Steven Gerrard remains unbeaten as a manager in Europe after his toughest test yet.
The Rangers boss watched his team go down 1-0 to Villarreal after less than a minute of their Europa League group stage debut, but ended up collecting a pair of equalizers and an impressive 2-2 draw in Spain.
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“It’s a big result and that’s always the way, my experience in Europe, you have to come away and get something,” Gerrard said on BT Sport.
“Obviously we came here to try and win the game and we nearly did through Scott Arfield at the end. We nearly lost it as well. They pushed, which is understandable but it’s a big point for us. Now we’ve got a home game and if we can take maximum points it’s a terrific start to the group.”
Adversity was there for Rangers, from Carlos Bacca’s first minute marker to conceding a second goal two minutes after Scott Arfield made it 1-1. But the Glaswegian side answered the ball through Kyle Lafferty.
Playmaker Daniel Candeias has plenty of praise for Gerrard. From Rangers.co.uk:
“When we finished the first half, the gaffer said in the dressing room to believe in ourselves and get a great result,” Candeias said. “I know we didn’t win, but a draw is a good result for us.”
Rangers will host Rapid Vienna on Oct. 4 in their second Group G match. Rapid beat Spartak Moscow 2-0 on Thursday.