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GERRARD SALUTES RECORD-BREAKERS

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STEVEN GERRARD watched Rangers set a European club record following their goalless draw against Spartak Moscow at Ibrox last night.

The Gers have now gone 11 successive games undefeated in a single Continental campaign.

The stalemate against the Russians leaves Gerrard’s side level on five points with Villarreal after the Spaniards thrashed Rapid Vienna 5-0.

The Glasgow outfit, however, stay top of Europa League Group G based on their head-to-head record following last month’s 2-2 draw at El Madrigal.

Gerrard said: “I would certainly have signed up for being top of the group at this stage. We have got five points alongside Villarreal and three games to go, so there are a lot of hard work and big challenges ahead.

“The job has become a little bit more difficult because we never got the breakthrough on this occasion. I understand that. But there is still loads of football to play and big games for the players to play in and me to coach in. I am really excited going forward.”

Spartak, who earlier this week sacked boss Massimo Carrera and had fitness coach Raul Riancho in temporary command, were well enough organised to limit the Scots to half-chances.

The Ibrox gaffer commented: “It was just that little bit of magic or last bit of quality we needed. We did enough to marginally win the game maybe. We played very well for 45 minutes. We lost control for 10 or 15 minutes in the second-half.

“We kept winning the ball back and instead of making four or five passes, we gave it back to them and lost our shape and our way.

“Then we came strong into the game again for the final part. We always felt our fitness might be the difference in the final stages.

“We asked them at half-time if they could create that moment which gives us the breakthrough. We created the moment, but just couldn’t finish it off.”

But Gerrard did take time to salute his record-breakers after watching them surpass Walter Smith’s 1992/93 team to set a new benchmark.

He added: “I feel very proud of the team in general and to find out yesterday that if we avoided defeat we created a bit of history, that is always a bonus as far as I am concerned.

“It is a nice thing for people to talk about, but our focus now shifts swiftly to Aberdeen at the weekend, which is a huge game.”

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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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