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Stewart shines as Gerrard hails Gers

Rangers 5 Aberdeen 0

Eye catching: Greg Stewart
Eye catching: Greg Stewart

By Gavin McCafferty

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was delighted with his team's fluid attacking display as they enjoyed an emphatic improvement against Aberdeen.

The Light Blues won only two of seven meetings with the Dons last season but they were never troubled in a 5-0 victory at Ibrox, which cut the deficit on Ladbrokes Premiership leaders Celtic to one point.

Greg Stewart came in for his first league start and delivered a display brimming with creativity and menace, netting the second from close range, winning one of two penalties that James Tavernier tucked away, coming close on several occasions and creating a series of other chances.

Alfredo Morelos dragged an injury-hit Aberdeen defence all over the place and Sheyi Ojo popped up in different areas of the final third with Scott Arfield getting in the box at every opportunity as Rangers delivered a potent display with Aberdeen struggling to cope with their movement.

Gerrard said: "When you play against a block or a very compact team who have a lot of men behind the ball, it's important not everything is in front of them.

"You can't just pass from A to B to C and not disrupt their lines. If people are coming short it's vital that others run in behind. I thought we asked a lot of questions of Aberdeen.

"I thought Greg coming in gave them another problem, which was great. That's what we want to do, cause them as many problems as we can."

Morelos headed the third and substitute Jermain Defoe lobbed home late on before escaping shocked but unhurt after a road accident on his way home.

Colombian striker Morelos was sent off three times against Aberdeen last season but he hurt the Dons in the right way.

When asked if he was following orders by dropping deep, Gerrard said: "I'm not going to take any credit. He is the one who is dropping into these interesting areas, into the pockets, overloading the middle.

"He was the one who was trying to drag the Aberdeen players out of position. He was on the left, the right, he scores a header, he had other chances. He was focused on his performance."

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes admits Rangers look a different prospect this season.

"Rangers are in a good place," he said. "They've got a good manager, have spent enough money and seem to have spent it well."

Belfast Telegraph


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