Rangers manager Steven Gerrard revealed he’s not worried about Alfredo Morelos’ reputation with a hilarious tongue-in-cheek response.
The Gers striker was booked for diving after goalkeeper Max Stryjek’s challenge in their 1-0 win at Livingston on Wednesday night.
Gerrard was furious his forward was not awarded a penalty in the first half and was sent to the stands after clashing with referee John Beaton at half-time.
Steven Gerrard not worried about Alfredo Morelos’ reputation with tongue-in-cheek response
Rangers striker Morelos was denied a first-half penalty and booked for diving at Livingston
‘It’s a blatant penalty, it’s a stonewaller,’ Gerrard said following their 1-0 win on Wednesday
Morelos is a player that has polarised opinion during his time at Ibrox since 2017 with a fine goalscoring record but poor discipline. He’s notched 91 goals in 172 appearances but been handed 50 yellow and red cards combined.
When asked if he fears for Morelos’ reputation after he received his seventh booking this season, Gerrard told Sky Sports: ‘Don’t worry about Alfredo, he has just scored the winner and is in there dancing around with no top on to Sweet Caroline.’
After being denied a penalty in the first period Morelos notched an 87th-minute winner to move Rangers one step closer to winning the Scottish Premiership title.
Former Liverpool and England midfielder Gerrard was sent off after a furious rant at referee John Beaton in which he said the official was ‘out of order’ not to award Rangers a first-half penalty.
He confronted Beaton as the players and officials made their way off at the break, furious that Morelos had been denied a penalty after a challenge by Livingston goalkeeper Stryjek.
The Colombian went through on goal and knocked the ball past the Pole before going down under the goalkeeper’s challenge.
Rangers boss Gerrard was sent off for his protestations to referee John Beaton at half-time
Gerrard had to watch the second period from the stands after been sent off by the referee
The striker appealed for a penalty but was instead booked for diving, albeit with replays appearing to show there was contact between the pair.
The incident led to a furious Gerrard approaching Beaton and saying: ‘You’re not speaking to me?’, to which Beaton could be heard replying: ‘I can’t’.
Gerrard then continued, adding: ‘I know why you’re not speaking to me, because that’s f****** bang wrong that. You’re bang out of order.’
His words saw the Rangers boss initially receive the same punishment as Morelos, but the 40-year-old continued his remonstrations and a few seconds later his booking was upgraded to a red card following a second yellow.
Morelos got his revenge as he popped up to score the winner in the 87th minute of the match
‘It’s a blatant penalty, it’s a stonewaller,’ Gerrard said afterwards. ‘I’m someone who wants to support officials because we are all human and we will make a mistake.
‘But what I can’t stand for at this level is three people making the same mistake. They all had clear views of it. I could see it and I’m the furthest away. There are three officials at this level who all got it wrong together – I can’t have that.
‘I asked for an explanation and he refused to speak to me. I think I’m entitled to a conversation but obviously not. The linesman is looking straight at it with nothing in his way. The fourth official is looking straight at it with nothing in his way, because I was behind him and I could see it clear. And the referee is right on top of him.
‘I’ll go with a mistake from one of them but not three. It’s not right, it’s not fair. It’s a stonewaller and it’s bang out of order.’
Gerrard now faces an anxious wait over further punishment which could keep him away from the touchline for upcoming games – in which his side could be crowned champions for the first time in a decade.
Rangers currently lead enemies Celtic by 18 points and could officially end their arch rivals’ quest for an unprecedented 10 Premiership titles in a row as soon as this weekend, with seven matches of the season remaining.
Gerrard’s men face St Mirren on Saturday before Celtic travel to Dundee United the following day, and should Rangers win and John Kennedy’s men lose, the title will be wrapped up before the second Old Firm derby of the season towards the end of the month.