Rangers 2-0 Porto: Steven Gerrard praises side after Europa League win

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Updated: 07/12/2022


Steven Davis' strike sealed the victory for Rangers

Steven Gerrard lauded Rangers' win over Porto as “being right up there” with the best of his managerial career after a special Europa League night at Ibrox.

The Portuguese side – quarter-finalists in last year's Champions League – were humbled 2-0 by Gerrard's men after being held 1-1 at home two weeks ago.

Rangers sit level with leaders Young Boys after four games, with Gerrard yet to taste defeat at home in Europe.

“We beat a good team tonight and we've beaten them comfortably,” he said.

“They have good players and over two games we have dominated three halves.

“I thought Porto paid us a big compliment with their set-up, the formation and the personnel they picked.

“It caused us problems and for the first 20-30 minutes their quick movement and system rattled us a bit. But once we came to terms with it we grew into the game.”

The game turned midway through the second half thanks to Alfredo Morelos' 11th European goal of the season, with the Colombian also providing an assist moments later for Steven Davis.

Morelos now sits on 21 goals from 25 games this term.

“That's the reason we talk about him every two or three days,” said Gerrard, who insisted on Sunday the 23-year-old would not be sold in January.

“We'll never run out of things to say if he keeps providing performances and moments like that. Players who keep producing moments like that deserve praise.

“I will never get bored of talking about him. He is a top player and I can't describe how much I enjoy working with him. He's a massive, massive asset to this club.”

Rangers now travel to Rotterdam to take on Feyenoord, knowing a victory would secure their place in the knockout stage of the tournament.

“It puts us in a good place in the group but still a lot of work to do, two tough games to go,” said Gerrard.

“It's a fantastic carrot for us. It will be really tough. They have a new manager [Dick Advocaat] now, I'm sure there will be a bounce. We will have a game plan, we will work on it.”

Meanwhile, Porto boss Sergio Conceicao bemoaned an injury which forced experienced defender Pepe off early in the second half.

“Rangers took advantage of our fragility,” he said. “The first half was fairly balanced and I thought it was going OK. However, Pepe's injury affected the result.”

‘A great night for Scottish football' – analysis

Former Rangers striker Billy Dodds on Radio Scotland

I was there at the start of that run that took Rangers to the Uefa Cup final. We didn't start that season thinking ‘we're going to get to the final'. I just remember it all happening and Walter Smith started taking it seriously. I'm not saying Rangers or Celtic are going to get to a final but that's where it starts. When you start defeating teams like Lazio and Porto then you begin to believe.

Former Rangers winger Neil McCann on Radio Scotland

I think the Old Firm are in a really good place at the moment. They're so finely balanced but I like that there's a bit of a swagger about both sides. To come and get results like they did tonight in European football is brilliant and it can't be overstated how good a night this is for Scottish football. We've done a number on two very good teams.

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