Even when Ibrox was battered by 55 mph winds and swirling rain, this counted as a degree of calm before Rangers after last week's storm.
Dropping further points was unthinkable. The collapse in Rugby Park, which caused so much damage to their title ambitions, simply had to be followed by a win. Everything less and the feeling that a season is completely blown off course would become overwhelming.
Steven Gerrard's side did what was needed. On a pitch due to a delay 24 hours earlier, they maintained a 10-point deficit on Celtic with a game in hand.
It was not particularly beautiful in the midst of the Gales. Nor completely convincing. However, Rangers deserved a win achieved by the goal of Scott Arfield in the 59th minute. They had the largest number of chances, often found Livingston keeper Ryan Schofield in great shape, but still had a lot of jitters when Lyndon Dykes hit the post with only eight minutes to play.
Had that entered, the atmosphere within Ibrox would have become more sombre than the sky above. As it was, the men of Gerrard can hold on to the stability that this result offers as they look ahead to the final 32 first leg of Thursday against Braga.
After dropping eight points in their six previous games in 2020, Rangers will prove that they can successfully make their way through many more games before their qualification challenges are restored. However, further misery has been prevented for now. News about Celtic who managed to reach a late winner in Pittodrie only served to further underline the non-negotiable nature of this assignment.
Rangers: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Katic, Halliday; Arfield, Davis, Jack; Hagi (Stewart 83), Kent (Kamberi 56), Morelos (Aribo 89)
Unused subs: Foderingham, Flanagan, Kamara, Jones
Livingston: Schofield; Guthrie, Brown, Lamie; Lawless (Menga 59), Crawford (Sibbald 77), Jacobs, Lawson, Souda (McMillan 72); Pitman; Dikes
Unused subs: Maley, Taylor-Sinclair, Devlin, Robins
Arfield stepped up with his fourth goal in three games if desired. His power was gratefully received by Gerrard, given that Alfredo Morelos seems to have lost his mojo. Rangers will hope that a return to the Europa League – in which he is a top scorer – can restore their talismanic striker in top form.
Livingston was unhappy with such a quick rescheduling of the game, instead arguing for Monday night. Manager Gary Holt, however, would have few complaints about the performance of his party. They remain fifth.
Gerrard emphatically criticized his players in Kilmarnock and disputed their mentality, but opted for large-scale adjustments. Steven Davis was restored to midfield for Joe Aribo in the lonely adaptation to the starting line-up.
Holt took the opposite approach in the aftermath of their 2-1 midweek win over St. Mirren, making a total of six changes. One of them was enforced, the goalkeeper of the Rangers loaner Robby McCrorie cannot play against his parent club. The introduction of Schofield was anything but a handicap.
The refurbishment also led to an intriguing tactical form. Livingston started by deploying a three-man defense but without clearly defined wing-backs for support. Captain Keaghan Jacobs and Steve Lawson sat just in front of their center backs to strangle the available space for Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi. Playing against Holt & # 39; s team is never a comfortable experience.
As such, they provided a difficult opening for Rangers. A few long throws from Lyndon Dykes had already tested the Ibrox back line before one of Ciaron Brown caught the wind to give Aymen Souda a run through the inner right channel.
The corner was against the French-born Tunisian, with his effort slid across the face of Allan McGregor's goal mouth.
Gerrard's side was slow to find much rhythm in difficult circumstances below and above the head. Not to mention the tight marking. A first glimpse of threat came in 16 minutes when Andy Halliday headed a deflected cross from Ryan Jack. Morelos threw himself into it, but Ryan Schofield – on loan from Huddersfield – managed to put a foot out and make a crucial stop.
Rangers needed something to disrupt the yellow shirt range for them. Scott Arfield found it by winning possession in midfield before he quickly let go on the left on the left. He drifted in on his right foot and was not far away with a beaten, curly blow. Niko Katic then went there after the visitors had not released a set piece.
The men of Gerrard had it better, but without ever sparkling. Too many quirky passes and floppy touches caused that.
Nevertheless, they would lead the way in the break, except for Schofield's excellence. With ten minutes left by half, the Livingston goalkeeper produced a save to stand next to practically everyone who could be seen at Ibrox this season.
