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RAISING THE ROOFE: GERRARD HAILS ‘MOMENT OF GENIUS’

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STEVEN GERRARD saluted Kemar Roofe’s moment of genius that cemented Rangers’ 2-0 opening win over Standard Liege in the Europa League Group D in Belgium last night.

The former Anderlecht and Leeds United frontman, who joined the Ibrox outfit in the summer, sent a glorious strike from just inside his own half soaring high over the head of the startled home keeper for a memorable effort.

Gerrard insisted he had never seen a better goal live and admitted none of his goals for Liverpool and England comes close to Roofe’s amazing effort.

James Tavernier fired Gers ahead from the penalty spot in the first-half as the Light Blues claimed their first away win in a group-stage outing since Walter Smith’s team beat Lyon in 2007.

However, it was Roofe’s 50-yard effort that captured the headlines and Gerrard, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “None of my goals were in that league.

“I think it was a moment of genius. I’ve been lucky enough to watch it five or six times since the end of the game and it’s the actual build-up and preparation before the strike.

“He knocks two people off the ball with sheer strength on a very difficult pitch in the worst conditions I’ve seen.

ROARING SUCCESS…Steven Gerrard has something to shout about.

“Then he manages to take someone on – and to then have the vision and audacity to try the strike in the first place, I just think that’s a moment of genius.

“And it’s probably the best goal I’ve seen live – and I’ve been a professional since 1998. Unbelievable strike and he deserves all the plaudits for it.”

Roofe’s celebrations did not go down well with the hosts. He was booked in the aftermath of his goal, but a member of the Liege backroom staff took matters into his own hands during a confrontation at full-time. Their coming-together sparked a touchline bust-up between both sets of players.

Gerrard admitted he does not know if the melee will bring a punishment from the UEFA disciplinary committee and added: “I can’t control what comes our way from that.

“I don’t think I’d describe it as ugly. I think it’s too harsh. I think it was a little something or nothing.

“They were disappointed in Kemar’s celebration. Okay, but Kemar was punished for that and that’s for me to deal with and for me to handle.

“They are obviously very frustrated that they have been beaten for the first time in six years on their home patch.

“It’s not nice to lose football matches, especially when you’re the favourites to win them. We can understand the frustrations, but it was disappointing. We thought it could have been avoided.”

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Editor

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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