Steven Gerrard: Rangers manager says ‘Maribor had no respect for us’

Steven Gerrard: Rangers manager says ‘Maribor had no respect for us’

Allan McGregor and Steven Gerrard celebrate at full-time. Rangers defeated a “Champions League” team who showed them “no respect”, said manager Steven Gerrard after the Ibrox side’s Europa League win over Maribor. An away goalless draw against the Slovenians – who were in the group stage of Europe’s top competition last season – secured a 3-1 aggregate win. Gerrard’s men will face FC Ufa of Russia in the play-off round next week, with a group-stage place at stake. “They had confidence, they had ego, and they are devastated,” Gerrard said. He added: “They had no respect for us, but my players have proved over two legs we are better than Maribor, and that gives me great confidence going forward.” Gerrard remains unbeaten as Rangers manager since joining in the summer, and his team are now two games from a potential Europa League group-stage place. The draw in Maribor was their eighth competitive match of the season, and the Ibrox manager believes there is still more to come from his group. “My players are giving me this so early, and they are showing they can carry out instructions having only been together for a short spell,” he added.

“I believe we will improve the squad with more personnel and become stronger. And as a group, we will continue to grow. “When we are at Ibrox, there is a certain way of playing. But when you come to difficult places, you have to show a different side and we are doing that very well at the minute.”

 

Salah, Mane and Sturridge on target as Liverpool beat West Ham United 4-0

Salah, Mane & Sturridge on target as Liverpool beat West Ham United 4-0

Mohamed Salah got Liverpool up and running as they comfortably dispatched West Ham in their first Premier League fixture of the season. The Egyptian tapped in a 19th-minute opener from Andy Robertson’s cross on his return to action for the Reds at Anfield. It took the visitors almost half an hour to fashion a chance of note as they struggled to stem the Liverpool attacking tide. Liverpool’s new goalkeeper Alisson, signed for £66.8m from Roma in the summer, comfortably saved a Fabian Balbuena header, one of only two efforts on target for the Hammers.

As the pressure built, the hosts doubled their advantage when Sadio Mane turned in James Milner’s cut-back after being left unmarked six yards from goal. The Senegalese forward added his second and Liverpool’s third early in the second period. Mane appeared marginally offside as he collected Roberto Firmino’s pass, but the flag stayed down and he drilled his effort beyond new West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. New signing Naby Keita, a £50m acquisition from RB Leipzig, impressed in midfield for Jurgen Klopp’s side. He contributed to Liverpool’s first goal and delivered the kind of driving performance that Steven Gerrard once produced wearing the number eight shirt.

Substitute Daniel Sturridge rounded off the scoring with his first touch, 24 seconds after coming on, to ensure Liverpool recorded their 500th victory in the Premier League era. It also maintained their fine Anfield record against West Ham, who have now won just one of their past 46 top-flight visits. Liverpool underline title credentials Liverpool finished fourth last season, 25 points behind Premier League champions Manchester City. However, the nature of their emphatic Champions League quarter-final victory over Pep Guardiola’s side in April, coupled with a league win over City, suggested they could challenge them this term. Liverpool’s attacking prowess has not been in question in recent times. The front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane contributed 91 of the club’s 135 goals last season and they were on song again as Liverpool put four goals past West Ham for the fourth time in a row. Salah’s instinct to find the right position allowed him an easy first, while Mane’s intelligence brought him off the wing into central positions for both his goals. Klopp compared his team to “Rocky Balboa” in the build-up to this game but the depth of his substitutes’ bench and this result may soon see them shed that tag. The German introduced new signing Xherdan Shaqiri, England midfielder Jordan Henderson and Sturridge from the bench but still had midfielders Adam Lallana and Fabinho in reserve.

