Despite wide-spread criticism from pundits and Scottish football fans for his comments, Steven Gerrard is correct in saying his side are a class above Aberdeen.

It may be unusual for football managers to come out so early in the season and make such hard-hitting claims, but the evidence was on the pitch at Pittodrie on Sunday to suggest Gerrard wasn’t wrong.

The Gers were held to a 1-1 draw at in the Granite City despite playing large spells of the contest with 10 men, and were only denied when debutant Bruce Anderson scored a last-gap leveller. James Tavernier gave Rangers the lead on the half-hour mark with a penalty after Jpsh Windass was hauled down by former Ranger Dominic Ball.

Steven Gerrard claimed his Rangers side were a “class above Aberdeen” (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

For large spells of the game, Rangers were a man light after a harsh sending off for forward Alfredo Morelos. Gerrard quickly changed the shape to a 4-5-0, playing with no recognised striker and happy to hit on the counter.

Tactically, it worked to good effect. Aberdeen had most of the ball as expected, but failed to penetrate the Rangers defence with any cohesive movement or plan of attack as it looked like Gerrard’s men were going to deservedly take the points.

This ultimately led to the Rangers manager coming out and claiming his side showed they were a “class above Aberdeen”, and it’s hard to argue for those who watched the game.

Rangers were in total control with 10 men, and but for some heavy touches and poor decision-making in the final third, this would’ve been a convincing opening day success for the Ibrox side.

Morelos was harshly sent off after just 12 minutes at Pittodrie (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Aberdeen already look like a team who are strongly lacking up top. Sam Cosgrove struggled to get into the game, whilst Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall McGinn were kept quiet for the most part by Rangers’ solid-looking back four.

Fans weren’t too impressed with the performance of Jamie Murphy, and Windass was also quiet down the other side. However, Ryan Jack and Scott Arfield were good performers, and controlled the midfield with ease as the Dons struggled to get any grip on the contest.

Tactically, physically, and even psychologically, Rangers were the side who came out on top in this one. The onus was on Aberdeen to create and break down the rigid Rangers defensive shape, and they failed to do so.

It felt like Rangers always had Aberdeen by the throat on Sunday, and only for a momentary lapse in concentration did they allow the men from the Granite City to snatch a late point.

So whilst yes it may have been controversial, and it may even have been ill-advised, Gerrard certainly wasn’t wrong in saying his side were a step ahead of the Dons.

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