Steven Gerrard salutes vintage Rangers Europa League victory over Rapid Vienna
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 05/10/18 2:53pm
Steven Gerrard believes Rangers rolled back the years after watching his team sweep past Rapid Vienna with a vintage display.
On the night that Ibrox staged its first European group-stage clash for eight years, the Light Blues gave their boss the kind of performance he has been longing for since taking over as they stormed to a 3-1 win.
Fired on by a pumped-up home support, Alfredo Morelos struck twice either side of winning the 84th-minute penalty which James Tavernier converted as the Gers claimed a late victory.
Gerrard's side sit top of Group G and the manager admitted it was a result which had his mind casting back to glory days of old.
"Our supporters' performance brought the best out of the players and my players' performance brought the best out of the fans," said the former Liverpool skipper.
"It was an incredible night. We should have won the game 3-0. Every single player to a man was outstanding all over the pitch.
"That's the level of performance I've been looking for since I came in. That's a Rangers performance of old, a successful Rangers performance.
'If I see a paper tomorrow and one of my players has less than an eight, I'll be asking questions! Please be fair on them.
"The challenge for us now is can we find it more consistently. That's the best 90 minutes we've given and we have beaten a very good team. They had good ideas, good players and good philosophy. We beat a good team."
Veton Berisha fired Vienna ahead two minutes before the break after the visitors got away with a blatant offside call in the build-up.
But Morelos ensured there was no repeat of Sunday's slip-up against Livingston as he levelled immediately. He then lured Mario Sonnleitner into a foul inside the box five minutes from the end, with skipper Tavernier smashing home to put his team ahead.
With Rapid throwing bodies forward in search of a late leveller, Morelos took advantage as he raced on to Daniel Candeias' audacious back-heel to send the delirious Gers faithful wild again with his 10th goal of the season.
"Alfredo was excellent, a handful all night," said Gerrard. "Out of possession, he ran his socks off. He was a great focal point for us.
"At this level, you don't get as many chances as we maybe create domestically because of the level of the opponents.
"When he did get his opportunities, he was clinical. Andy Halliday was telling him it was a good job he scored the second, because Andy was in for a tap-in!
"But that's the confidence of where he is and reason he in the frame for Colombia now at international level."