Steven Gerrard says the “world is against Rangers” after seeing his new side denied an opening day win at Pittodrie.
Gers had striker Alfredo Morelos sent-off after just 12 minutes following an off-the-ball kick at Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna, who sustained a hamstring injury during the match. The Light Blues refused to lie down, however, and took the lead midway through the opening period with a penalty from James Tavernie, but Gerrard felt Dom Ball should have seen red after conceding the spot-kick with a tug on Josh Windass.
The former Liverpool skipper looked set for a maiden Premiership victory – only to see home debutant Bruce Anderson fire home in the third minute of stoppage time to seal a 1-1 draw. Gerrard was upset with the decisions that went against his side and suggested the Light Blues have been suffering from sub-standard officiating for years.
“It seems like the world is against us today,” he said. “But we’ll make sure we get better for that because it looks like some more decisions will go against us as the season goes on. We need to try and use it to our advantage. It’s not just today, I believe it’s been happening for seasons. That’s just my opinion.
“I thought we were excellent for 93 minutes. Unfortunately, we have then conceded a goal. But I thought we were better than Aberdeen with 11 men and better than them with 10. We looked like the team with all the ideas. Anyone in this stadium or watching on Sky will know we are a better team than Aberdeen.”
The Ibrox boss claimed Morelos was provoked by McKenna but admits the Colombian should not have lashed out. He added: “When you react like that, you leave officials with decisions to make, so we’ll speak to him about the part he has played in it. But we feel hard done by because we felt he was provoked twice with violent barges from McKenna.
“No way in the world was his kick out violent. So we didn’t think he deserved a red. At the same time, with the penalty, there was no attempt to play the ball. So it’s beyond me how a card can’t be shown for that situation. Are opponents deliberately trying to wind Alfredo up? Possibly. So he needs to learn and be ready for that.
“I can’t prove that’s the case but (after seeing) two violent barges by McKenna, it seems people are out to wind him up, yeah. What’s disappointing from our point of view is that the whole incident was two or three seconds but the assistant only saw one second of it. So he sees Alfredo’s instant in one second but not the two barges in the other two seconds.”
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes admitted his side lacked intensity after being pushed to extra-time by Burnley in midweek, but was delighted to see them bounce back from their Europa League exit to claim a point. However, there was bad news when it was confirmed in-demand defender McKenna had suffered a torn hamstring.
“I’m pleased to get something from the game,” said McInnes. “For me it was no more than we deserved. When you don’t play anywhere near your best then it’s important you still get something. Scott’s torn his hamstring which isn’t great. We haven’t had our troubles to seek because we have six senior defenders in the building and four were injured or suspended. So that’s something we’ll hopefully address this week because we don’t have the squad of others.”
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