Rangers boss Steven Gerrard unmoved by Celtic's hard luck story as he savours momentous win
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard admitted Celtic didn’t get what they deserved from the Old Firm showdown at Ibrox, but insists only the final result will be regarded with any significance at the end of the season.
Gerrard’s team were outplayed by the reigning champions for lengthy spells, especially in the first half, before claiming all three points through an own goal from Callum McGregor after Celtic defender Nir Bitton was sent off.
But Gerrard had no interest in a hard luck story for his rivals, having been on the wrong end of a similar scenario last season when Rangers dominated the Betfred Cup Final against Celtic but lost 1-0.
That scoreline in their favour on this occasion stretches Rangers lead at the top of the Premiership table to 19 points over Celtic who have three games in hand.
“We played against a really good team today,” said Gerrard. “Celtic were excellent for the first 45 minutes, we really struggled to get a foothold in the game.
“There was a significant improvement in us from half-time up until the red card.
“These games are all about big moments. Celtic have got one badly wrong and we have capitalised on it and gone on to win the game.
“You don’t always get out of this game what your performance deserves. We know that more than most. So to win and not be at our best is a big positive for me.
“We have beaten a good team today and that’s what it’s all about. People won’t remember the performance or what happened in the game in months to come.
“I don’t get many people stopping me on the street now and telling me how great we were in the League Cup Final last season which we never got anything from. So it’s about the result at the end of the day.
“It’s not about revenge or payback. The message is that sometimes in football you don’t get what you deserve. That’s been the way for many, many years.
“Celtic were dominant in the first 45 minutes, that’s for sure. You know and I know it’s about the result. We are taking three points away and that’s all I wanted from today.
“I didn’t want my team to be outstanding and lose this match. I’d much rather be sitting here in the position I’m in.”
Gerrard hailed the contribution of goalkeeper Allan McGregor, who will celebrate his 39th birthday this month, to Rangers’ victory which saw him make several outstanding saves, most notably to deny Leigh Griffiths.
“I was delighted with him,” said Gerrard. “He got Man of the Match and it was thoroughly deserved. A couple of the saves in the first half were world class.
“We talk about him a lot after big games, which tells its own story. You are talking about a legend of the club, a phenomenal goalkeeper.
“It’s a shame he is nearly as old as me, because I’d love him to be my keeper for many, many more years.
“That’s what ‘keepers need to do, they need to help you win big football matches. I’m really proud of his performance today.”
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