Davis drove past Jacobs to work a one-two with Morelos and poke a passing ball for Halliday. The left back connected well, but watched in surprise as Schofield held out a hand that pushed the ball up and over the top via a bar clip.
What followed six minutes later was not that spectacular, but no less important. A rare, smooth break from Rangers saw Morelos sweep the ball for Hagi, who acted for the supporting Davis. Schofield, however, shot out of line to accommodate a thundering ride from the Northern Irish skipper.
Livingston dice with a resignation when Jon Guthrie lost Connor Goldson with a clearly reckless, studs-up challenge when the Rangers center cleared back. Referee Euan Anderson, however, only reached for a yellow card. With some justification, several Ibrox players made the point that the penalty should have been worse.
Jack was the victim of a Robbie Crawford challenge that could have made another booking just after the restart, but it did not deter the midfielder from offering a much needed ride to the home team. His forward appears and pass released Morelos. In accordance with the poor performance of the Colombian, he cut wildly wide out of his right boot.
Kent then had a low shot saved by Schofield in what was his last act. The removal of the £ 7 million man for Florian Kamberi was Gerrard's first replacement.
The Hibernian borrower came in when the match went through a crucial three-minute swing. Livingston almost took the lead when a long throw from Brown found its way to Souda. McGregor repelled his lift from close by.
From that shock, Rangers provided a 59-minute advantage. Hagi managed to get his head up and choose a nice pass that matched Arfield's equally opportunistic forward run. Unmarked at the edge of the area, he managed to fire a low shot under Schofield to cause a small clenched fist celebration of a relieved Gerrard.
The home team looked for another to remove any doubt. Jack was unable to hit the goal after a neat build-up of James Tavernier, Hagi and Morelos. Then the Ibrox top score was sidelined when he moved for Arfield to hit a slanted finish past Schofield and into the corner of his net.
Dykes bumped against the pole from 20 meters, Ibrox used to hold his breath. But while Kamberi also saw an attack that was offside, Rangers crossed the line.
Blackpool pocket manager Simon Grayson after terrible run of a win in 12 games in League One club
- Blackpool released statement confirming Simon Grayson has been rejected
- Due to the recent abject form, they slipped to the 15th in the League One table
- His replacement is not yet known and there will be a further announcement to be done
Blackpool have fired manager Simon Grayson after a terrible series of only one win in 12 games.
The League One club finished fourth in December, but is now in 15th place, calling for the decision to separate with their 50-year-old boss.
A statement on the club's website read: & # 39; Blackpool Football Club can confirm that Simon Grayson has been relieved of his duties as first-team manager today.
& # 39; The club wants to thank Simon for his efforts during his time back on Bloomfield Road and wish him all the best for the future.
& # 39; A further announcement will follow in due course. & # 39;
It was Grayson's second stint that was responsible for the mandarins that had led them to promote the same division earlier in 2007.
The season started with promise and it seemed that Blackpool was on track again to be in the promotion interview again.
But since December 14 they managed to get only four points out of 27 available and dropped.
Armand Gnanduillet scored 18 goals this season and was Blackpool's most dangerous player, but there was precious little support outside of him to share the burden.
With 15 games remaining in the season, the new manager will have a huge task to close the gap of 13 points to the top six.
Jurgen Klinsmann resigns as Hertha Berlin boss after only 10 games because he claims that a lack of & # 39; trust & # 39; behind his decision was
Jurgen Klinsmann has his role as Hertha [19459018verlaten)] Manager of Berlin after just 76 days and 10 games responsible for the club.
The former manager of Germany – who won only three of his 10 matches as boss – has quoted a lack of confidence and support behind his decision to step down.
Kilnsmann said: & # 39; As head coach, I need the trust of the actors.
& # 39; Particularly in a relegation battle, unity, team spirit and focus on the basics are the most important elements.
& # 39; If they are not guaranteed, I cannot live up to my potential as head coach and fulfill my responsibility. & # 39;
More to follow …
Sadio Mane hands over Liverpool fitness boost, as forward proves that he is on his way to the return of the first team after missing the last two Premier League outings
- Sadio Mane is recently out of action after picking up a muscle crack
- There were concerns that he would be away for a while, but that now seems unlikely
- The attacker was filmed training at Melwood in Liverpool based on he is approaching fitness
Liverpool have been given a boost after Sadio Mane was filmed while training on their training ground in Melwood.
