Alfredo Morelos has 29 goals and 11 assists this season for Rangers, but it’ll be difficult to remember the campaign for anything other than a color other than his side’s blue or the green-and-white of his rivals Celtic.
Red, as in the color of the card shown to him for elbowing Scott Brown in the Old Firm Derby on Sunday, giving him five dismissals on the season and helping Celtic earn a 2-1 win over Steven Gerrard‘s feisty visitors.
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Morelos had just been clipped on the back of the leg during off-the-ball play, and threw his elbow back at Brown. The wily Celtic captain made the most of the contact and red was shown in the 31st minute.
Early reports say Rangers will fine Morelos a week’s wages, and Gerrard said he “can’t defend him anymore.”
But he’s also pretty angry with Brown, whose altercation with Ryan Kent after Celtic’s second goal helped up the venom in an already vicious rivalry.
“You’re playing against a player who loves to antagonize. Morelos and Kent are both provoked. Celtic fans have the right to celebrate but to do it right in your face, Halliday has the right to protect his own people.
“The guy who antagonized it all from the beginning deserves to be punished as well. When you’re provoked, it’s only fair that both sides get punished in my view.
Morelos’ first red came in the 12th minute on Opening Day, a 1-1 draw at Aberdeen. Remarkably, he’s twice more been sent off against Aberdeen in league play plus Sunday’s red and another in the last match of Europa League qualifying.
Those are all big games. Rangers are understandably 1W-1D-2L in the four league matches, and have dropped four points in matches he missed through suspension.
Now Rangers are 13 points behind their Glasgow neighbors.
“The gap was already big and it’s even bigger now. The buck stops with me and I’m ready for that. We will move forward from this and try to finish the season as strong as we can.”