Steven Gerrard considers Rangers chances of knockout qualification

Head coach Steven Gerrard of Rangers gestures during the UEFA Europa League Group G match between Spartak Moscow and Rangers  at Spartak Stadium on November 08, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

The Gers suffered a 4-3 loss to Spartak Moscow in Russia on Thursday night.

Head coach Steven Gerrard of Rangers F.C gestures during the UEFA Europa League Group G match between FC Spartak Moscow and Rangers F.C at Spartak Stadium on November 08, 2018 in Moscow,...

Steven Gerrard has told Rangers' official website that he believes his side are still in with a chance of qualifying for the knockout phase of the Europa League - but have just made it a lot harder.

The Gers suffered a 4-3 loss to Spartak Moscow on Thursday night in Russia, despite taking the lead three times in the first half and going into the break 3-2 up.

But two quick-fire goals from Spartak - just before the hour mark - completely turned the game on its head and has seen Rangers slip from top of Group G to third, level on points with second-placed Spartak.

 

Gerrard believes his side are still more than capable of finishing in the top two places and qualifying for the Round of 32. But he believes it has become a whole lot harder - and reckons the Villarreal clash has become more "exciting".

“It is still wide-open and it will go to the wire which is what we predicted at the beginning. Villarreal becomes even bigger now and more exciting," Gerrard said.

“But we were under no-illusions before the game – we knew it was going to go to the wire anyway but tonight’s result makes the challenge a bit more difficult.”

Rangers' English manager Steven Gerrard shouts instructions to his players from the sideline during the UEFA Europa League group G football match between FC Spartak Moscow and Rangers FC...

Rangers took the lead to go 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 up in a topsy-turvy match that began with Spartak scoring an own goal through Roman Eremenko. Daniel Candeias scored an exquisite effort for the Gers' second.

Glenn Middleton scored his first goal in Europe with a calm left-footed finish for the third, but Spartak scored four thanks to strikes from Lorenzo Melgarejo, Luiz Adriano, Sofiane Hanni and an own goal from Connor Goldson.

Focus switches to hosting Stephen Robinson's Motherwell at Ibrox on Sunday afternoon, while the Gers are next in action in the Europa League against Spaniards Villarreal on home soil.

28th October 2018, Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish League Cup football, semi final, Aberdeen versus Rangers; Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard watches on

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