Gerrard Concerned Despite Rangers’ Late Win Over St Johnstone

Gerrard Concerned Despite Rangers' Late Win Over St Johnstone
(File) Steven Gerrard

 

Steven Gerrard believes his players didn’t do the Rangers shirt “any justice” in a laboured first-half performance before bouncing back thanks to two Alfredo Morelos goals to beat St Johnstone 2-1 on Sunday.

The Colombian took his tally for the season to 19 with the winner two minutes from time as Rangers closed to within a point behind Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic, who have a game in hand.

Gerrard’s men had won just one of their previous four games to fall four points behind their Glasgow rivals with the two sides set to meet at Ibrox on December 29.

Another tough afternoon looked on the cards for the visitors at McDiarmid Park when Matty Kennedy’s rising drive gave St Johnstone the lead on the stroke of half-time.

“The first 45 minutes I wasn’t happy, far from it. It was a poor performance, we were awful,” Gerrard told BT Sport.

“We didn’t have one player out there that was doing the shirt any justice, so I certainly wasn’t happy.”

Gerrard introduced Glenn Middleton for Eros Grezda at half-time and the change helped turn the game as Rangers improved dramatically in the second period.

“I made my feelings clear at half-time, made some changes to the 11 and to be fair to the players they played with more bravery, belief and character and gone out there and performed like Rangers players in the second half,” added Gerrard.

“But we shouldn’t have to work that hard to win at places like this with all due respect.”

Middleton’s measured cross picked out Morelos to head home the equaliser 25 minutes from time.

Only Zander Clark in the St Johnstone goal then kept the hosts level as he denied Daniel Candeias and Kyle Lafferty twice with stunning saves.

However, Clark was helpless when Morelos met James Tavernier’s cross to score to spark wild scenes of celebration from the players and fans, but not their manager who remained stoney faced on the sidelines.

“I’m still thinking about the first half,” said Gerrard when asked why he didn’t celebrate.

“I’m thinking big picture where we can take this squad and players. To be fair we are quite bare today in terms of numbers, but that first-half concerned me because what we asked of them before the game just clearly wasn’t there.”

AFP

Gerrard’s Rangers Beat Hearts To Top Premiership

Gerrard's Rangers Beat Hearts To Top Premiership
(File) Rangers’ English manager Steven Gerrard (R) congratulates Rangers’ Scottish goalkeeper Allan McGregor after the UEFA Europa League Group G football match between Rangers and Villarreal at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland on November 29, 2018. The game finished 0-0. ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP

 

Ten-man Rangers beat Hearts 2-1 on Sunday to climb to the top of the Scottish Premiership, with Alfredo Morelos grabbing a contentious winner for Steven Gerrard’s team.

With leaders Celtic busy on League Cup final duty, the Ibrox men travelled to Tynecastle looking to grab the title race initiative against a side without a win in five games.

Gareth McAuley put through his own net in the 27th minute but the Northern Ireland defender was bailed out when his centre-back partner Connor Goldson bundled home the equaliser and Morelos clinched the win shortly before half-time.

Rangers found themselves reduced to 10 men when Scott Arfield was dismissed in the second half but they held on for the win.

Hearts took a deserved lead when McAuley diverted the ball into his own net after a cross from Marcus Godinho.

But the visitors were level just eight minutes later as Morelos nudged a James Tavernier corner to the back post where Goldson forced the ball past goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal and over the line at the second attempt.

Rangers scored again shortly before the interval following a Tavernier free-kick.

Colombian forward Morelos started in an offside position as Tavernier lined up the free-kick wide on the right but the officials failed to spot his encroachment and Morelos made the most of the let-off as his side-foot shot took a nick off Oliver Bozanic before nestling into the far corner.

Hearts were thrown a lifeline with 18 minutes left as Arfield got his marching orders for a challenge on Zlamal but Rangers stayed on the front foot and Hearts could not make the most of their man advantage.

AFP

Gerrard’s Rangers Move Ahead Of Beaten Celtic

Rangers’ players.                                                                                                 Photo:PAU BARRENA / AFP

 

Rangers’ rise under Steven Gerrard continued with a 5-1 thrashing of St Johnstone to move into second in the Scottish Premiership, while Celtic slipped to sixth after a 2-1 defeat at Kilmarnock on Sunday.

Stuart Findlay’s header deep into stoppage time at Rugby Park compounded Celtic’s awful start to the campaign.

A second defeat in the Scottish champions’ first six league games, after also failing to qualify for the Champions League, leaves Celtic six points behind early leaders Hearts.

“When you are a huge club, the demand is to win,” said Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

“In the last couple of years we’ve done that really well and playing in a style that is synonymous with the club. It hasn’t been the same but we have to work to make it better.”

Rodgers made six changes from the side that laboured to a 1-0 Europa League win over Rosenborg in midweek.

