Rangers’ Europa League hopes have already been written off by their Spanish rivals; Steven Gerrard still isn’t happy with Rangers’ form despite thrashing Dundee; Hearts’ winning goal would have been disallowed if VAR was used; Brendan Rodgers insists Celtic should refocus instead of wallowing
Rangers’ Europa League hopes written off
Villarreal keeper Sergio Asenjo has written off Rangers’ chances in the Europa League, predicting Spartak Moscow will join them in the knock-out phase.
The Ibrox squad will fly to Spain for their first game in Group G on Thursday.
Asenjo said he didn’t know much about Steven Gerrard’s new outfit but expected the Russians to join Villarreal in the next round. (Sunday Mail)
Steven Gerrard: Win not good enough
New Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has blasted his squad, despite picking up three points at home to Dundee.
Insisting he expects more from the team, he said he was frustrated by his side’s missed chances.
He said: “I’m not sure we got a performance. I want as many goals as we can.
“I want to create a team that’s ruthless and relentless and we weren’t that against Dundee.”
Rangers move within two points of Old Firm rivals after the 4-0 rout at Ibrox. (Various)
Hearts goal should have been disallowed - Robinson
Hearts extended their lead at the top of the Premiership after defeating Motherwell on Saturday but they did so courtesy of a goal that would not have stood if the referee had been able to use VAR, insisted Well manager Stephen Robinson.
Having re-watched the build up to Stephen Naismith’s 29th-minute goal, Robinson said footage convinced him that Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu whould have been punished for his challenge on Motherwell keeper Trevor Carson and the goal chalked off.
“I have to say, there is no intent whatsoever from big Uche,” said Robinson. “But his momentum takes him right through and we’ve potentially got a goalkeeper with a broken ankle or a broken leg.” (Scotland on Sunday)
Clarke blasts another SFA blunder
Stevie Clark was once again on the war path with the SFA after a late penalty call cost Kilmarnock a point.
The Rugby Park boss said it was another error on the part of the SFA after being denied a penalty at the other end after a challenge on Kirk Broadfoot.
He said: “There was contact in the box on Kirk and if it’s a day for soft penalties then it should have been one each.” (Sunday Mail)
- Neil Lennon admitted that Kilmarnock could be forgiven for being annoyed, but insisted referee John Beaton made the right penalty call after contact between Kirk Broadfoot and Jamie Maclaren. (Sunday Mail)
Brendan Rodgers to Celtic: Don’t feel sorry for yourselves
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has instructed his side to dust themselves off and not feel sorry for themselves after losing out on a Champions League spot.
Rodgers had high hopes of the team making their third consecutive appearance in the Champions League group stages before crashing out against AEK Athens.
Instead, he wants fans to savour Celtic’s Europa League campaign and target a place in Europe after Christmas. (Various)
Griffiths relishing Rosenborg challenge
Shrugging off the disappointment of a nil-nil draw against St Mirren earlier in the week, Leith Griffiths said he was relishing Celtic’s first Europa League tie against Rosenborg at Parkhead on Thursday.
Celtic have already played the Norwegian outfit twice in this season’s Champions League qualifiers, winning 3-1 in Glasgow and drawing 0-0 away. (Sunday Express)