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Europa League round-up: Gerrard bemoans lack of VAR as Wolves leave it late in Istanbul


Rangers manager Steven Gerrard gestures to Rangers' Scott Arfield after the match  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard gestures to Rangers' Scott Arfield after the match REUTERS/Denis Balibouse


Rangers manager Steven Gerrard gestures to Rangers' Scott Arfield after the match REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Steven Gerrard rued the absence of VAR after claiming Rangers were denied a "blatant" penalty before a last-gasp Young Boys winner saw them suffer a 2-1 defeat in their Europa League clash.

After a Roger Assale strike early in the second half had cancelled out Alfredo Morelos' opener, Rangers had a strong penalty appeal waved away after Morelos was brought down in the box.

But the officials were unmoved and, soon after a sensational save from David Von Ballmoos prevented Morelos from putting Rangers 2-1 up in the 90th minute, they conceded in the third minute of stoppage time as Christian Fassnacht made the most of a James Tavernier error to send Gers home from Bern empty-handed.

All four teams in Group G now have three points.

Gerrard admitted his side only had themselves to blame for the goals they conceded but felt they should have been awarded a spot-kick before the added-time winner.

He said: "Football can be cruel at times. We've got ourselves to blame. I think we've gifted Young Boys a victory tonight.

"Big moments in the game have gone against us. I think if we had VAR tonight they would have had a second yellow with (Frederik) Sorensen because Alfredo gets a yellow card for exactly the same incident. So that never went for us.

"The keeper has made a world-class save at 1-1, we could have taken the lead from that.

"And we've not got a blatant penalty as well with Alfredo.

"The human eye should get that one right but the reason why VAR is coming into the game is just for situations like that so you can go back and check.

"I've seen the first view of it and it's as blatant as you like. It's a clear penalty at a very important time of the match.

Meanwhile, Wolves won in Europe for the first time in 39 years but boss Nuno Espirito Santo was not pleased with the performance against Besiktas.

The game at Vodafone Park looked to be heading for a goalless draw until Willy Boly wrote his name into club folklore with a stoppage-time goal in Istanbul.

The big defender was on hand to score with a finish befitting of a striker rather than a centre half. Ruben Neves floated a ball over the top of the home defence and Boly took a touch before turning and firing the ball past Loris Karius, who smacked the pitch in frustration afterwards.

The goal ensured Wolves were off the mark in this season's Europa League, having been beaten at home by Braga last month, and gave the club its first win in European football for almost exactly 39 years.

Wanderers' last success came in the UEFA Cup on October 1 1980, when a Mel Eves goal gave them a 1-0 win against PSV Eindhoven at Molineux.

Nuno admitted the result had been celebrated briefly, but he was not happy and said: "It was good and in the end we are happy. We had two minutes of celebration only.

"The goal gives us a victory in a tough, tough stadium but we needed more moments of talent.

"We gave too many chances to Besiktas and sometimes today we didn't attack as a unit, it was more individually. So we have to improve.

"We have a lot of things to improve. We won but we must be better, better in how we play and grow. Why did some players not play so well? We must find the why.

"We made substitutions to try and find solutions, because we were not good. We had to find solutions from the bench and change the dynamic of the game."


Group A

F91 Dudelange 0 FK Qarabag 4

Sevilla 1 Apoel Nicosia 0

Group B

Lugano 0 Dynamo Kiev 0

Malmö FF 1 FC Copenhagen1

Group C

FK Krasnodar 1 Getafe 2

Trabzonspor 2 FC Basel 2

Group D

Rosenborg 1 PSV Eindhoven 4

Sporting Lisbon 2 LASK 1

Group E

Celtic 2 CFR Cluj 0

Lazio 2 Rennes 1

Group F

Arsenal 4 Standard Liege 0

Vitória Guimarães 0 Eintracht Frankfurt 1

Group G

Feyenoord 2 FC Porto 0

Young Boys 2 Rangers 1

Group H

CSKA Moscow 0 Espanyol 2

Ferencvárosi TC 0 Ludogorets Razgrad 3

Group I

Oleksandria 1 KAA Gent 1

Saint-Étienne 1 VfL Wolfsburg 1

Group J

Istanbul Basaksehir 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach 1

RZ Pellets WAC 1 Roma 1

Group K

Besiktas 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

Sporting Braga 2 Slovan Bratislava 2

Group L

FC Astana 1 Partizan Belgrade 2

AZ Alkmaar 0 Manchester United 0

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