Penalty by Gascoigne is decisive


PAUL GASCOIGNE helped Glasgow Rangers win a tough battle at Aberdeen yesterday and kept Walter Smith's Scottish champions on course for an eighth successive title.

Gascoigne's 32nd minute penalty gave Rangers a Pittodrie win which takes them three points clear of Celtic, who had drawn level on Saturday. They also have a superior goal difference.

It was a tension packed afternoon with referee Hugh Dallas flashing his yellow card no fewer than nine times.

Gascoigne collected his tenth domestic booking of the season but his 12th goal clinched victory as Rangers missed a series of other chances before withstanding a late Aberdeen rally.

Now with nine games left Rangers are still out in front with Celtic due at Ibrox on Sunday, March 17th, in what looks a championship decider.

The match began in typically bad tempered fashion for when these clubs meet. Rangers pair John Brown and Ian Ferguson were spoken to in the first three minutes and four players had been yellow carded by the half hour mark.

Gascoigne's card arrived after 26 minutes for a show of dissent. It was a third booking in four games for the England midfielder who is moving closer to a three match ban.

But Gascoigne was the goalscoring hero after 32 minutes when he converted a penalty kick.

The pace of Brian Laudrup took him clear of Brian Irvine and Brian Grant but Irvine pulled down the Dane from behind and Dallas pointed to the spot. Gascoigne rolled the spot kick in past Michael Watt then, under the eagle eye of the referee, hardly moved from the penalty mark to celebrate the goal after all his recent controversies.