Rangers: Steven Gerrard says ‘big moments’ went against side in League Cup final loss to Celtic
Rangers were made to rue “big moments” going against them in their Scottish League Cup final defeat by Celtic, says manager Steven Gerrard.
Wasted chances, including a missed penalty by Alfredo Morelos, allowed 10-man Celtic to grind out a 1-0 win.
Television pictures also showed Christopher Jullien’s second-half winner should have been ruled out for offside.
“The big moments haven’t gone in our favour today,” Gerrard said.
“We conceded from a set-piece which we shouldn’t have given away and had to defend it better. There were three Celtic players standing in offside positions but unfortunately we play in a country where there is no VAR.
“I’d be a liar if I said I was 100% in favour of it, but the one thing I do know is that officials up here need support.”
Morelos was the player fouled for the penalty as Celtic’s Jeremie Frimpong was sent off, but the Colombian was unable to convert for his first goal against Celtic.
Captain James Tavernier had been Rangers’ penalty-taker, but after missing three times from the spot this season Gerrard confirmed he had taken the decision to give the duty to the club’s top scorer Morelos.
“Alfredo was the nominated penalty-taker,” Gerrard said. “It was nothing to do with James passing the buck or anything like that. I decided we needed to change that up.
“The penalty’s a big moment. If you execute there and then, it puts you in a much stronger position. Unfortunately we haven’t taken our chance in that big moment.”
The result means Rangers’ eight-year wait for a trophy goes on, but they have the chance to respond by securing passage to the knockout stages of the Europa League on Thursday.
A draw against Swiss side Young Boys at Ibrox is enough for Gerrard’s side to progress.
“I’ve got a big job to pick them all up because it’s a tough one,” the Rangers boss added. “It’s raw right now but this is football at the top. We’ll suffer and then we’ll bounce back.”
“I’ll stay with these players. On the evidence of what I’ve seen today, performance-wise, I’m staying right behind them.”