Leigh Griffiths was recalled to the starting line-up after coming off the bench to grab the winner against the Norwegian champions and his diving header put the visitors in front 11 minutes before half-time.

Celtic posted a record turnover of £100 million ($130 million) this week, but their failure to strengthen in the transfer window despite selling star striker Moussa Dembele to Lyon is already being exposed in their bid for an eighth straight Scottish title.

They have now scored just six times in their opening six games and rarely looked like adding to their lead before Chris Burke fired in off the post from 20 yards to bring Kilmarnock level.

Celtic continued to dominate possession without seriously threatening, and were caught again by a sucker punch in the 93rd minute when Findlay stooped to head Burke’s corner into the far corner, sparking wild scenes of celebration from Killie boss Steve Clarke.

In four meetings with Rodgers since Clarke took charge just under a year ago, Kilmarnock have now beaten and drawn with Celtic twice.

Rangers took full advantage to close to within five points of Hearts as they showed no hangover from an impressive 2-2 draw at Villarreal in the Europa League on Thursday.

Captain James Tavernier curled home a free-kick to open the scoring before Alfredo Morelos doubled the hosts’ advantage at Ibrox.

Scott Arfield, Kyle Lafferty and Daniel Candeias were also on target after the break, while Blair Alston scored a consolation for the Saints from the penalty spot.

AFP

Europa League: Chelsea Secure Slim Victory, Rangers Hold Villarreal

Chelsea’s French forward Olivier Giroud (L) and Chelsea’s Spanish defender Marcos Alonso Mendoza (C) celebrate after Chelsea won the UEFA Europa League Group L first-leg football match against PAOK Thessaloniki at the Toumba stadium in Thessaloniki on September 20, 2018. Sakis MITROLIDIS / AFP

 

Willian’s early goal in Greece gave Premier League leaders Chelsea a 1-0 win over PAOK in the Europa League on Thursday, while Steven Gerrard’s Rangers twice fought back to earn a 2-2 draw at Villarreal.

Eden Hazard was omitted from the Chelsea squad at his own request due to fatigue, but manager Maurizio Sarri fielded a strong side for the Blues’ opening game in Group L at a hostile Toumba Stadium.

Brazil winger Willian struck after just seven minutes with a first-time finish after an assist from Ross Barkley to extend Chelsea’s winning run to six games in all competitions.

Rangers acquitted themselves well on their first appearance in the group stage of a European competition since the 2010-11 Champions League, as they came away with battling point in Spain.

A disastrous start for the Scottish side saw Carlos Bacca fire Villarreal ahead inside 60 seconds, but Scott Arfield turned home a cross from Daniel Candeias to level on 67 minutes.

Gerard Moreno put the hosts back in front almost immediately, only for Kyle Lafferty to again hit back for Rangers as Gerrard’s men made a solid start in Group G.

Marseille, last season’s runners-up, slumped to a 2-1 home defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in Group H as Luka Jovic grabbed an 89th-minute winner for the reigning German Cup champions.

Lucas Ocampos opened the scoring early for Marseille, who were playing behind closed doors at the Stade Velodrome after numerous crowd incidents last season.

But Lucas Torro levelled on 52 minutes for Eintracht before Jovic’s late strike won it.

Record five-time winners Sevilla launched their Group J campaign with a 5-1 rout of Standard Liege, as Ever Banega and Wissam Ben Yedder both netted twice for the Spaniards.

AFP

Gerrard Wishes He Was Playing In Old Firm Debut

Steven Gerrard Unveiled As New Rangers Boss
Former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard smiles as he holds up a Rangers scarf in the trophy room as he is unveiled as Rangers’ new manager at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland on May 4, 2018. ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP

 

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is prepared for the cauldron of Celtic Park in his first taste of the Old Firm derby on Sunday but wishes he was still playing rather than taking charge of the visitors.

Legendary former Liverpool captain Gerrard has made an impressive start to his first senior managerial role in Glasgow.

Rangers are unbeaten in 12 games under Gerrard and sealed their place in the Europa League group stages, where they will face Villarreal, Rapid Vienna and Spartak Moscow, on Thursday by holding out for a 1-1 draw at Russian side Ufa despite being reduced to nine men.

The blue side of the Glasgow divide were thrashed 5-0 on their last visit to Celtic Park as the Scottish champions sealed a seventh straight title in May.

But Gerrard’s arrival and 14 new signings have injected a fresh air of optimism at Ibrox over the past three months.

“This is a big game for me of course, I can’t compare it to playing but I wish I was on Sunday,” said Garrard. “These are the games you want to be part of.

“We know Celtic will come out the blocks quick to try and get the crowd going. We have to be ready from the first whistle.”

Gerrard’s former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has an excellent record in Old Firm games since taking charge of Celtic two years ago.

