Celtic went out of the UEFA Champions League qualification phase last night after suffering a heartbreaking 4-3 loss at the hands of CFR Cluj in front of their own fans at Celtic Park. Now Ranger’s manager, Steven Gerrard, has had his say on his bitter rivals’ exit from Europe’s premier competition.
Celtic crashed out from the third round of the UEFA Champions League qualification process after they suffered a shocking 4-3 loss to Romanian champions, CFR Cluj, despite leading till the 80th minute and seemingly in complete control of the tie. But two unanswered late goals from Cluj meant that the Scottish champions failed to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League for the second year running. Now Steven Gerrard has come out to give his take on the Glasgow club’s defeat.
The Liverpool legend said: “What it shows last night is that European ties are never over, even when you get a positive result in the first leg.
“Some of these teams that people don’t know much about – Cluj from Romania for example or Midtjylland from Denmark – they carry a huge threat.
“They are so desperate for financial reasons to progress, like most of us, so my players need to take note of last night and make sure we deal with our second leg much better.”
Gerrard also believes that Scotland’s two biggest club need to perform to the best of their abilities in Europe.
“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.
“From that aspect [Celtic’s defeat] is very disappointing. But for me, I’m the manager of Glasgow Rangers and my focus is on and the challenges that face us.”
With Celtic now entering the play-off stage of the Europa League, Scotland’s two biggest rivals might find themselves in the same competition if both of them manage to successfully go through the qualification phase.