How the Russian press reacted to Rangers' 4-3 defeat against Spartak Moscow

The Russian press have reacted to Rangers' Europa League defeat at the hands of Spartak Moscow.
Rangers were beaten 4-3 by Spartak Moscow (Photo:Getty)Rangers were beaten 4-3 by Spartak Moscow (Photo:Getty)
Rangers were beaten 4-3 by Spartak Moscow (Photo:Getty)

Following the victory Spartak midfielder Salvatore Bocchetti hinted that both defences were poor.

He said to Russian title Tass: “We are very happy to win, we experienced so many emotions. We made a great gift to our fans. Such an account does not mean that both teams played poorly in defense. Of course, as a defender, I don’t like that score, the minimum win is better,” said Bocchetti. 'Rangers were unbalanced'

Rangers were beaten 4-3 by Spartak Moscow (Photo:Getty)Rangers were beaten 4-3 by Spartak Moscow (Photo:Getty)
Rangers were beaten 4-3 by Spartak Moscow (Photo:Getty)
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The Russian title suggested that Gerrard's criticism of his team could be detrimental to the team's results in a damning analysis of the former Liverpool captain.

They wrote: "At the post-match press conference, Steven Gerrard did not hide his fury about the defensive performance of his team, and this is not the first time that the legendary midfielder of Liverpool allows himself to be extremely tough, if not degrading, comments about the actions of their players.

"Whether the coach is right, shifting all responsibility for the ugly game to his players, or not - is a debatable question. But here's a fact: three of the four defenders that made up Rangers' defence were signed under his leadership.

"No wonder after the defeat of Aberdeen, which was followed by very caustic words from the manager, the team responded with two very bad performances against Kilmarnock and St Mirren.

"Rangers yesterday, were playing in a foreign land under deafening whistle of hostile ultras and went ahead three times - but their best player was goalkeeper-veteran Allan McGregor, who made four impressive saves. Yes, the team scored three in a foreign field, but the best is the goalkeeper.

"What is this if not a blatant example of team imbalance?"

Despite this condemnatory analysis of Steven Gerrard's Ibrox reign, did concede that Spartak's financial backing far outweighed that of Rangers.

"Let me remind you: the composition of Spartak is estimated at 95 million pounds, and Rangers - at 34 million, which is almost three times less. Over the past two seasons, the most expensive purchase of red-whites cost 11 million pounds (Pedro Rocha, yes-yes), Rangers - 3 million. These figures are then to remind readers that in terms of finances these Clubs are in different weight categories.

Russia Today: 'Spartak a class above'

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The Russian edition of Russia Today was less critical of Rangers and Gerrard

After a slow start to the game, they suggested that Spartak's class ultimately shone through.

They wrote: "The hosts were extremely unfortunate in the game's opening stages - they supported the trend of CSKA and Lokomotiv anddidn't turn up for the first few minutes. After a corner Eremenko cut the ball into his own goal.

"In the first half Spartak managed to fall behind three times, but the rival, also made a huge number of mistakes, and Spartak had every chance of winning.

"And after the break, the red-and-whites confirmed that they were just above the class, despite all the problems the team had After an hour of play, red and white scored twice in two minutes. At first, Luiz Adriano finished off the ball with a head, and then Sofian Hanni with a long-range shot led Spartak forward."

Spartak Moscow official website: 'A stubborn, British side'

In their official match report, Spartak Moscow provided fans of the club with a brief history lesson.

They wrote: "Rangers are not the side which dominated Scottish football in the 90s - they no longer boast the talents of Laudrup, nor Gascoigne, nor McCoist. Then our opponents were ahead of their eternal opponents from Celtic.

"However, in the 21st century the situation has changed, and already the former Aiden McGeady team has ascended to the throne, from which it has not disappeared since 2012."

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They described Rangers' performance as "stubborn" and said that the Ibrox club contributed to "a fascinating plot".

They concluded: "In added time, we had to endure two threatening Rangers attacks, but happiness was on our side. Spartak won a hard-willed victory and caught up with the Scots after scoring in the group. The struggle in the Europa League remains ahead!"

The match report was also critical of referee Ivan Bebek, suggesting that they were denied a clear penalty.

"Popov was shot down by a Scotsman in the penalty area, they wrote. "This time there was no simulation, but the Croatian judge did not give a clear penalty."