There was concern that Mane would spend a long period on the sidelines with the injury.
But he uploaded a video to his Instagram story in which he demonstrated that he was already back on the field and training again.
The Senegalese attacker was spotted by cones on one of the fields and shot in the back of the net.
There were no problems for Mane when he jogged back to the beginning to perform the exercise again.
Mane made the decision to stay in the Premier League during the winter break in Melwood and work hard to return to full fitness.
It could bear fruit for the 27-year-old, who may now hope to be involved when Liverpool takes on February 15 against Norwich.
His return would be a plus for Jurgen Klopp and his side – they will aim to win a 17th Premier League match in the trot in that collision.
Liverpool is currently 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League, after having won 24 of their 25 games.
Roy Hodgson hopes that the winter break will benefit his struggling Crystal Palace side, since Everton's loss leaves them six points above the drop zone with only one win in the last eleven league games
- Crystal Palace are seven non-win games after a 3-1 defeat against Everton
- Bernard, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored for the Toffees
- Roy Hodgson's side is now six points above the fall zone before the break
Palace & # 39; s 3-1 defeat at Goodison left them six points from the relegation zone and none in the division scored less than their 23 in 26 games.
& # 39; We are going to use the time allotted to us. We are not taking the players away as a team, but we are allowing them to leave individually & # 39 ;, said manager Roy Hodgson, whose next game in two weeks will be a six-handed hand against Newcastle.
& # 39; The idea of this winter break is that players should get a mental and physical break. We give them a program and hope that the break will allow us to come back and score some points and score goals.
& # 39; This is a defeat that hurts us very much. Of course we are concerned about a lack of goals.
& # 39; You saw the team today and the amount of opportunities we had. If we can continue to do that, I am sure the goals will come. I thought we played well for large parts of the game. & # 39;
Tho ugh Hodgson has decided to give his squadron a break from each other, former Palace manager Sam Allardyce – who helped the club escape relegation in 2017 – finds that a team bonding trip would have been beneficial.
& # 39; What they do in this pause is very important for those players, & # 39; said Allardyce.
& # 39; Take them away, take them away from this pressure. When I was a manager, I took them to Marrakesh. & # 39;
Everton's 3-1 profit margin somewhat flattered them with Christian Benteke who canceled Bernard's opener for the home team, with Palace then hitting the woodwork twice and Benteke refused by Jordan Pickford up close.
Richarlison restored the lead of Everton after 58 minutes with Dominic Calvert-Lewin with a late third.
& # 39; I thought we deserved to reach level but their second goal puts us on the back foot, "said Hodgson, who could not choose a loan attacker Cenk Tosun against his former club.
Hodgson, 72, is still tipped to sign a new contract at Selhurst Park, despite complaining about a lack of signatures in January.
Roma left after defeat by Bologna for their fourth loss in six games … and even Chris Smalling made a costly mistake
- Roma have now lost four games of their last six games in Serie A
- A 3-2 home defeat to Bologna on Friday night saw an outbreak of cheers
- Manchester United borrower Chris Smalling made a mistake for one of the goals
- The defender rolled the ball over the area and he was thrown home
The misery of Roma continued after a defeat against Bologna saw players leave the field for a chorus of angry.
Musa Barrow scored twice to help Bologna achieve a 3-2 Series A victory on Friday night when the Giallorossi crisis worsened.
Manchester United Borrower Chris Smalling, who is a resurgent figure this season, has exacerbated the misery after being directly responsible for the opening attack, allowing the ball to be played freely over the area.
Bologna reached the sixth place, one place under Rome, after a third consecutive victory.
Roma won only one of their past six league games and lost four of
Roma tried to bounce back from losses to Sassuolo 4-2, but gave the opener to Bologna in the 16th minute when Smalling inexplicably left Barrow & # 39; s cross, allowing Riccardo to tap Orsolini on the far post.
