As the Romanian made the most of his chance to shine in the win over Celtic at the Old Firm, STEVEN GERRARD praised Ianis Hagi’s performance as “outstanding”
Despite a series of impressive results in recent weeks, Hagi missed out on a spot in the starting line-up against Celtic, scoring in wins over St Johnstone and Hibernian.
But he was replaced at the break at Ibrox as manager Gerrard had to replace Kemar Roofe after 45 minutes on his derby debut with four-leg trouble.
In order to hold Celtic at bay, Rangers tried to enforce themselves on this game and goalkeeper Allan McGregor made a lot of great saves.
And his contribution was to prove crucial, as the victory for the Light Blues was secured by a Callum McGregor own goal and pushed them 19 points clear at the top of the table.
For Gerrard, who was pleased that the playmaker was able to affect the Old Firm’s play, Hagi’s success was another plus.
Gerrard said, “Me and the coaching staff had to make a change in the back of our minds because in the first 45 minutes, we were not happy with the back three.”
It really was a fortunate stroke – or not a lucky stroke in terms of injury, because Kemar has a tweak that we need to look at in his quad and hope he’s fit again.
But to get Ianis on the pitch, it played into my hands and I thought he was fantastic in the second half.
Ianis is very good at picking up details, and I thought he was very brave to get the ball in large places.
“Ianis basically brought what we expected from our 10s throughout the game in the second 45 minutes. Credit to him, but it’s a bit of a shame to lose Kemar.”