Ex-Liverpool duo at heart of dramatic final-day comeback to avoid relegation

It was a dramatic end to the Scottish Premiership season on Sunday, with two ex-Liverpool players key to a three-goal comeback to avoid relegation.

Reds loanee Luke Chambers signed off on his time with Kilmarnock with a 3-1 victory over Ross County at the end of May that ensured his side’s safety.

For Ross County, though, it meant they would need to contest a playoff against second-tier side Partick Thistle to determine who would take the final place in next season’s Premiership.

Partick Thistle lead took a two-goal in the first leg on Thursday, setting up a tense finale at Ross County’s Victoria Park three days later.

The hosts were without Dylan Smith after his early red card in the opening leg, but former Liverpool youngsters Connor Randall and Yan Dhanda both started.

Randall and Dhanda, who left Anfield in 2019 and 2018 respectively, were at the heart of a triumphant comeback after Ross County went a goal down.

Aidan Fitzpatrick netted just before half-time to give Partick Thistle a 3-0 aggregate lead, and the visitors almost grabbed a fourth on the hour.

Steven Lawless’ volley was heading for goal, only for Randall to pull off a vital clearance on the line to give his side hope of a comeback.

A handball from Partick Thistle striker Brian Graham then saw Ross County awarded a penalty, which Dhanda stepped up to convert for his sixth goal of the season.

They then scored another directly after through Simon Murray, before Dhanda teed up George Harmon to make it 3-3 on aggregate with a goal in stoppage time.

Thirty minutes of extra time followed with neither side able to break the deadlock, leading to a penalty shootout which Ross County won 5-4.

Dhanda netted the first of his side’s spot-kicks, showcasing the composure and technical quality that made him such a talented youngster at Liverpool.

For Randall – who played eight times for Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool – victory means a fourth consecutive season in the Scottish top flight, having joined Ross County from Bulgarian club Arda Kardzhali in 2020.