Roma tied the score in the 22nd when the defender of Bologna Stefano Denswil bundled Aleksandar Kolarov's cross into his own net, but Barrow restored the visitors' lead only four minutes later when his attempt in the top corner was deflected.
It was Barrow's first start since he was loaned by Atalanta and he doubled his count for six minutes in the second half as he raced from the center line before curling in the lower right corner.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan contracted Bruno Peres to halve the backlog, but Roma & # 39; s probability of leveling decreased 10 minutes from the moment Bryan Cristante received a straight red card for his challenge to Orsolini.
After the game, Kolarov admitted that things became difficult for Roma, but insisted that the team stay together in this difficult phase.
& # 39; Our 2020 did not start well, but these periods can occur during a season. The only thing we can do is keep our head down and work harder.
Defending Aleksandar Kolarov later admitted Bologna deserved to win the competition
& # 39; We found Bologna were heavy & # 39; to beat and dangerous in the counterattack. Our pressing was not good enough and that left us flat on the counter.
& # 39; Bologna definitely deserved to win and we have not met our standards today. We did better after the break, but it wasn't enough.
& # 39; There are many elements to the negative period, but as the oldest in the group I stay close to my friends, we discussed it, know what to do and continue. & # 39;
Jacksonville Jaguars make NFL history as the first franchise for back-to-back games in London, while Atlanta Falcons are ready to play Denver Broncos at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
- Jacksonville Jaguars have been playing a match in London every year since 2013
- No other NFL franchise has played more games in England than the Jags
- Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank hinted that his side would also play in England
- Falcons seem to be playing a home game against Denver Broncos in Tottenham
The Jacksonville Jaguars have played the most NFL regular season games in England. And the love affair of the franchise with Wembley will continue, with the Jags due to host back-to-back competitions this season for the first time.
The Jaguars have played a match in London season since 2013, with the 2020 season ending their current commitment to the capital, last signed in 2017.
& # 39; The ability to play two home games at Wembley Stadium this season will increase the popularity of Jaguars in London and the UK at a time when the popularity of the NFL continues to grow rapidly in Europe and elsewhere outside the United States, & # 39, Jags owner Shahid Khan said in a statement.
The Jaguars will receive their fellow AFC South teams: the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans. Plus the Cleveland Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Chicago Bears, the Detroit Lions and the Miami Dolphins are also on the slate. The Bears and Steelers games remain in Jacksonville and leave six possible opponents behind.
The NFL schedule is announced in April.
JAGS AT WEMBLEY
2013: San Francisco 49ers – lost 10-42
2014: Dallas Cowboys – lost 17-31
2015: Buffalo Bills – won 34-31
2016: Indianapolis Colts – won 30-27
2017: Baltimore Ravens – won 44-7
2018: Philadelphia Eagles – lost 18-24
2019: Houston Texans – lost 3- 2 6
Elsewhere, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank appeared to confirm that the Falcons w I will receive the Denver Broncos at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this fall.
& # 39; I really couldn't have been happier going back, & # 39; Blank told talkSPORT at the NFL Honors. "We had a strange end to the last game – we lost in the last game of the last game against the Lions but we are still looking forward to coming back.
" I think we are playing against the Broncos – I think, from what I've heard – but I'm not sure. So we'll see. We are enthusiastic about it. & # 39; The Falcons led the Detriot Lions 20-0 during the break in Wembley in 2014 and eventually lost 21-20. The Broncos played once and lost to the San Francisco 49ers 24-16 in 2010.
Broncos president / CEO Joe Ellis said during his press conference at the end of the December season that the team wants to appear in England again.
] "I actually beg to get it because I think it would be very good for us to play there," he said, saying that the game would be played in Tottenham.
London has hosted 28 regular season games since the New York Giants defeated the Miami Dolphins 13-10 in Wembley in 2007.
Wembley has hosted 23, Twickenham three and Tottenham two. The only franchise does not appear in England is the Green Bay Packers.
