STEVEN GERRARD praised matchwinner Alfredo Morelos following the 1-0 victory over Croatia’s NK Osijek – Rangers’ first away triumph in Europe in TEN years.

The Colombian frontman took some flak after missing several chances in the Ibrox side’s opening Europa League ties with Shkupi.

However, Morelos made amends last night when he nodded in the crucial away goal after 18 minutes at the City Gardens Stadium.

Gerrard said: “We’re very happy with him. His application and his work-rate in training has been superb. And I think he got his reward for that on this occasion. I thought his performance was selfless. He ran his socks off for the team.

“His goalkeeper and defenders are thanking him and giving him credit for the work and shift that he put in for us. He should be proud of himself.”

THE CHASE IS ON…Alfredo Morelos in action against Celtic’s Dedryck Boyata last season.

The last time Gers claimed victory inside 90 minutes away from home in European competition was against Sporting Lisbon in 2008 as Walter Smith’s team fought their way towards the UEFA Cup Final.

Gerrard added: “I thought the performance was strong. Defensively, we were very good and I thought there were some heroic individual performances in amongst that.

“I’m happy and satisfied – but at the same time I have a lot of respect for the opposition and know there is still work to do.

We’ll need another display like that in seven days’ time.

“Tonight wasn’t a performance for our attacking players. It wouldn’t have looked great on the eye. But that’s how you get success in Europe.

“You’ve got to come to places like this and be hard to play against, weather the storm, not concede goals and try to get something at the other end.”

* Gerrard was speaking to Rangers TV.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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