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Jermain Defoe delighted to hit milestone goal against Livingston

Jermain Defoe delighted to hit milestone goal against Livingston
© Reuters
The Rangers striker netted his 300th career goal in club football, more than two decades on from his first.

Jermain Defoe was delighted to hit a career milestone in style after netting his 300th club goal in Rangers' 2-0 victory over Livingston at Ibrox.

The 38-year-old swivelled before running in behind the Livi 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 against Walsall, revealed the move was pre-planned.

"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, were held to a 3-3 draw by Aberdeen hours earlier.

Rangers looked determined to build on last weekend's victory at Celtic Park and goals from Joe Aribo and Defoe had 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.

Livingston manager Gary Holt
Livingston manager Gary Holt (PA)

"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."

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Calvin Bassey pictured for Rangers in August 2020
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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers1513204133841
2Celtic1393134132130
3Hibernian157532116526
4Aberdeen138231915426
5Dundee UnitedDundee Utd155551218-620
6Kilmarnock145271816217
7St Johnstone154471319-616
8Motherwell134361518-315
9Ross County153481026-1613
10Livingston153391424-1012
11St Mirren12327715-811
12Hamilton AcademicalHamilton1321101435-217

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