STEVEN GERRARD hailed a ‘clinical’ performance from his Rangers side today as they defeated Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership.
Gers maintained their high level from Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Hearts to inflict a similar scoreline on the Steelmen in Lanarkshire this afternoon to maintain their eight-point lead in second place in the table with five matches left to play.
Speaking to RangersTV after the match, Gerrard explained: “I thought we were excellent and I thought we were very clinical. I thought the game started off pretty evenly and there wasn’t much in it, but I always felt from up in the stands when we regained the ball in interesting areas, we could go and hurt Motherwell.
“It is what we have worked on all week, and credit to the lads, they went and executed our game plan and our ideas very, very well today.”
Gers’ high-pressing game was so impressive once again in creating chances and goals, with the manager continuing: “Sometimes, the opposition give you that opportunity by making mistakes and sometimes, if we press right in the right areas at the right time and we’re aggressive, we can win it back in interesting areas as well.
“When we do that, if we keep bodies around their centre-halves, we can maybe cause an overload and the first goal is exactly what we have worked on all week, and so was the third goal.
“So I am very pleased as it was a good, away, solid performance. I have to mention Jon Flanagan as I thought he was excellent again today having missed so much football, so fair play to Flanno.”
Scott Arfield won the day with a super hat-trick – his first in his professional career – and he won huge praise from the manager for his contribution.
The manager continued: “Scott has played this role for Burnley on many occasions, and he is someone who can play deeper as and eight and can make the play from deep and arrive with lung-bursting runs, or you can trust him to play higher up the pitch and get around your nine and he has the quality to either assist goals or score goals.
“I think that is double-figures for Scott now, and he needs to go and try to get a few more from now until the end of the season.
“But he has been excellent, and him and Jermain [Defoe] epitomise what it should be like to be a professional footballer as the standards on and off the pitch are excellent.”
That Defoe had an opportunity to score but opted to pass to hand Arfield the match ball on a plate was a source of amusement for the manager who added: “I nearly passed out in the stand – that’s not the Jermain Defoe I know! But I think he has respected his teammate by giving him his hat-trick, and I’m sure Scotty would have done the same thing if the shoe was on the other foot.
“So that was excellent and it’s Scotty Arfield’s day, but I am sure he would recognise it was a fantastic team performance that helped him get his hat-trick.”