Steven Gerrard hailed the return of resurgent Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos as he declared: « He’s back with a bang ».
The Colombian wasn’t his usual productive self this season, but he shook off any doubt with a fatal double in Gers’ 2-1 win over Aberdeen in Pittodrie.
The win removes another major hurdle on the way to the Ibrox Club’s 55th championship title and brings them 22 points ahead of the top.
Skipper James Tavernier missed his first penalty in 15 months after Don’s wideman Ryan Hedges was sent off for an awkward penalty against Morelos while the runaway leaders were guilty in the second half when Matty Kennedy withdrew a goal.
But Gerrard was delighted to see Morelos back under the goals as he increased his season record to 10.
The Ibrox boss, whose team has now won 15 Premiership games in a row, said: « All of my front players looked dangerous today. Ryan Kent was a threat, Joe Aribo got another support ung and Alfredo is back with a bang, which is probably the most enjoyable. » Thing apart from the points.
« He was pretty selfless about the work he did for the team but he has suffered a little, like most strikers from time to time, with his confidence in front of the goal, but you saw that return today.
« His two goals were excellent. There were signs of it – his goal against St. Mirren and his chance against St. Johnstone. He looked a lot more dangerous.
« He deserves his Man of the Game award and if we keep him where he is now he will be of great help in the future. » </ Tavernier failed to get off the penalty spot 10 minutes in a row when he shot wide with the goalless game and Gerrard said, "It shows that he's primarily human.
» He’s with Sure, an excellent penalty taker, he misunderstood him today, but we will support and support him anyway.
« I think the result should have been clearer. I thought we were excellent until the 2-0. Against 10 men we kept our standards but then I thought we got a little sloppy. «
» I’m looking for more leadership on the pitch. There are a lot of things we have to look at, but nine of them To get nine points from Aberdeen is a great effort for the guys. «
Hedges was sent off after cutting off Morelos’ heels when he was ready to pull the trigger from five meters.
And Don’s boss Derek McInnes admitted that he now realizes that he cannot argue with the decision to fire Hedges.
« I had complaints at the time, » he said. « I had the feeling at the time that Ryan did everything he could not to meet the challenge.
» He didn’t want to run in Morelos in the back and as a result we knew that Morelos would get his shot off. You can see it in Hedges’ body movement.
« The irony is, if we actually tried and stole him down and didn’t win the ball, he would have gotten a yellow card and we would have gone on with 11 men can play.
« It seems like a really unfair result, but the referee, John Beaton, explained it to me at half time. He said I have nowhere to go with it. I know it was a fluke, but because it wasn’t a real attempt it must be a red card. Once he explains it, it must be said that it was the right decision based on the laws. «
Aberdeen: Lewis, Hoban, Taylor (Edmondson 89), Considine, Hedges, Campbell, Ferguson, Hayes, Wright (Kennedy 58), Main (Logan 44), Cosgrove.
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