We had too many issues defensively: Gerrard after 4-3 win over Antwerp

ANI
·2-min read
Steven Gerrard (Photo/ Rangers Twitter)
Steven Gerrard (Photo/ Rangers Twitter)

Antwerp [Belgium], February 19 (ANI): After a hard-fought win over Antwerp, Rangers FC manager Steven Gerrard said it was a "crazy match" before stressing that his team has to improve a lot as they had "too many issues defensively."

Rangers secured a 4-3 win over Antwerp in the first leg of Europa League Round of 32 here on Friday.

"I am very pleased with the outcome of the game in terms of the result. I think the boys showed amazing character to keep going and keep fighting for the right result," the club's official website quoted Gerrard as saying.

"It was a crazy match and I am sure the neutrals enjoyed it, but as a coach or a manager, I will be looking into it as we had too many issues defensively. The goals we conceded are poor from our point of view, so there is certainly work to do and a lot of improvement to do, especially at this level where you get punished a lot more," he added.

Joe Aribo scored the opening goal of the match, putting Rangers ahead in the 38th minute. However, Felipe Avenatti's header and Lior Refaelov's penalty gave Antwerp a one-goal lead. Borna Barisic then converted a penalty to level the scores in the 59th minute but Martin Hongla's strike restored Antwerp's lead.

Ryan Kent and Barisic then scored one goal each to hand the Rangers a 4-3 win.

Further analysing the match, Gerrard said: "We were a little bit slow and a little bit lethargic at times, and we have conceded goals that we don't normally concede. So I asked the players for more both in and out of possession - I told them to play with more belief and more personality when we were regaining the ball as we were getting some fantastic opportunities, but we weren't really taking them in the first half. But in the second half, we played with much more character and belief so the outcome of the game is fantastic for us, but there is still a lot of improving to do."

Rangers and Antwerp will play against each other in the second leg on February 25. (ANI)