Barcelona sends Rafinha for second loan period with Celta Vigo … despite midfielder who started their first three La Liga games of the season
- Midfielder Rafinha has a season with Celta Vigo affiliated – long-term loan from Barcelona
- The Brazilian has started all three La Liga games for the club this season
- Rafinha also has his contract extended to another year at the Nou Camp
The Brazilian, 26, has also extended his contract with the Nou Camp until 2021, convincing the club that he still has the potential to succeed.
This will be Rafinha & # 39; s second spell at Celta Vigo, after spending the 2013-14 season there – making 33 appearances and scoring four goals.
Rafinha – the brother of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago – played 90 games for the club in eight seasons, with 12 goals to his name.
Valencia was interested in signing the biplane Brazil internationally, but failed to complete a movement.
Rafinha joins fellow Barcelona teammate Denis Suarez in Celta, who made the permanent move after an unsuccessful loan period with Arsenal last season.
The 34-year-old's bracket against Fiorentina meant that he had matched David Trezeguet's record in nine consecutive Series A matches. Ronaldo is now on the hunt for Gabriel Bautista & # 39; s league record of scoring a goal in 11 consecutive league games.
Ronaldo & # 39; s record number of records ensures breathtaking reading, and only Lionel Messi comes really close to the attacker, whose 629 goals in 848 club and country matches are still far removed from Ronaldo & # 39; s 720 in 994 matches.
Sportsmail lists some of the most striking goal records that Ronaldo has broken, as well as the records in his sights. Please note that this list does not include every record that the Portuguese have conquered, as we would be here all day.
feels like Cristiano Ronaldo has always been the star of Portugal. Since winning his first cap in a 1-0 win against Kazakhstan in 2003, Ronaldo has been an ever-present figure for his country. His 154 caps are the most ever won by a Portuguese player.
In an era where the & # 39; s schedules are full for almost the entire calendar year, it has become a bit easier for players to build 100 caps for their country. Ronaldo & # 39; s record of becoming the youngest player to reach triple digits at 27 years, eight months and 11 days of age is still an entirely remarkable achievement.
He is approaching another ton for his country, with 99 goals for Portugal. He has beaten 40 different international opponents. No other player has scored against a higher number of teams.
In his sights: Ronaldo has two international records in his sights. The first is to set its goal in three digits. He will have reserved the next international match of Portugal against Spain to break that record.
The second is the most goals ever in international football. Strangely enough, that particular achievement is in the hands of Iran's Ali Daei, who has scored 109 goals in 149 matches for his country. Ronaldo needs 11 more goals to break that record.
A millstone that has hung around the necks of both Ronaldo and Messi is their ability to win great silverware on the international stage. The Portuguese finally broke that duck when he helped guide his country to their very first European championships ever in France in 2016.
It is a tournament that has served Ronaldo well. His 21 appearances are the most played in the competition, while he also shares the lead in all-time scoring tables in the tournament with Michel Platini, with the pair scoring nine goals.
He is also the only player to score in four separate editions of the competition and is the only player to score three times in multiple tournaments (2012 and 2016).
In his sights: Ronaldo will certainly be aware that this summer's Euro 2020 tournament is just around the corner, and with it a chance to record the records he already has to extend.
He wants to surpass the record he shares with Platini and be the last man to stand, and will try to make five European championships in which he has scored. Ronaldo is well and truly still part of Fernando Santos' plans, so the chance that he will improve those records is to his advantage.
The only trophy that still escapes the 34-year-old. In reality, Ronaldo has not come close to lifting the Jules Rimet Trophy, with Portugal's fourth place in 2006 his best show.
Like the euro, Ronaldo has the record in most editions of the World Cup. His goals in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 brought him to a level of four with Pele, Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler.
Ronaldo is also the oldest player ever to score a hat trick at the World Cup (33 years and 110 days) after his excellent trio against Spain in the opening match of Portugal of the 2018 tournament in Russia.
In his sights: Ronaldo has a way to get himself on top of the goal records for this competition. His seven World Cup goals put him behind Klose & # 39; s count of 16.
And at the age of 34 it is unlikely that he will be able to improve that record. If it is any consolation, Archrival Messi is unlikely to break it either, as the Argentinian has scored six goals in the competition.
