Rangers 0-2 Celtic: Steven Gerrard says he's 'part of why' side lost

Steven Gerrard opted to start with Jermain Defoe up front instead of Alfredo Morelos
Steven Gerrard opted to start with Jermain Defoe up front instead of Alfredo Morelos

Manager Steven Gerrard conceded his decisions were "part of why" Rangers lost 2-0 to Celtic in the season's opening Old Firm game.

Rangers are three points behind Celtic in the Scottish Premiership after goals by Odsonne Edouard and Jonny Hayes at Ibrox caused a first loss in 12 games.

But Gerrard refused to be overly critical of his side.

"Maybe with hindsight you go back to the team you pick and the gameplan," he told Sky Sports.

Gerrard opted for Jerman Defoe instead of Alfredo Morelos up front, and pushed Joe Aribo forward from his move familiar midfield role at the expense of the likes of Sheyi Ojo.

And he admitted that those decisions contributed to his side suffering just a second defeat in their last 19 matches.

"I'll certainly analyse myself but I don't want to stand here and pass on the blame on to the dressing room," he said. "The dressing room has been fantastic for me. But I'm part of why it went wrong today.

"Once the dust settles we'll analyse it properly, but it's three points are there's still an awful lot of football to play. We're four points better off than we were this time last year."

While on the whole Gerrard was unwilling to blame his players, he had little sympathy for substitute Jordan Jones, who was sent off in stoppage-time.

The former Kilmarnock winger was shown a straight red card after a late slide tackle on Moritz Bauer.

"Without a shadow of a doubt it was a red card," Gerrard added.

"I think Jordan was maybe trying to appease the fans - that's not how you appease fans. You do it by creating and scoring goals if you're a wide man, not by kicking people when the ball is 10 yards away.

"He deserves his red card, he deserves his ban and he's got everything to do now to get back in my team."

How Rangers lined up
How Rangers started the game...

'It became easy for Celtic' - analysis

Former Rangers winger Neil McCann on Sportsound

I knew right away by his starting line up that they were going to play quite narrow and sacrifice the wide areas and then try and get runners through the middle of the park. But it became easy for Celtic to work their structure and play directly up against that because they pressed Rangers really high and asked questions of them.

Rangers couldn't go down the outside of Celtic because they didn't have any width. So they had to go through and that was evident through the first goal from Edouard. Celtic pressed high, [Connor] Goldson tried to thread a pass through the middle, it got cut out and it was punished.

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