EUROPA LEAGUE: It was superb win says Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was delighted with his Light Blues’ 3-1 Europa League defeat of Rapid Vienna at Ibrox on Thursday night.

Alfredo Morelos hit a double for the home side, with James Tavernier getting the other from the penalty spot.

And Gerrard was pleased with his side’s showing.

“It was a superb win – we were excellent - every player to a man was outstanding all over the pitch. That’s the performance I’ve been looking for ever since I came in.

“That’s a successful Rangers performance of old. The challenge for us now is to find it more consistently. That’s the best 90 minutes we’ve played and we were up against a very good team.”

Like almost everyone amongst the 47,534 attendance the Ibrox boss was astonished that the opening goal notched by Rapid’s Veton Berisha was allowed to stand and not chalked off, on the grounds both of a blatant foul on Joe Worrall in the lead-up to the goal and also for offside against Andrei Ivan.

“I felt for my players going one down – it was a blatant foul in the build-up and I believe the goal was offside as well. The impressive thing however was that my players didn’t feel sorry for themselves. Our reaction to going a goal down was really good – we showed character and scored a fantastic goal. It would have been an injustice to go in at the break a goal down.”

Nevertheless, Gerrard was full of admiration for his team’s opponents.

“My players stood up to the physical challenge of Rapid – I thought we competed very well and very fairly. Rapid Vienna are a very good team, the best team we’ve played in Europe by a good stretch. Their performance and standard brought the best out of us.”

There was praise also for two-goal Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent.

“Alfredo was excellent – a handful all night. He was clinical when he got the opportunities.

“Ryan has these wild moments with his turn of pace. It’s difficult for any defender to live with it. He was excellent.”