Aberdeen 1-1 Rangers: Steven Thompson & Michael Stewart on Steven Gerrard's league bow

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos is sent off against Aberdeen
Alfredo Morelos' red card left Rangers with 10 men for over 80 minutes agaisnt Aberdeen

After much anticipation Steven Gerrard made his Scottish Premiership bow as Rangers manager.

James Tavernier's penalty put his side in front after they had lost Alfredo Morelos to an early red card.

However, he was denied the three points after Bruce Anderson's late equaliser for the home side.

Sportscene pundits Steven Thompson and Michael Stewart watched the game, and gave their verdict on the big talking points.

'The world is against Rangers'

Gerrard said post-match that "It seems like the world is against Rangers", and also suggested that decisions had been going against the Ibrox club "for seasons".

Morelos was sent off in 12 minutes for kicking Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna. However, both pundits said the decision to send off the Colombian striker was correct.

Steven Thompson: "There's been a lot of debate but for me I think it's a red card."

Michael Stewart: "It's excessive force. From a Rangers perspective they'll be saying Scott McKenna provoked him, and he has."

ST: "But listen, you're going to get that. I used to get that, defenders banging into me, every game. You don't react, that's the point. It was petulant."

MS: "Only Aberdeen were against them. The world wasn't against Rangers today. Previous seasons - that's gone."

ST: "He's trying to galvanise this 'us against the world' type mentality."

Rangers 'a class above Aberdeen'

Gerrard claimed his side had showed they were "a class above Aberdeen', after being the better team despite playing over 80 minutes a man down.

Steven Thompson: "Rangers for me were the better team by a distance, even with 10 men. To suggest they are a class above the team that has finished second for four consecutive seasons is very, very premature."

Michael Stewart: "It's a long season to go, it's only the first game of the season, and time will tell whether that comment comes back to haunt them."

Gerrard v McInnes

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard and Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard faced up against Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes

How did Gerrard match up against Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes, who last season was the number one choice to be Rangers manager?

Michael Stewart: "Rangers were the better side. You heard Steven Gerrard say for 93 minutes it was perfect, and they did. They played very well, tactically astute, they played without the main striker when Morelos was sent off and they tried to funnel Aberdeen through the middle.

"Aberdeen eventually played so many long balls. When they did get into the wide areas, the five players from Rangers were very tight. They were difficult to break down, they were well drilled, they played Aberdeen perfectly."

Steven Thompson: "Rangers showed a lot of good discipline and organisation throughout the game. Aberdeen didn't do enough with the extra man. One shot on target in the 90 minutes was bitterly disappointing.

"That was a very different performance from Aberdeen than the one I saw at Turf Moor on Thursday night. They were laboured today Aberdeen."

Ball watching

Dominic Ball was moved to right-back to cover the loss of the suspended Shay Logan and the injured Tommie Hoban. It was his foul on Josh Windass that gave Rangers their penalty and the opening goal.

Steven Thompson: "He struggles positionally and his awareness of what's around him when he's at right back."

Michael Stewart: "The number of times last season when we looked at Anthony O'Connor ball watching - it's the same thing [at the penalty]. Ball watches, slow to react, he doesn't see Windass coming in behind him.

"And it's a red card. It could have been offside because Lassana Coulibaly is in an offside position, then it wouldn't have been a penalty and it wouldn't have been a red card. But if you're going to give a penalty, Dominic Ball needs to be red carded."

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