Just over a month into the season and Rangers’ return to the Scottish Premier League has already hit a snag. Their stagnant form has seemingly derailed their slim chances of a title shot and wins are proving hard to come by.
Their struggles have been exemplified by their sorry defeat at the hands of Aberdeen this week. It proved a result that saw Mark Warburton’s men slide down to seventh place and mid-table obscurity.
However, what made the result even harder to take proved the fact they were so close to going home with a point. Aberdeen’s James Maddison had something to say about that though and in spectacular fashion.
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While Rangers themselves were keen to ensure they kept their feet on the ground, many Scottish football fans had high hopes for the Glasgow side coming into 2016-17.
Since match day one though, they’ve appeared off the pace. Rangers have already limped to draws against lower league sides such as Hamilton Academical, Kilmarnock and Ross County this season.
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Wins may have arisen against Dundee and Motherwell, but a 5-1 drubbing in the Old Firm proved a jarring reality check for the newly promoted side.
It appears, albeit proving Scotland’s most successful ever side, that their return to the top division won’t be plain sailing. Besides, this weekend saw Aberdeen inflict a second league loss upon the Ibrox-based outfit.
After a goalless first half at Pittodrie, Jonny Hayes gave the home side the lead with a superb low strike. However, Rangers drew level from the penalty spot with just ten minutes to go via Andy Halliday.
There was a sting in the tale for the visitors though upon the late awarding of a free-kick for Aberdeen.
Despite the distance and angle, Maddison produced a special strike to whip the ball over the wall and so far into the top corner it pinged in off the post. A video of the spectacular goal can be seen below:
And here's another video of the incredible goal with an even better angle...
The goal is made all the more special by the circumstances, as shown by the manic celebrations that followed. Who can blame him though? It’s a strong contender for SPL goal of the season already. For Rangers however, it proves a prominent blow.
One kick of Maddison’s boot has sent them tumbling down the table as well as reiterating that their SPL return won’t be an easy one.
Is this the best free-kick you've seen scored this season? Have YOUR say in the comment box below