundee United on Sunday. 

Aribo had been the Blues’ best performer this campaign adding six goals and four assists in his previous 24 league appearances to a long string of excellent performances.

And the Nigerian international notched his first assist in the Europa League this term on Thursday to help Rangers claim a 4-2 win away to Borussia Dortmund, which is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding results in the club’s history.

But Dundee United cared little about that historic Gers win in Germany. And the home side stunned the reigning champions with the opening goal of the afternoon when young defender Ross Graham, on his 21st birthday, rose to head home from a corner kick just seconds shy of the half-hour mark.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men responded well but could not find a way past a defence that had kept a clean sheet in each of their last four games.

Aribo nearly got Rangers back on levelled terms shortly after the break, but goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist produced a brilliant save to deny the midfielder’s near-post header.

With a point separating Rangers and bitter rivals Celtic, who host Dundee later in the day, a loss would seriously dent the Gers’ title hopes.

But in the 75th minute, Aribo came to the rescue with a fine equaliser made in Nigeria.

Compatriot Calvin Bassey, playing at left fullback, showed great determination to catch the ball before it crossed the byline, and the defender sent a low cross to Joe Aribo. The former Charlton Athletic man held off his marker before driving a powerful side-foot shot into the roof of the net off the fingertips of Siegrist.

Hard as Rangers tried, though, they could not find a late winner that would have taken them top of the Premiership and two points above Celtic.

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