Livingston boss David Martindale heaped praise on veteran Rangers keeper Allan McGregor, saying the stopper's 'game-changing save' just before half-time knocked the wind out of the Lions' sails.

The 39-year-old produced a stunning save to deny Alan Forrest at the back post after the winger got on the end of Odin Bailey's deflected cross and looked set to fire home an equaliser after the hosts had been two goals down.

A delicate chip from Scott Arfield and a wonderful curling strike from the edge of the box from Joe Aribo had the Gers two goals to the good after just 16 minutes.

But Livi battled back and got themselves into the contest when Forrest's effort was parried by McGregor on 29 minutes with Bruce Anderson in the right place to turn the rebound home.

And with just two minutes remaining in the first half, Martindale's side appeared set to level things up before the Rangers keeper's incredible save as he pushed Forrest's close range strike over the bar.

LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Rangers' Fashion Sakala scores to make it 3-1 during a Cinch Premiership match between Livingston and Rangers at Toni Macaroni Arena, on November 28, 2021, in Livingston, Scotland.

Martindale admitted Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side deserved the three points but believes that save just before the break may well have been the turning point.

He commented: "Overall Rangers deserved the three points but for the majority of it they knew they were in a game.

“At 2-0 they probably thought they were going to coast the game but we got back into it fantastically well.

“Allan McGregor pulled off a fantastic save, Alan Forrest probably should have done a little bit better but had that gone in it would have been a different second half.

LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Joe Aribo of Rangers scores his team's second goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Livingston FC and Rangers FC at on November 28, 2021 in Livingston, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“For 20 minutes of the second half I thought we competed fairly well and had a few very good moments on the counter, we just couldn’t capitalise. Then when the third goal goes in, it’s game over.

“Did McGregor’s save take the wind out of our sails? A little bit. You could have been going in at half-time at 2-2."

He added: "I was at Tynecastle on Saturday and Craig Gordon pulled off some magnificent saves.

“And you look at Allan McGregor. It’s fantastic that we’re sitting with keepers in that age group who are absolutely incredible.

“The comparisons between the two of them are there for all to see.

“Every other week, you are turning on Sportscene and it’s a save by McGregor or a save by Gordon. I think it was a game-changing save. If Rangers go in at 2-2, it’s a totally different game in the second half.

"I think the second goal, you just have to take your hat off to Aribo because it's a fantastic finish but the first goal is very disappointing from our point of view.

"You give yourself a mountain to climb when you're 2-0 down early on but fair play to the boys because they nearly climbed it up until about 70 minutes."

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