Steven Gerrard slams Ryan Porteous for 'leg-breaking' red card challenge in Rangers win over Hibs

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has condemned Ryan Porteous for the challenge which saw the Hibs defender sent off at Ibrox on Sunday, describing it as a ‘leg breaker’.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard saw his team come from behind to beat Hibs 2-1 at Ibrox and return to the top of the Premiership table. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard saw his team come from behind to beat Hibs 2-1 at Ibrox and return to the top of the Premiership table. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Porteous was shown a straight red card by referee Nick Walsh for recklessly going to ground as he went in on Rangers midfielder Joe Aribo after just 30 minutes.

Hibs were leading 1-0 at the time, courtesy of Kevin Nisbet’s early goal, but second half strikes from substitute Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos earned Rangers the victory which sees them back on top of the Premiership table.

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Gerrard had little sympathy for Porteous, pointing out previous transgressions against Rangers by the 22-year-old in recent years and urging him to learn from them.

Porteous was considered fortunate only to be booked for a foul on Rangers midfielder Lassana Coulibaly during a 0-0 draw at Easter Road in December 2018, then in the same fixture 12 months later was sent off for a lunge at full-back Borna Barisic.

“There are a couple of things on this,” said Gerrard. “I know one or two things about bad tackles because I have made a few myself, so I am not in a glass house here.

“It’s a wild tackle. It’s a leg-breaking tackle if he catches him. The kid only has to play the ball. I don’t know why there is any reason that he wants to go in with that intent and it is the second time that he has done it against us, because he did it against Lassana Coulibaly not so long ago.

“So the kid is obviously not learning and he has let his manager and his team-mates down today. That is obviously Jack (Ross)’s business. There is no defending a tackle like that because the speed of it, the height of it and the force doesn’t belong on a football pitch.

“I have had to learn over the years myself as a player to learn from those types of moments of madness. So hopefully the kid learns.”

Gerrard was gratified by his team’s display, which he felt better resembled the optimum form they have been battling to find on a consistent level since the start of the season, while also full of praise for Hibs’ contribution to a compelling contest.

“It was a lot closer to where we want it to be and I thought at times we played some really good stuff,” he said.

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“I thought the HIbs goal came against the run of play, I thought we had control at that stage, but to be fair to Hibs it is a fantastic cross and it is a good header.

“That makes the task a lot harder, it complicates it a bit but I have got to pay my players a lot of credit because we didn’t panic, we stayed, we kept doing the right things and we kept asking questions. We were rewarded for all our good play in the end.

“Hibs are a good team. They have got a good manager, they are coached very well and they are a team that try and play the right way so it is no surprise that Hibs were breathing down our neck before the game. So it is important that when we play them we take maximum points.”

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