Rangers 0, Burnley 1

  • Scott Arfield scores the only goal of the game
  • Second pre-season win for the Clarets
  • Over 22,000 fans watched the friendly at Ibrox
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Midfielder Scott Arfield lived every Celtic fans dream as the Clarets travelled to Glasgow on Tuesday evening - scoring against Rangers at Ibrox.

The 26-year-old, who faced the Scottish giants at the iconic stadium during his spell in the SPL with Falkirk, coolly slotted the only goal of the game in to the corner past Wes Foderingham in the 36th minute, though his celebrations were surprisingly reserved.

Lukas Jutkiewicz, who netted in the 4-2 friendly defeat against Accrington Stanley at the Crown Ground, fired the first shot at goal when, right-footed, he found the side-netting from an acute angle in the opening minutes.

But the hosts, as expected, took command in their final pre-season outing before the real work begins.

Mark Warburton’s side, 54-time champions in Scotland’s top flight, travel to Easter Road at the weekend to face Hibernian in the first round of the Petrofac Training Cup, formerly known as the Scottish Challenge Cup.

With the home side hitting peak physical fitness, in contrast to Sean Dyche’s side who are less than halfway through their preparations for the 2015/16 term, they pressed and tested Burnley’s back line.

Nicky Law assisted the first opportunity for the locals when, from the edge of the 18-yard box, his pass to David Templeton took Matt Lowton out of the equation but the winger’s left-footed strike flashed wide of the far post.

Full back James Tavernier also went close when his cross-shot deviated after taking a nick off the head of Ben Mee, but goalkeeper Matt Gilks did well to adjust his body and beat the attempt to safety.

Rangers, currently plying their trade in the Scottish Championship having lost out to Motherwell in the play-off final last season, started to get in to their stride and Martyn Waghorn was denied by a last ditch challenge from Mee following a sweeping move that started with centre back Danny Wilson and involved trialist Jason Holt and Templeton.

One-time Wigan Athletic striker Waghorn then missed a glaring opportunity when somehow flicking wide from close range when getting in-between Mee and Michael Duff to meet Tavernier’s whipped centre.

Scott Arfield celebrates opening the scoring

Scott Arfield celebrates opening the scoring

Andrew Halliday’s piledriver then cleared the bar as the hosts probed for the opener while Waghorn forced an exquisite save from Gilks from point blank range after getting on the end of Laws’ delivery.

However, Rangers would be punished for failing to make their pressure pay. Jutkiewicz pulled Wilson out of position when challenging for Gilks’s clearance, Arfield gambled to leave himself one-on-one with last man Lee Wallace and the midfielder beat the defender with ease before nonchalantly guiding the ball in to the corner.

From that moment the visitors seemed brighter and asserted themselves on the fixture with neat interchanges of play.

Jutkiewicz’s arrowing volley whistled over the bar from Arfield’s assist just before the break before the striker fired straight at Foderingham after trading passes with Fredrik Ulvestad just before the break.

Scott Arfield opens the scoring against Rangers

Scott Arfield opens the scoring against Rangers

Both managers made wholesale changes after the break, with Stephen Ward, Michael Keane, Matt Taylor, Cameron Dummigan, Brad Jackson, Tom Anderson, Stevie Hewitt and Jason Gilchrist replacing Danny Lafferty, Duff, Ulvestad, Lowton, Michael Kightly, Mee, George Boyd and David Jones.

But the away side, who kept 10 clean sheets in the Premier League last season, conveyed that characteristic resilience to keep Rangers out.

Holt somehow scooped over the bar from Wallace’s pull back early in the half while substitute Tom Walsh side-footed wide of the upright after cutting inside and exchanging passes with fellow sub Nicky Clark.

Ward fizzed the ball across the face of goal at the other end, but the scoreline remained 1-0 to the Clarets at referee Steven McLean’s full time whistle.

The Clarets now travel to the Proact Stadium to face Chesterfield on Saturday, kick-off 3 p.m.