Van Bronckhorst praises Rangers following 1-0 win over Aberdeen

Kemar Roofe struck the only goal of the game to take Rangers level at the top of the table with Celtic.

Rangers substitute Kemar Roofe scores only goal against Aberdeen to win 1-0 SNS Group

Giovanni van Bronckhorst praised Rangers for their second-half improvement after they eventually ground down Aberdeen to claim a vital three points in the cinch Premiership title race.

The Ibrox side struggled in the first half against a Dons side who looked confident and well organised.

The hosts cranked things up after the break and substitute Kemar Roofe struck the only goal of the game with nine minutes left to take them level at the top of the table with Celtic, who visit Livingston on Sunday.

“It was a game with two faces,” said with manager Van Bronckhorst. “It had two different halves.

“In the first half, Aberdeen gave us a big challenge, they played well, had a lot of duels and it was not easy for us to build and find the right solutions. We were on the ball but not able to pass it forward like we normally do.

“Second half it was a different game, we had a better tempo like we normally have, we stretched the pitch, we passed better and played forward when we could. We were just waiting for the goal and fortunately the goal gave us the three points that we need.

“I said to the players that a game lasts 90 minutes and if you score within 90 minutes and extra time you win games.”

Jim Goodwin is still waiting for his first win after four games as Aberdeen manager, but he felt his side were worthy of a draw.

“I am extremely disappointed to take nothing from the game,” he said. “I thought the overall performance merited a point.

“I am not going to say we should have won the game as we didn’t carry enough attacking threat in the final third, but I thought, with the shape and structure defensively, the team were brilliant.

“Joe Lewis only had a couple of shots on target to deal with over 90 minutes, which is great credit to the boys.

“I am extremely disappointed with the goal we conceded, particularly as we defended pretty much every cross that came into the box really well.

“I think we deserved a 0-0. Rangers won’t have enjoyed that 90 minutes as we didn’t make life easy for them.”

Goodwin felt his side should have had a free-kick in the lead-up to Roofe’s goal.

“I cannot let the goal go without talking about the foul on Calvin Ramsay in the build-up,” he said.

“The first cross that comes into the box from James Tavernier, I think it was, Ramsay is at the back post about to head the ball and (Calvin) Bassey pushes him off the pitch.

“I thought that was a simple decision for the referee. From the next passage of play, the ball ends up in the back of our net.”

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