STEVEN GERRARD was raging after dreadful defending allowed Spartak Moscow to come back three times to win 4-3 in their Europa League clash in the Russian capital last night.

The Ibrox boss was left frustrated at his team’s first loss in Europe this season and they have now dropped five points against Spartak in Group G after the goalless draw a fortnight ago.

Asked if defensive changes may have played a part in the setback, Gerrard answered: “Possibly. I’ll take responsibility for that.

“But I think Under-12s and Under-13s can normally clear the ball with either foot and when you get a little bit older you learn to play the game positionally. So, I’m a bit confused over that one.”

The rookie gaffer was undoubtedly making a reference to blundering Connor Goldson who sliced a clearance beyond Allan McGregor for the second equaliser.

He added: “Normally, to come here and score three goals you get a result. But I’m bitterly disappointed with how we defended. You saw two sides of our performance tonight.

“We attacked very well and were very dangerous and countered very bravely and got our rewards and took control at half-time.

“However, football is about levels and if you don’t do the basics well enough and defend properly then high level teams will normally punish you.

“We didn’t do the basics well enough or clear our lines at the right times and on other occasions we were not in the right positions.

“People who have had a lot of praise and who did really well to get us to this stage just didn’t do the basics well enough.”


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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