The Champions League may be the competition that Ronaldo has most successful, and the records certainly reflect that. The 17 goals of the former Real Madrid star in 2013-14 were the most ever scored in a Champions League season, as Ronaldo brought the important European title from Decima back to the Spanish capital.
All in all, Ronaldo has 128 goals in the largest league of European club football, giving him 14 lead over Lionel Messi. Four of Ronaldo & # 39; s Champions League goals were scored in the final, no other player has scored a larger amount in the showpiece.
In his last season in Bernebeu, Ronaldo became the first and only player to score in all six games of the group stage and scored against Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia.
He is also the only player who scored in 11 consecutive Champions League matches and his ten goals against the current club Juventus are the most scored goals against a single opponent.
In his sights: Like the European championships, Ronaldo will try to expand the final stages of his career.
His eight Champions League hat tricks are matched by Barcelona's Messi, so he will improve the little Argentinian in that regard. Messi is also just one winner's medal away from Ronaldo's record of five-time champion, so he hopes to be able to lift the big trophy with Juve in May.
It is easy to forget, given the increasingly absurd amount money recently spent in the game that Cristiano Ronaldo was once the world's most expensive player when Real Madrid Manchester United paid £ 80 million for their star man.
Four Champions League triumphs, two La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and four Balon d & # 39; Ors later and that compensation is certainly money well spent. The records also only serve to support that.
Ronaldo was the first player to score against any team in a La Liga season when he helped guide Jose Mourinho's side to the La Liga title. He is the only player to score more than 50 goals in six consecutive seasons, a statistic that best demonstrates his dominance in the Spanish capital.
Harry Kane's fear of Euro 2020 is growing while Jose Mourinho says the English captain is only suitable for the last TWO games of the Premier League season
- Jose Mourinho believes that Harry Kane may have trouble making Euro 2020
- Kane is currently out with a hamstring injury and will not return until May
- Mourinho thinks that Kane will be back for Tottenham & # 39; s last two league games
The Spurs boss has Tottenham & # 39; s last two games of the season for Kane to return from his hamstring injury – which will give him just over a month to prepare for Euro 2020.
Mourinho believes that Spurs & Premier League games against Leicester on May 9 and Crystal Palace on May 17 are realistic goals for Kane, especially if his party has something important to play for. such as the qualification for the Champions League.
Asked when Kane will be able to play Mourinho again after a long time, replied: I think these games (Leicester and Palace). Maybe we need them for something.
& # 39; Fourth being, fifth being, sixth being. Maybe we need them for something and he can help us. I hope so.
& # 39; Everything is fine. He gets his treatment. There is no pressure, he keeps going, no setback. We talked with Hugo Lloris about February and he came back in January. It is better not to exert any kind of expectations or pressure. Let it go and let's see. & # 39;
Kane underwent surgery last month after injuring his hamstring against Southampton on New Year's Day.
Kane suffered the hamstring injury during the 1-0 defeat of Tottenham in Southampton at 1 January
Spurs had predicted an April return to training for Kane and he hopes to run outside next month. He was sent to the Caribbean to continue his rehabilitation with some warm weather training.
England plays friendly games against Austria and Romania at the beginning of June, while Gareth Southgate starts building their Euro 2020 campaign, which starts against Croatia on 14 June.
And so, if the predictions of Mourinho are correct, Kane would only have four games to build up his condition for the tournament, leading to unavoidable concerns about his condition.
Mourinho said: & # 39; That's a problem for Southgate and (his assistant) Steve Holland, not for me. & # 39;
Asked how he would feel if he were manager of England, Mourinho added: & I don't know. It's not me. & # 39;
Spurs faced Southampton on Wednesday night in a FA Cup fourth round replay – in the middle of what was supposed to be their two-week winter break.
& # 39; I don't like the way the break is, especially since there is no attention for when you play Champions League, & Mourinho said. & # 39; It would be much more normal for us to play this weekend and not play before we play against Leipzig (on February 19).
& # 39; But no, you have a break then you play against Aston Villa on Sunday, not Saturday or Friday but Sunday. So they give you a 10-day break, but then you play on Sunday, when you play Leipzig on Wednesday.
& # 39; So for me the pause doesn't make any sense as it is. But I'm not complaining, it's what it is. & # 39;