Steven Gerrard’s reaction to the Spartak Moscow draw certainly wasn’t one of frustration or anger.
The Rangers manager was satisfied with his side after they were held to a 0-0 draw by the Russians at Ibrox. The Gers were strong favorites heading into the game, but Moscow were resilient.
It leaves Gerrard’s side still sitting top of the group ahead of Villarreal in second place. Despite the fact that the La Liga side hammered Rapid Vienna 5-0, they stay behind Rangers on the head-to-head record.
Gerrard is delighted with the fact his side still hold top spot in Group G, as well as the fact they made history last night. Rangers broke the record set by Walter Smith of going 10 games unbeaten in Europe. Last night’s draw made it 11 for the Light Blues, with plenty of impressive individual displays.
Gerrard, speaking after the match, hailed his side for the positive aspects of the draw.
“I would certainly have signed up for being top of the group at this stage. I would have signed up for that on June 15 on day one. We have got five points alongside Villarreal and three games to go so there are a lot of hard work and big challenges ahead.
“The job has become a little bit more difficult because we never got the breakthrough tonight, I understand that. But there is still loads of football to play and big games for the players to play in and me to coach in. I am really excited going forward.
“I feel very proud of the team in general and to find out yesterday that if we avoided defeat we created a bit of history, that is always a bonus as far as I am concerned.”
Despite the fact that the Spartak game was clearly a winnable one, there remains plenty of positives. The history-makers deserve huge credit for their run, and top their group at the half-way stage.
The match itself was a frustrating one for Rangers fans. Moscow did well to frustrate the Ibrox side, but Rangers had their chances to take the three points.
Gerrard has taken the right approach in praising his side, however, and not giving them a hard time over the draw. With Aberdeen just around the corner in a huge clash, it’s important spirits remain high.
It shows the progress made under Gerrard that Rangers are disappointed to draw against a side like Spartak. It’s starting to feel like the old Rangers in Europe again. It’ll be interesting now to see how the rest of the group goes.
For last night, however, it’s clear Gerrard was pleased with what he saw.