The Northern Irishman has overseen nine wins and two draws in 11 meetings with Rangers, racking up an aggregate score of 30-6 in the process.

But Gerrard believes his side showed a resolve not seen in many years at Rangers with a robust defensive display to seal a 2-1 aggregate win in Russia in midweek and can cross the city confident of a first victory at Celtic Park since 2010 on Sunday.

“It’s a big game on Sunday against a tough team so we have to recover and prepare well. We are going there confident,” added Gerrard.

“We have players in the squad with experience playing in front of a big crowd but we are aware of the challenge of playing away from home.

“We feel like we are building something special here, these are the sort of games we want to be a part of and it will be fantastic for the supporters and the squad.”

AFP

Mixed Feelings For Gerrard After First Premiership Win

Steven Gerrard Unveiled As New Rangers Boss
Former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard smiles as he holds up a Rangers scarf in the trophy room as he is unveiled as Rangers’ new manager at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland on May 4, 2018. ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP

 

Former Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard complimented his Rangers players in delivering him his first victory as manager in the Scottish Premiership but warned them to improve their discipline following the 2-0 win over St Mirren on Sunday.

Gerrard’s side had shown great resolve to take the three points as Ross McCrorie got a straight red card just after the half-hour mark for a professional foul on Nicolai Brock-Madsen.

However, they were already 2-0 up when McCrorie was sent off.

Alfredo Morelos, who was sent off last weekend although his red card has been rescinded and reduced to a yellow, got his third goal of the season after some sloppy St Mirren defending and center-back Connor Goldson struck with his first goal for the club to give Rangers a two-goal advantage.

“I’ve spoken to the team and praised them for the result,” said Gerrard, whose side opened with a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen last weekend and are two points off leaders Hearts after two matches.

“But I’ve also spoken about discipline and composure out there.

“It’s difficult enough with 11 men. We’re picking up too many red and yellow cards for my liking. But we’ll learn, grow and keep going.”

Goldson went close to making it 3-0 as his header hit the post.

St Mirren had very little to offer although Danny Mullen, who has been in fine form with three to his name this term, hit the bar.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers quashed suggestions he could walk away from the Scottish champions due to disagreements with the club’s board over transfer spending despite falling to an early season 1-0 defeat at Hearts on Saturday.

Rodgers has masterminded two consecutive domestic trebles since joining the Glasgow giants, but publicly voiced his frustration at not adding to his squad before a 1-1 draw at home to Greek champions AEK Athens in the Champions League third qualifying round in midweek.

Northern Irish veteran Kyle Lafferty’s fine strike from the edge of the box 11 minutes after half-time sent Craig Levein’s men to the top of the table with maximum points from their opening two games.

“Of course we want quality players but there’s still improvement in this squad, this team, lots of young players so we’ll continue to work with and improve them,” said Rodgers.

“I love my life here. Despite all reports, there’s talk of ultimatums with the board, I don’t work that way, my communication is very open, so that’s certainly not the case.”

AFP

Steven Gerrard Unveiled As New Rangers Boss

Steven Gerrard Unveiled As New Rangers Boss
Former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard smiles as he holds up a Rangers scarf in the trophy room as he is unveiled as Rangers’ new manager at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland on May 4, 2018. ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP

 

Rangers unveiled former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard as their new manager on Friday, handing the rookie boss the daunting task of ending Celtic’s domination of the Scottish Premiership.

Gerrard, who has previously only worked with Liverpool’s Under-18s, takes the helm of the giant club who have fallen on hard times in the past decade despite winning a record 54 Scottish titles.

Celtic — under Brendan Rodgers, Gerrard’s former boss at Anfield — are bidding for an unprecedented successive treble and are unbeaten against their Old Firm rivals in 11 games but Gerrard said he could not wait to get his teeth into the new role.

“I’m very aware of Rangers, the size of the club, I’ve watched them from afar and been lucky enough to watch some of the Old Firm games,” he told a press conference at the club’s Ibrox stadium.

“It was a no-brainer for me. There were a lot of different things to think about but from that first phone call I got a special feeling and I knew that Rangers were for me.”

Gerrard, who named former Liverpool team-mate Gary McAllister as his assistant, said he could not help his lack of experience, adding that he had missed the pressure of fighting for three points since he stopped playing.

“I know there will be a lot of pressure and a lot of scrutiny but that’s what I love about football,” added the 37-year-old, who hung up his boots in 2016 after a 12-month stint with LA Galaxy.

Chairman Dave King said Gerrard “ticked every box” other than experience.

“A lot of the other managers who have been named, they have had experience but that experience was not necessarily good,” he said. “Steven’s character outweighed his inexperience.”

– Inspirational captain –

Gerrard was an inspirational captain and Champions League winner in a 17-year career at Anfield but now faces a different challenge against Celtic, who sealed the Scottish title on Sunday with a 5-0 thumping of Rangers.