Tough opening assignment for Hammers If last term turned into a tale of Premier League survival, the arrival of new manager Manuel Pellegrini and 10 summer signings was supposed to bring renewed optimism to West Ham supporters. The Chilean has promised a return to attacking football, after some supporters perceived the style of play in recent seasons as a departure from the ‘West Ham way’. An opening fixture at Anfield was hardly a barometer to judge early progress though. The Hammers have lost more top-flight games against Liverpool than any other side and despite spending around £100m on new recruits this was always going to be a difficult assignment. Pellegrini utilised five of his new faces – Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Balbuena, Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere – from the start on Merseyside. Wilshere was starved of possession in attack, failing to touch the ball in the Liverpool penalty area, and Anderson was withdrawn in the second half after failing to make an impact. Man of the match – Sadio Mane (Liverpool) Sadio Mane was a constant threat for Liverpool and scored twice with his two shots on targetWhat they said – ‘better than I could have expected’ Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told Match of the Day: “We played as good as possible today and we extended a really good pre-season into the Premier league. “It was good, not surprisingly good, but it was better than I could have expected because I saw a lot of pre-season hope on the pitch. “The performance of all the boys and the midfield of James [Milner] and Georginio Wijnaldum was outstanding. ”

It’s only the middle of August and then in September the games will come. The future of football will be rotation. We need to be ready and have that quality. “I told the boys one or two could be disappointed but that will change, if they make the best of their time.” West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini told Match of the Day: “We knew before the game that our start was very difficult. In our first few games we need to play some of the big teams. “It’s difficult to play when you concede four goals. We started the second half and the referee didn’t see a clear offside. “We need to win our second game. We need to work during the week and try to win three points at home. We not only have nine new players, but three or four players who were not completely fit in pre-season. “We need to improve in attack and continue working. I am sure next Saturday we will see a team that is trying to win.” Match stats – Mane emulates Barnes Liverpool are only the second side in Premier League history to score four or more goals in four consecutive games against a single opponent, after Tottenham v Stoke. West Ham have lost their season opener 12 times in the Premier League, more than any other side. West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has lost more Premier League games against Liverpool than he has against any other opponent in the competition (P7 W2 D0 L5). Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in five goals in his three Premier League meetings with West Ham for Liverpool (four goals, one assist). Salah has scored 20 goals in his 20 Premier League games at Anfield for Liverpool. Only Andrew Cole and Alan Shearer (both 41 goals), have scored more in their first 50 Premier League appearances than Salah (35).

Sadio Mane is the first Liverpool player to score in three consecutive opening top-flight fixtures since John Barnes between 1989-90 and 1991-92 What’s next? Liverpool go to Crystal Palace on Monday, 20 August (20:00 BST) while West Ham host Bournemouth on Saturday (15:00 BST).

 

Rangers stroll to win despite McCrorie red

Rangers stroll to win despite McCrorie red

Goldson, left, doubles Rangers’ lead against St Mirren at Ibrox

If there were similarities between the managers, there were none to be found between the teams at Ibrox yesterday as Rangers, reduced to ten men after only half an hour, saw out a comfortable victory against St Mirren.

Two goals up when Ross McCrorie was given a straight red card for his late lunge on Nicolai Brock-Madsen, the home side retained the upper hand and could have added to their total in a match that maintains their early momentum under Steven Gerrard. He and Alan Stubbs, his St Mirren counterpart, come from the same area of Liverpool and played against each other in the Merseyside derby, but you wonder how many goals would have separated them here had it not been for that first-half dismissal. Want to read more? Register with a few details to continue reading this article

 

Rivals’ arrogance ended up my Rangers to Europa League advancement, shows Gerrard

Rivals’ arrogance fired up my Rangers for Europa League progress, reveals Gerrard

Steven Gerrard maintained loud-mouthed Osijek played Rangers’ hands using their cocky pre-match remarks. The Croatians’ midfielder Robert Mudrazija stated his side were”much better, more powerful, more skilful” compared to Rangers while boss Zoran Zekic had a lot to say in front of the Europa League showdown in Ibrox.

