Steven Gerrard disappointed with Celtic meltdown


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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard would have preferred Celtic to reach the group stage of the Campions League to improve the standing of Scottish football.

The Bhoys looked in pole position against Romanian champions CFR Cluj but lost 4-3 on home soil to crash out of Europe’s elite club competition and into the Europa League.

It is the second consecutive season that the Glasgow giants have failed to make the lucrative group stage and they now face either Moldovan outfit Sheriff Tiraspol or AIK from Sweden in the Europa League play-off round.

The Gers go up against FC Midtjylland on Thursday leading 4-2 from the first leg and are 1.62 to win the match, with their Danish opponents on offer at 4.75.

While the rivalry between the two Glasgow clubs is as intense as any in the sport, Gerrard knows that the Hoops advancing in the competition would have been good for the sport north of the border.

“It’s certainly going to be detrimental because all the Scottish teams need to do as well as we can to improve the coefficient and give ourselves an advantage in these European competitions,” he said. “From that aspect it’s very disappointing.”

There has been the expected backlash against Neil Lennon’s side but they remain strong 1.36 favourites to retain their Scottish Premiership title. Rangers can be backed at 3.00 to win the first top-flight crown since 2011.

The cross-city rivals are the only unbeaten sides in Scotland’s top division after two matches of the 2019-2020 campaign, with Celtic next in action against Dunfermline in the Scottish League Cup. Lennon’s charges can be backed at 1.05 to win the match, with The Pars priced at 23.00.

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