Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has shut down rumours that influential midfielder Joe Aribo has contacted the dreaded virus called Coronavirus after he was absent for the home Europa League clash with Portuguese giants Benfica.Steven Gerrard talked about Super Eagles of Nigeria international Joe Aribo while he was speaking to the media on Friday ahead of the Scottish League Cup tie with Falkirk on Sunday.
Liverpool legend Gerrard told reporters whythe player didn’t feature in the European game with Benfica at the Ibrox Stadium on Thursday night. According to the Rangers FC of Scotland boss, Joe Aribo was absent from the game because of illness and not Coronavirus. Without Joe Aribo in the team, Rangers shared a four-goal thriller with their Portuguese opponents.
The Scottish Premier League leaders took a two-goal lead in the game through goals from Scott Arfield and KemarRoofe but still didn’t win the game due to sloppy defending in the last 15 minutes of the game. James Tavernier put through his own net on 78 minutes to halve the deficit for the visitors before Benfica Pizzi earned a share of the spoils in the Group D clash with his goal three minutes later.
Despite the late draw with Benfica, Rangers and Steven Gerrard are still in a good position in their group. Rangers lead Benfica at the top of Group D but both teams have eight points, while the other teams, Lech Poznan of Czech Republic and Standard Liege of Belgium are in third and fourth position respectively though the two teams have three points each. A win from the final two games is enough to take Steven Gerrard and his boys into the last 32 of the Europa League.
Steven Gerrard would be hoping to welcome Joe Aribo back into his team for the trip to Falkirk in the Scottish League Cup on Sunday after his brief illness.