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Gerrard said:”Talking does not win you football games, it will not get you results. Occasionally it will not assist your players, it simply pushes the resistance. “We thrive on all that sort of conversation. We appreciated it. My gamers came out and played like guys and we did our talking on the pitch. “I am absolutely delighted with all the players and today it is about dusting down ourselves for a major game (against Aberdeen) in the weekend” Borna Barisic became the first player to internet against Gerrard’s Gers together with his last-minute attack, however, the hosts prevailed on for a 2-1 aggregate win to put up this metting with Maribor. With just a slim lead from a week’s battle in the City Garden Stadium, there was always guaranteed to become an anxious atmosphere around Ibrox. Lassana Coulibaly must have settled the nerves only four minutes, but he blazed over from close range after being chosen from Ryan Kent’s corner-kick. Osijek’s pressing ancient forced Gers profound, but it was the hosts who came close to landing a sucker punch as Ryan Jack delivered Morelos scampering in behind. The angle was contrary to the Colombian, however, since Osijek goalkeeper Marko Malenica assembled his low attack, doing exactly the same as Daniel Candeias pulled the trigger by the border of the box. It was stressed, aggressive stuff.

The Light Blues loyal held their collective breath following 18 moments when Ovie Ejaria attempted to be too smart on halfway. His tried flick was selected off and Osijek bombarded ahead. It required a brave block from Allan McGregor to refuse Mudrazija, while the keeper needed to bail out Gers again seven minutes before the rest as his defence went to sleep, initially pulling off an acrobatic stop to refuse Ezekiel Henty before jump up to parry Petar Bockaj’s followup. But having endured these temptations, Rangers climbed in confidence. Just a last-gasp lunge by Alex Grgic early in the next period ceased Kent delivering a devastating blow as he joined with Coulibaly’s ball into the back post. But that just postponed the inevitable and from the subsequent corner Gers struck. Some more composure may have seen them place the tie into bed entirely, but Kent awakened new air while Coulibaly virtually struck the corner flag two adequate openings came and moved in awkward fashion.

Morelos let his frustration show if Kent’s hesitation in releasing his pass price that the striker the opportunity of a run-in on target. Ejaria barely did him some favours minutes afterwards because his over-hit ball behind left Morelos with just the side-netting to aim at. The tension increased in the last moment when Barisic fired a deflected shot past McGregor to be the first player to internet against Gerrard’s Gers, but the hosts held to advance. • Emergency services were called to take care of mass brawls and violence out Ibrox from the build-up to last night’s battle with Osijek. Footage on societal media seemed to reveal fights between a few fans of both clubs before the next qualifying round second-leg tie. Film uploaded into Twitter seemed to reveal one clear supporter being kicked around the body when lying prone on the street, while the other was seen running about holding and waving a flare. Police officers can be seen liner Paisley Road West and Edmiston Drive about the strategy into the scene. Witness Marianne Chirray composed on Twitter:”Ibrox is disorderly right now!!! Flares being thrown, people getting kicked in the mind – nightmare!”

Steven Gerrard reveals precisely the place Rangers are proper now by way of progress

Steven Gerrard reveals precisely the place Rangers are proper now by way of progress

