Monday 5 June 2023

Ground #386 - Ibrox Stadium

Date: 7th May 2023
Location: Govan, Glasgow, Scotland
Ground: Ibrox Stadium

My eleventh new ground of 2023 was on Sunday 7th May at Ibrox Stadium in Govan, Glasgow, Scotland. The game was Rangers vs. Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.

Ibrox Stadium is located in a mixed-use area with a variety of neighbours. The ground is bordered by an industrial estate to the north and west, houses to the east and a primary school and football centre with 3G pitch across the road to the south. The ground is a couple of hundred yards south of Ibrox station on the Glasgow Subway or just under a mile north of Dumbreck station on the national rail network. it has been home to the club since it opened in 1899.

Though the venue has been in use since 1899 Ibrox has changed much over the years with only the classic Main Stand exterior harking back to the earlier days of the ground. This red brick facade was built in 1928 and elevates the exterior of the stand. The stand itself is the only three-tier one at Ibrox, and includes the dressing rooms and player tunnel at the bottom of the stand and the main TV gantry  further up. On the north side of the ground is the Govan Stand - this is a two-tier structure with a larger upper deck. At the back of this is the main hospitality area - the Blue Sky Lounge and Club 72/Bar 72.

The remainder of the ground consists of similar two tier stands. The Broomloan Road Stand sits behind the western goal and includes a section for away whilst the Copland Road Stand is behind the eastern goal. There is additional quadrant seating in the lower deck for the north-west and north-east quadrants with the top deck utilised as building support with big screens attached. Directly behind the north-east quadrant is the Rangers store and in the south-east corner of the Ibrox site sits Edmiston House, a new two-storey building which houses a bar, cafe, additional retail space and the Rangers Museum in the near future.

Rangers knew that with Celtic kicking-off at Hearts 45 minutes earlier the title may be decided before the Rangers game was finished. Aberdeen were miles behind as best of the rest but had beaten Rangers in the league at Pittodrie a couple of weeks prior. The early going saw a couple of close efforts by Todd Cantwell but the best chances of the half fell the way of the hosts. In the 27th minute Bojan Miovski rode a challenge in the centre of the field that left Rangers exposed at the back. He overhit his squared ball for Duk and that meant Robbie McCrorie in the home goal closed down the angle and deflected the ball behind. Then a minute before the break it was Duk's turn to get clear of the defence but his chip over the advancing Rangers keeper landed on the roof of the net. The visitors offered little in the second half as Rangers established themselves on the game. Aberdeen had a lucky escape when Jonathan Hayes deflected onto his own crossbar while trying to clear but there was no reprieve in the 64th minute when the Glasgow side took the lead. It was a cracking goal too, with Todd Cantwell's excellent volley into the bottom corner directly from James Tavernier's corner. Hayes almost put the ball in his own net again shortly after when diverting a Rangers cross just wide of his own goal but after this the game petered out with Rangers wrapping up a 1-0 victory as Celtic celebrated the title with a 2-0 win at Hearts.

Result: Rangers 1-0 Aberdeen
Division: Scottish Premiership
Attendance: 46,961

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