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Danilo breaks cheekbone heading Rangers to victory

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 16 Sep 2023

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Rangers striker Danilo will undergo an operation after sustaining a broken cheekbone when scoring the opener in the 2-0 win over St Johnstone.

The Brazilian headed the Light Blues ahead after 16 minutes of the cinch Premiership match at McDiarmid Park but had to be immediately substituted along with Saints captain Liam Gordon after both men clashed heads in the aerial duel.

Substitute Rabbi Matondo added a second for the visitors in the 79th minute to seal the three points.

Afterwards Michael Beale confirmed the bad news ahead of the Europa League opener against Real Betis at Ibrox on Thursday night.

The Gers boss, pleased with the much-needed win after defeats to Celtic and PSV Eindhoven before the international break, said: “Danilo has fractured his cheekbone so we have to see how long he is out.

“He is away (to hospital) and hopefully he will be operated on this evening.

“I just asked the doctor and he gave me the news which is not great news to receive but you could see from the swelling right away that it was a bad one.

“It is a really disappointing moment for the team.

“Danilo had had a couple of things going on, he took a few weeks to get fit, then he scores.

“After the injury the game got a bit stuffy and in the second half we made more chances than we took.

“The game was scrappy at times, we still have work to do but it was a 2-0 win and it was comfortable.”

The Gers fans had turned on the players following the 1-0 defeat to Celtic at Ibrox in their previous outing but Beale was happy with their backing in Perth and hopes to have them right behind the side in the Europa League opener later this week.

He said: “Every team needs their fans. In the two home European games so far this season we’ve scored four goals against Servette and PSV.

“In both games, we felt we had chances to score more.

“We’re against a team who were sixth in La Liga and who have a manager who’s been around a long time.

“They’re a good side. Look at the players in their team and what they’ve done in their careers.

“It’s important that we’re up and at them – and that the fans are with us.

“We’ve got four home games in 10 days now across three competitions.

“Our focus is on Real Betis which will be a completely different challenge, a different style, a different pressure.

“But we always need our fans. They were excellent for the team today so well done to them because it hasn’t been a nice couple of weeks for them.”

Speaking about Gordon’s injury, Saints boss Steven MacLean said: “Hopefully he is okay. I think he wanted to play on. We used the concussion substitute, Rangers didn’t. I think you could see quite clearly it was concussion.”

MacLean was booked in the second half after complaining that referee Nick Walsh had stopped play for a foul for Saints when his side were ready to break.

He said: “The rules are that the VAR checks the game when the game stops. We’ve got a counter attack and they stop the game and they try to tell me that is the rule. News to me. And when he came over I tried to ask him a question but he wouldn’t speak to me.”

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