Steven Gerrard hails 'bravery and character' of his players in Rangers' stirring comeback win over Standard Liege
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard savoured what he described as the ‘huge achievement’ of qualifying for the knockout stage of the Europa League with a game to spare after his team twice came from behind to defeat Standard Liege 3-2 at Ibrox.
It was a night when Gerrard’s team had to show another side of themselves as they trailed 1-0 and then 2-1 in a first half when their Belgian opponents were the better side for long spells. But goals from Connor Goldson and James Tavernier saw Rangers go in level at the break before Scott Arfield capped a much improved second half display with their winning goal.
Rangers remain top of Group D, ahead of fellow qualifiers Benfica on the head-to-head record between the sides, ahead of their final fixture against Lech Poznan in Poland next Thursday.
"It’s a huge achievement to qualify with one game still to play when you look at the quality of the teams in the group,” said Gerrard. “We’ve had to fight to the end of every single game.
"We had to work extremely hard for it tonight. Standard are a good team full of dangerous players and they caused us a lot of problems in the first half. We needed to tweak things at half time and be less passive and more aggressive.
“We managed to turn it around over the course of the 90 minutes. We showed amazing character, amazing bravery and I've got nothing but plaudits for my players.
“The game was finely set at half-time and it was about who was going to come out and really take this game and show they wanted it more. We really looked like a proper Rangers team in the second half."
Gerrard was thrilled by the quality of Rangers’ winning goal and the continued excellent form being displayed by Arfield who was not in his starting line-up at the start of the season.
“I’m really proud of Scott,” he said. “He’s in the team on merit and doing everything he can to keep that shirt. He’s in a really good place with his consistency and performances.
“It was fine reverse pass from Glen Kamara, then a high quality pass from Ryan Kent and Scott does what he does with the finish.”
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