Aaron Ramsey offered Rangers redemption chance with 148-year cup-final first
It is difficult to see how Aaron Ramsey’s painfully underwhelming loan stint at Ibrox won’t be defined by his penalty shoot-out miss that precipitated Rangers’ Europa League final defeat in midweek.
The Scottish Cup final, though, could offer the Welshman an extraordinary, and very particular, form of redemption. Of sorts. The 31-year-old’s renowned big-game pedigree, little in evidence since his January move from Juventus, was forged in days such as the 2014 FA Cup final. That afternoon he was Arsenal’s inspirational and matchwinning presence as the London club ended a nine-year wait for a trophy. They did it the hard way, going down 2-0 in the early minutes, before securing a 3-2 victory in extra-time. They completed a famous comeback thanks to a Ramsey strike in the 109th minute. And it is that goal that gives the attacking midfielder a shot at history - should he be given game time by Giovanni van Bronckhorst in the decider against Hearts at Hampden. No given.
A consequence of the fact that, since the tournament began in 1873-74 - two years after England had witnessed the inception of the trail-blazing FA Cup - remarkably no player has ever scored in the finals of both competitions. With the crossover of players either side of the border it feels like a 148-year anomaly, and one that seems scarcely credible. Alas, for Ramsey there isn’t the sense that his brief Rangers career, which will conclude at Scotland’s national stadium, is likely to be framed by the desired sort of history.
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