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Rangers’ Borna Barisic faces race to be fit for Sunday’s final against Celtic

Steven Gerrard says referee John Beaton apoloogised to him for not giving Rangers a penalty against Aberdeen.

Rangers’ Borna Barisic is in a race to be fit for Sunday’s game against Celtic (Jeff Holmes/PA)
Rangers’ Borna Barisic is in a race to be fit for Sunday’s game against Celtic (Jeff Holmes/PA)

By Andy Newport, PA

Steven Gerrard admits Borna Barisic faces a race to be fit for Sunday’s Betfred Cup final.

The Croatia left-back suffered a number of painful kicks to his foot against Hamilton last month and had to be given an injection to allow him to face Feyenoord and Hearts.

But the problem has failed to subside and Barisic was left out of Gerrard’s team as they threw away a two-goal lead in Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw at Aberdeen.

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Aberdeen’s Greig Leigh (right) vies with Rangers’ Joe Aribo for the ball at Pittodrie Stadium (Graham Stuart/PA)

Jon Flanagan stood in for the former Osijek defender but the Ibrox boss will be desperate to get a player who has laid on 10 goals for Gers this season already back into his line-up.

Gerrard said: “Barisic is a doubt for Sunday. He was limping about yesterday so we’ll have to see how he is.

“He has been receiving treatment today so we’ll analyse that tomorrow but at the moment he is a doubt.

“He’s had three or four kicks in a similar area on his foot and he’s got some bone bruising there. We’ll have to decide what’s best for him to do tomorrow.”

Barisic’s injury is another worry for Gerrard after he saw his side slip two points behind Celtic in the Ladbrokes Premiership title race.

He has just explained to me that he got it wrong, right in front of his eyes, and there is no excuse Steven Gerrard

Rangers dominated the opening half hour in the Granite City and took a deserved two-goal lead through strikes from Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack.

But they threw the win away as their intensity levels fell off a cliff.

Jon Gallagher was to blame for the Light Blues’ opener but made amends as he fired Derek McInnes’ team back into the contest and, with confidence levels renewed, they snatched a point with Andy Considine’s close-range finish just after half-time.

Rangers should have had a penalty late on as Lewis Ferguson tripped Alfredo Morelos in the box but referee John Beaton decided the foul was outside the area.

Gerrard revealed the official later apologised for his mistake. “It’s 100 per cent a penalty,” he said.

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Rangers’ manager Steven Gerrard during the Scottish Premiership match at Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen (Graham Stuart/PA)

“I’m surprised it’s not given as the referee is three yards away and looking right at it. He has seen it since and agrees it is a blatant penalty he has missed.

“I have to be very careful what I say, obviously. But I don’t think there will be a more disappointed person outside of Rangers tonight than John.

“He has just explained to me that he got it wrong, right in front of his eyes, and there is no excuse. There is nothing more I can say on it to be honest.

“Did he apologise? Yes. I went to see him.”

PA

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