Steven Gerrard believes referee Don Robertson should have taken stronger action against Hibs’ defenders for challenges on his players during a dramatic 2-2 draw at Easter Road.
Ryan Porteous was booked for a foul on Alfredo Morelos, while Hibs captain Paul Hanlon received a yellow card for an arm in the face of Ianis Hagi.
At the full-time whistle, Porteous remonstrated with both Morelos and Rangers captain James Tavernier when they both refused to shake hands with him. There was also an exchange of words between Porteous and Gerrard with the Rangers manager appearing to point out the area of the pitch where the Hibs player was sent off last December for a wild challenge on Borna Barisic.
“I think there could have been more action taken,” said Gerrard. “But that’s out of my control.
“I didn’t see the (Porteous) incident initially. I think Porteous was saying that Tav’s a bad loser which I think is a bit cheap coming from him. He got sent off for a really bad tackle when he was losing 3-0 against us here last season.”
Rangers had further cause to take issue with the match officials who failed to spot Martin Boyle in an offside position in the build-up to Hibs’ second goal scored by Christian Doidge. It earned Jack Ross’ men a point after their first-half opener by Drey Wright had been overturned by goals from Alfredo Morelos and Scott Arfield.
But Gerrard was more concerned by the frailties in his defence whose record-breaking sequence of clean sheets at the start of a league season came to an end.
“Every time you drop points as Rangers manager, it’s frustrating,” said Gerrard. “We conceded two sloppy goals and we’ll look into that and speak to the individuals involved.
“It’s very difficult to win football matches if you concede two goals, especially away from home. Hibs are a good side, they are dangerous and carry a threat. Their front two caused us problems at times today.
“From going a goal down, we did extremely well to get ourselves in front. Our second goal was fantastic, one of the best goals we have scored. From that moment, we need to manage the game better. That’s where the frustration comes in. It’s two points dropped and we go away frustrated.
“They caused us two problems and goals have come from there. We made the team very aware Boyle was a big threat. When you get him in one-on-one situations, you’ve got to take his weak side.
“We didn’t defend those situations well. For the second one, the situation with Tav shouldn’t happen, Borna could have won the head and Connor Goldson could have cleared his lines. As a collective unit, we didn’t defend it well.
“It was offside but over the course of a season, some you get and some you don’t. That one hasn’t gone our way but we have to defend it better. We can’t use the offside as an excuse.”
Arfield was denied a late winner for Rangers by a brilliant double save by Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano, leaving the midfielder to remonstrate with himself.
“I need to score there, I can’t get it out of my head,” said Arfield. “I haven’t seen it back yet. At least the second one has to go in. The first one is a good save but I should finish it. I think he just throws his body at the second one but it shouldn’t come to that. I have got to score it. I don’t think they had a chance after that. On a personal note, it is good to get a goal and get on the scoresheet but these are the chances that you need to take and we need to win these games. I apologise and we move on as quickly as possible. It is a miss, without a doubt.”