Cyprus Mail

Gerrard feels frustrated after Old Firm derby defeat

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard's first taste of the Old Firm derby proved a bitter one as Celtic emerged with a thoroughly-deserved 1-0 victory at Parkhead

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard claimed referee Willie Collum wrongly ignored the advice of fourth official John Beaton before Celtic broke to score their winner in a feisty Ladbrokes Premiership derby at Parkhead.

In the 62nd minute, Hoops midfielder Tom Rogic tangled with Ryan Jack, leaving the Light Blues player prostrate, before racing up the park where midfielder Olivier Ntcham finished off the move for the 1-0 win.

It was Gerrard’s first defeat as Rangers boss in his 13th game while Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers extended his unbeaten run against the Ibrox men to 12 games since he took over in 2016.

Gerrard, who expects to sign Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley when he returns from international duty, said: “For me it is a foul and it is also a foul for the fourth official. He is shouting down his microphone, ‘foul, foul, foul’.

“The referee in the middle has ignored that advice but for me it is a blatant foul. He has swept his legs.

“Jacko has done well to get himself between the man and the ball and for me it is a clear foul.

“I spoke to him (the referee) and he disagreed but when he sees it (again) I think he will change his mind. I have seen it again five times and it is a foul.”

The former Liverpool and England captain, who worked under Rodgers at Liverpool, admitted Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor was fortunate not to be punished for flicking a leg at Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer in the first half.

He said: “I think he has lashed out. Of course I will speak to him. I am honest. I will tell you what I see. If something is blatant it is blatant.”

Rodgers took a contrary view to his former captain on the Jack incident.

He said: “I didn’t see it as a foul. The ball came out of the box and both of them have come together.

“There wasn’t a lot of contact from both really. What is most important is the referee, Willie was right on the spot so he sees it.

“We still have a lot of work to do breaking away, it was very impressive.

“I thought we performed exceptionally.

“Allan McGregor has made some outstanding saves, we hit the crossbar, it probably kept the scoreline down a little bit.

“It was an outstanding win for us and equally a very good performance and I am delighted.”

Gerrard insists he seen enough from his side to give him encouragement.

He said: “We played against a team who have been together for two years – and even prior to that – and they have a lot more experience than this group of players.

“They know how to win, we know they are a good team but I see enough today to feel if we can get bodies back and new signings up to speed, I believe we can be a match for Celtic certainly in the next fixture.

“Rangers have been blown away in previous derby games…completely annihilated and scorelines that are not acceptable.

“I am not saying 1-0 is acceptable but I have seen enough today (to know) that we are working in the right direction.”

Gerrard said of the possible signing of 38-year-old McAuley, who left West Brom in May, “I hope that it is going to be the case.

“There is no rush on it. That will be the last deal.”

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