Steven Gerrard has risen to the problem of sudden questions off the sphere and he’s backing his workforce to search out the suitable solutions on it. Within the bowels of a stadium named after the daddy of Alexander the Nice, Macedonian army would possibly gave technique to idolisation of a Liverpool legend. A media convention on the Phillip II area after the goalless draw with FC Shkupi, which noticed Rangers progress into the second qualifying spherical of the Europa League on a 2-Zero combination? At instances, it resembled extra of a gathering of the Skopje department of the Anfield fan membership (one actually exists) as declarations of affection had been delivered and occasions of the earlier 90 minutes all however ignored. One native reporter kicked if off by fawning: “I received’t deal with you as Mr Gerrard however Captain Improbable, as a result of that’s what you’re to me.” One other added: “I want you to go all the best way to the Ultimate of the Europa League. You’re a legend at Liverpool and we all know a part of your coronary heart stays at Liverpool. Would you wish to touch upon the signing of Xherdan Shaqiri?” Gerrard straight batted all of it, politely thanking his viewers for his or her compliments and if there was irritation, he did his finest to make it seem minor. On Anfield’s new Swiss midfielder, for instance, he stated: “I’m not going to talk for lengthy on this case as a result of I’m right here for Rangers and to discuss the sport however I want Shaqiri one of the best of luck for his future.” Gerrard shakes Josh Windass’ hand at full time (Picture: Rex/EPA) There was virtually a way of reduction after the formal convention post-match when Gerrard gathered in a hall with a small group of Scottish reporters, who solely reached for his or her mobiles to activate the voice report perform. His evaluation of the efficiency towards Shkupi was filed beneath “skilled sufficient” and after Euro scares and shocks in recent times for the Outdated Agency involving golf equipment resembling Kaunas, Progres Niederkorn, Artmedia Bratislava and Lincoln Purple Imps, he was completely happy to take the outcome and transfer on. He stated: “It was extra of a block and a hurdle for the gamers that skilled it final yr. I knew and I used to be conscious of what we needed to do at this stage and it was about development. “Nevertheless, on the probabilities created we must always by no means have gone into that second match having to place in what we needed to put in. We should always have had it wrapped up. However, on the identical time, it is vitally early, we’re a piece in progress and I’m assured we’ll enhance. “If we get it proper, momentum will construct and now we mud ourselves down and prepare for going away within the subsequent leg. “I’m happy now we have a base and a platform to construct on by way of our form and our distances and the way we seemed, I believed that was good. (Picture: SNS Group) (Picture: SNS Group) “From a optimistic, the 2 centre-halves had been wonderful, Flanno is Flanno, Tav was good. And I believed the 2 lads we put in entrance did a good job – Ryan Jack was good, Ross McCrorie too, other than a couple of little moments. “I’m delighted with one other clear sheet but when we’re going to progress towards groups who’re going to get higher we’d like gamers who’re going to be high performers within the closing third. “With out a shadow of a doubt there will likely be a step up within the subsequent spherical. In my expertise of any European competitors, as quickly as you recover from one hurdle the subsequent turns into that bit harder.” Gerrard’s rebuke of the sharpness of his gamers within the closing third is tempered by his acknowledgement his first two aggressive video games of the season towards Schkupi had been successfully used as pre-season health builders. He will likely be inspired by the efficiency of Ovie Ejaria, for instance, who has made an impression off the bench within the final two video games and Scott Arfield, injured for the sport in Macedonia, will return to coaching this week and produce an aggression and creativity in key areas. Gerrard nonetheless has to combine new mortgage signings Lassana Coulibaly and Umar Sadiq and there are more likely to be at the very least one other three new arrivals on the membership earlier than the switch window closes on the finish of subsequent month. Lassana Coulibaly and Umar Sadiq have nonetheless to return into the aspect (Picture: SNS) He added: “We should always have received the sport towards Shkupi, though our sport administration was actually good. The emphasis was on the Macedonians to return at us and we thought they might take extra dangers. “We had that likelihood with Middleton on the finish and he’ll be taught and go throughout the keeper in future. I requested Ovie to go on and open the door and he did nicely once more. I’m blended in regards to the efficiency, actually completely happy there’s a base and one thing for us to enhance on, however barely involved in regards to the probabilities being missed by the workforce, not people. “We should maintain bettering and elevating the requirements and we’d like gamers who’re going to again themselves within the closing third. We are able to’t maintain counting on clear sheets and organisation and form to get us over the road as a result of sooner moderately than later that received’t occur.” Rangers will journey to play Osijek subsequent week, or Moldova to face Petrocub. The 2 sides meet on Thursday night time in Croatia with their first leg tie evenly balanced at 1-1. (Picture: SNS Group) If Rangers win by way of they nonetheless have a 3rd qualifier and a play-off spherical to barter earlier than the group stage – and all earlier than the top of August. It’s appears to be like a tall order at this stage of their growth beneath Gerrard, however he stated: “The squad is large enough for us to handle and I don’t suppose at this stage we are able to discuss in regards to the video games coming thick and quick. “If we’re to progress all through it can make our numbers larger on the finish of the season and it does take your quantity of video games up. “That’s the reason we’d like a giant, robust squad and gamers able to coming out and in. It’s not going to be the identical 11 each week if you find yourself enjoying Thursday, Sunday, Thursday, Sunday. “By way of depth we’re getting there and the squad is bettering and getting higher, however it’s going to take time.” Learn Extra Steven Gerrard information