The arrival of the former England midfielder will restore some star power to a league that has found it increasingly hard to attract and hold onto top players against the booming television revenues of the Premier League.

Rangers are still recovering from the fallout of their liquidation in 2012 and subsequent demotion to the fourth tier of Scottish football.

In their second season back in the top flight, Rangers trail Celtic by 13 points, and are locked in a battle with Aberdeen and Hibernian just to finish second.

Celtic’s Rodgers, speaking before the official announcement, had warm words for his former player.

“As a guy he was ultra-professional, (he had) incredible qualities as a footballer,” he said.

“That level of professionalism all his career made him a great player so I am sure he will take all those attributes into management.”

Rangers fans excited by the prospect of Gerrard’s arrival said he could help the club recruit better-quality players in what is expected to be a busy transfer window.

But the club still have to overcome a huge financial disparity with Celtic. Bolstered by revenue from the Champions League, Celtic’s £90 million ($122 million) turnover last year was three times that of their Old Firm rivals.

Caretaker manager Graeme Murty, who had been promoted from his role as the club’s under-20 coach, was sacked this week after six months in charge.

AFP

Ugwuanyi Unveils Gbenga Ogunbote As Rangers’ New Coach

The Governor of Enugu State, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has unveiled Gbenga Ogunbote as the new coach of the state-owned Enugu Rangers International Football Club.

This follows the September 12 dissolution of Board and Management of Rangers Management Corporation and termination of appointment of contract staff.

The previous management was axed after Rangers finished in a disappointing 14th spot last season.

Coach Ogunbote who replaces Sylvanus Okpara is confident that his antecedents and experience from Enyimba, Sunshine Stars, and some other clubs in the Nigerian Premier League will help him take the Enugu Rangers to greater heights.

See pictures below:

 

Rangers Sack Manager Pedro Caixinha

Pedro Caixinha. Photo: twitter account//@PedroCaixinhaDT

Pedro Caixinha was sacked as Rangers manager on Thursday after just seven months in charge, the Scottish Premiership club announced on Thursday.

“The decision to part company with Pedro was taken after careful consideration and the search for a new manager will begin immediately,” read a statement from the Glasgow giants.

Rangers are currently fourth in the Scottish Premiership but already eight points behind leaders and arch Glasgow rivals Celtic, the reigning champions, only 10 games into the season.

The Rangers board took the decision to end Portuguese coach Caixinha’s difficult time at Ibrox following Wednesday’s 1-1 home draw with lowly Kilmarnock.

Under-20s boss Graeme Murty will now take caretaker charge of the first team for the second time this year when Rangers travel to Edinburgh for a match against Hearts on Saturday.

“Rangers Football Club announce today (Thursday) that Pedro Caixinha has left the club,” said the club statement.

“Pedro was appointed in March this year but results have been disappointing and not commensurate with the level of investment that was made available.”

AFP

LMC Confirms Arrest Of Three Suspects In Referee Assault

The League Management Company (LMC) has confirmed the arrest of three suspects in connection with the assault of match officials in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) game between Wikki Tourists and Rangers in Bauchi.

The suspects have been charged to court for attacking match officials during the match on Sunday.

Those arrested by the Nigerian Police Force are 35-year-old Mohammed Isa, 30-year-old Hamisu Mohammed, and 24-year-old Yola Ishaya.

LMC says the management of Wikki Tourists is cooperating with the police.

NPFL: LMC Sanctions Rangers N5m Over Amapakabo’s Contract Breach

Federation Cup, enugu rangers, Rangers, Imama Amapakabo, NPFLThe League Management Company (LMC) has fined Rangers International FC N5 million for violating the rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

This followed the failure of the ‘Flying Antelopes’ to comply with the mediation proceedings between them and their former coach, Imama Amapakabo, over breach of contract.

Rangers have been ordered to pay Amapakabo the sum of N17 million representing his salaries, allowances and wrongful termination of his contract.

Rangers secretary, Joseph Onwukwe has also been banned from NPFL activities for a period of one year.

 

 

Rangers Announce Joey Barton’s Return To Training

Joey Barton, RangersScottish club, Rangers have announced that Joey Barton will return to full-time training.

The club made the announcement on Wednesday, following an earlier suspension imposed on the British midfielder.

“Joey Barton has been told he will return to full-time training following the conclusion of a disciplinary procedure.

“The Auchenhowie management team will inform the player of appropriate training arrangements to which he must adhere for as long as he remains a Rangers player.

“Neither the club nor the player will comment further,”the club said on its website.

The 34-year-old had been absent from Rangers since a training-ground row in the wake of September’s 5-1 loss to Celtic.

Barton, who joined the Scottish side from Burnley in May, had revealed his determination to return and fight for his place in the squad.