Jermain Defoe nets 300th club goal in Rangers’ victory against Livingston

Telegraph Sport
·3 min read
Jermain Defoe of Rangers celebrates after scoring his team's second goal at Ibrox Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. - GETTY IMAGES
Jermain Defoe of Rangers celebrates after scoring his team's second goal at Ibrox Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. - GETTY IMAGES
  • Rangers 2 Livingston 0

Jermain Defoe was delighted to hit a career milestone in style after netting his 300th club goal in Rangers’ victory at Ibrox.

The 38-year-old swivelled before running in behind the Livingston defence and meeting James Tavernier’s lofted pass first time with his left foot as the ball dropped. The former England striker had forgotten he was on 299 club goals before the game, but he admitted it was special to be reminded of his feat as he watched the impressive goal back.

Defoe said: “Before the game I actually forgot, which to be honest was a good thing because if I had been thinking about it during the game maybe that goal wouldn’t have come, maybe I would have snatched at the chance.

“When it went in, I was delighted because, to score a goal like that, and even at the time I didn’t realise it was the 300th goal, but when they reminded me after I was delighted because I enjoyed it, it was a good goal.”

Defoe, who netted his first goal more than 20 years ago for West Ham United against Walsall, revealed that the move was preplanned.

“I spoke to Tav,” he said. “When he gets the ball, if I can disguise my run like I am coming short and then spin in behind, I know he has that range of passing.

“As it came over my shoulder I just felt like I had to hit it first time. I obviously stayed relaxed with the finish. When I watched it back, it was a good one.”

The win sent Rangers six points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership after Celtic, who have a game in hand, had been held by Aberdeen.

Rangers looked determined to build on the previous weekend’s victory at Celtic Park and goals from Joe Aribo and Defoe put them two ahead inside 16 minutes, although they lost much of their verve after half-time. However, Defoe insisted they were not paying much attention to the league table.

“To be honest, personally I have not really been looking at it,” he said. “It’s important we just focus on ourselves, take each game as it comes, keep working hard, keep believing that we can improve. Even games we have won, still believe we can improve.

“Training is always good, every week everyone is trying to impress the manager. Everyone wants to get in the team, which is always important.

“Just focus on ourselves, we can’t take our foot off the gas, just keep going.”

Livingston manager Gary Holt was encouraged by his side’s second-half showing as substitutes Josh Mullin and Alan Forrest both forced saves from Allan McGregor.

“I thought we had a lot of positives, especially second half,” Holt said. “We changed the system and Josh gave us more of an out ball, another threat going forward.

“We were more on the front foot second half, more aggressive against our opposite numbers, were in their faces a bit better and made it more difficult.

“Rangers are a good side, they get into areas, they pull you about, but the two goals we conceded were very soft from a defensive unit.”