Sat. Dec 4th, 2021

    The Nigeria international played a huge role to help his team get a vital win in the European competition

    Rangers coach Steven Gerrard has lauded Nigeria international Joe Aribo for his display in the 2-0 win over Brondby in the Europa League at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow on Thursday night.

    The hosts needed just 18 minutes to open the scoring through another Nigeria international Leon Balogun, who converted a precise James Tavernier corner-kick.

    With 30 minutes on the clock, Kemar Roofe scored the second to ensure the Scottish champions won comfortably.

    But it was Aribo’s performance that caught the eye of the Liverpool legend owing to his impact in the match.

    “I never said stand up and be counted, I think he always gives you that. He is a great kid, he wants to learn, he wants to grow,” Gerrard told BT Sport as quoted by All Nigeria Soccer.

    “What I have said to Joe [Aribo] is you are a much better player when you play angry in a nice way, flex your muscles. 

    “I thought his first 45-minute performance [on Thursday night] was outstanding, that is probably the reason why he tired a little bit, but he has played a lot.”

    In the previous week, the midfielder was part of the Super Eagles squad that played the Central African Republic in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

    After a shock 1-0 loss at home, Nigeria went on to win the second meeting 2-0 to maintain Group C’s top spot.

    Meanwhile, the Rangers manager believes it will be tough to continue having the player with that quality.

    “He has been away on international duty but if he can find that performance consistently over 90 minutes, we will be lucky to keep hold of him,” Gerrard concluded.

    After their recent win, Rangers are now placed third in Group A with three points, six fewer than French heavyweights Lyon who have won all three their matches. 

    Sparta Prague are second with four points after a win, draw and loss while Brondby are bottom of the table with just one point after a draw and two losses.

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