Steven Gerrard: A closer look at new Aston Villa boss’ record at Rangers

Gerrard departed for Aston Villa with Rangers top of the table

Gavin McCafferty
Thursday 11 November 2021 11:44
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<p>Gerrard has left Rangers for Aston Villa </p>

Gerrard has left Rangers for Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard has left Rangers after three-and-a-half years in charge and with the Premiership title in the Ibrox trophy room.

Gerrard departed for Aston Villa with Rangers top of the table, well-placed in their Europa League group and with a Premier Sports Cup semi-final against Hibernian to follow.

Chairman Douglas Park expressed his gratitude to Gerrard and added: “He has provided us all with some unforgettable moments, not least his delivery of the Scottish Premiership title back to Ibrox last season having not lost a match in the entire league campaign.

“In European competition, he has restored the good name and credibility of our club on the continent and leaves us in a very healthy position on the pitch.”

Here, we look back at his record at Ibrox.

League

Gerrard kisses the Premiership trophy (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Gerrard only won one trophy at Ibrox but it was a hugely significant and emphatic triumph.

His first season in charge saw him come up, initially, against his former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and Rangers made a good start, going into 2019 level on points with Celtic following a derby win at Ibrox. However, Celtic won their next eight league games and Rangers went through March without a victory in any competition before Neil Lennon ultimately led Celtic to the title by nine points.

It was a similar story the following season with Rangers going into the winter break level on points but with a game in hand following victory at Celtic Park. Rangers only won half of their next 10 league games though and were 13 points adrift when the pandemic curtailed the season.

With Celtic going for a record 10-consecutive titles, the pressure was on Gerrard the following season and his team delivered in style, going through the league campaign unbeaten, winning 32 of 38 games, scoring 92 goals and conceding 13.

Europe

Gerrard boosted Rangers’ reputation in Europe (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Rangers made significant progress in Europe, having gone out in the first qualifying round of the Europa League to Luxembourg part-timers Progres Niederkorn the season before Gerrard’s arrival.

They negotiated four qualifying rounds to reach the group stages in his first season and made the last 16 in the subsequent two campaigns. Porto, Legia Warsaw, Braga, Feyenoord, Galatasaray and Standard Liege were among the teams beaten and neither Villarreal nor Benfica could get the better of Rangers over two matches.

The biggest disappointment of the European campaigns came this season when Rangers fell at their first hurdle in the Champions League, losing to Malmo home and away in the third qualifying round. The financial impact meant Gerrard was unable to do any significant transfer business in August.

Cups

St Johnstone goalkeeper Zander Clark delivered a Scottish Cup blow to Rangers (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Gerrard drew a blank in the domestic knockout scene, reaching one final out of six attempts.

Rangers lost to Aberdeen in both cups in his first season, once in a semi-final and once at Ibrox.

They suffered a 1-0 League Cup final defeat against 10-man Celtic the following season with Gers striker Alfredo Morelos and Hoops goalkeeper Fraser Forster experiencing contrasting fortunes.

Gerrard’s side then suffered quarter-final defeats against Hearts, St Mirren and St Johnstone.

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