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Arsenal bound for Ibrox to mark Rangers’ 150th anniversary

Mikel Arteta will bring his side north to Glasgow for commemorative friendly on Saturday, July 17.

Arsenal bound for Ibrox to mark Rangers’ 150th anniversary Getty Images

Warning: This article contains offensive language

Rangers will welcome Arsenal to Glasgow in the summer to mark the Ibrox club’s 150th anniversary.

Mikel Arteta, who played for Rangers between 2002-2004, is set to bring his side north of the border on Saturday, July 17.

Rangers are hopeful that a significant number of supporters will be able to attend but away fans will not be permitted due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

James Bisgrove, director of commercial and marketing, said: “Rangers’ 150th anniversary will be a special, special year for the football club, and I am thrilled Arsenal have accepted our invitation to come to Ibrox for a very special friendly match.

“There is a rich heritage shared by the two clubs, and it is therefore fitting we should meet at the beginning of a real, milestone year for Rangers.

“With the Covid-19 situation easing, we are very hopeful we will be able to welcome a significant number of our supporters back to Ibrox to celebrate not only the club’s anniversary, but also the winning of 55 in-person too.”

The announcement of Arsenal’s visit came just hours after Rangers boss Steven Gerrard praised Arteta’s men for dumping Slavia Prague out of Europe on Thursday night.

Gers lost to the Czech champions in the previous round of the Europa League, but the last-16 clash was overshadowed by the racial abuse hurled at Glen Kamara by Slavia defender Ondrej Kudela.

The 34-year-old Kudela has now be handed a ten-game ban by UEFA for allegedly calling the Gers midfielder a “f***ing monkey” – ruling him out of this summer’s Euros.

The fall-out from the explosive Ibrox clash saw Kamara hounded with further online abuse from the Slavia support.

But Arsenal ensured Slavia would go no further in the competition as they produced a four-goal blitz at the Eden Arena to secure a 5-1 aggregate triumph and a place in the semi-finals.

There was a powerful image moments before kick-off when Gunners striker Alexandre Lacazette chose to defiantly take a knee as he stared down the Prague line-up, who remained standing with their arms linked.

The stand-in skipper, whose teammates also kneeled, went on to strike twice, much to the delight of Rangers boss Gerrard.

He said: “I loved everything about the game. I loved Arsenal’s performance, I loved the way they went about it and I admired how they approached before the game, during the game and after the game.

“I was really proud watching Arsenal last night. Everything about it.

“I thought the way they prepared for the game, the way the manager spoke, the way the players behaved during and after, and then to back it up with that level of performance. I sat there and really enjoyed that game.

“I thought it was a sensational performance.”