Christopher Jullien reveals what he said to Alfredo Morelos after accusing Rangers star of STAMPING on him in Old Firm clash

4 Sep

Christopher Jullien is adamant he had the last laugh after refusing to take Alfredo Morelos’ bait during Celtic’s Old Firm triumph at Ibrox.

The Rangers striker appeared to be looking for a reaction from the Bhoys defender when he trod on his foot late on during the season’s opening derby clash.

Man of the match Jullien had the last laugh against Morelos
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But Jullien did not react as he kept his head to help steer Neil Lennon’s side to a precious three points at the home of their bitter rivals.

Gers skipper James Tavernier said before the game he expected the Hoops would look to provoke the Colombian after last season’s well-documented disciplinary problems.

However, it seemed to be Morelos engaging in the dark arts as he clashed with the £7million signing from Toulouse as they waited for a free-kick to be delivered.

Frenchman Jullien – named man of the match after his side’s 2-0 win – said: “That’s the game. It happens in every sport, you know, trash talk. Basketball, football, American football – it’s everywhere.

The Colombian could not inspire the Gers at Ibrox
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“It’s part of the game. If it’s a strength for him, I don’t know. I don’t know him so much.

“We talked about it before the game and I was told he was sometimes a bit like that.

“I told him to his face ‘I like that so keep going’. If we have a clean sheet then I did my job, so it’s all good.”

Legia Warsaw fans likely to bring UEFA punishment for lighting flares and halting Europa League qualifier vs Rangers in Glasgow

30 Aug

Legia Warsaw are likely to be in hot water with UEFA after the club’s fans set off flares which temporarily stopped their Europa League qualifier against Rangers on Thursday.

Rangers progressed to the group stages thanks to Alfredo Morelos’ injury-time goal to give his side a 1-0 aggregate win.

Legia Warsaw set off flares in the second-half
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But the game was marred by the away support as referee Slavko Vincic ordered a three-minute stoppage in the second-half after smoke from the flares made it difficult to see.

Rangers were also forced to close a section of Ibrox, which houses 3,000 fans, against Legia following the sectarian chants that occurred in their opening qualifier with St Joseph’s last month.

And in an attempt to taunt Gers supporters, Legia fans unfurled a banner of Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005.

A threat of a full stadium closure at Ibrox still looms after more sectarian songs were heard in Warsaw last week.

Despite the reduced capacity, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard praised the home fans in his post-match press conference.

He said: “You saw the place at the end and there wasn’t a prouder man in the building than me.

Play had to be stopped for three minutes while the thick smoke cleared
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“One of the reasons I took the job was the support. From the outside, I could see the pain and disappointment. I wanted to come in and help.

“It’s moments like tonight that make me feel so proud and make it feel worthwhile. I’m glad I signed up to it.

“I wanted nights like this from a personal point of view. But to see my players celebrating with the 47,000 fans at the end, it was an emotional time.

“I was so proud to be the manager of this club out there.”

Rangers are in Pot 4 for the Europa League draw, which takes place at midday on Friday and Gerrard said he’d love to play Manchester United.

“I wouldn’t mind going and parking the bus at Old Trafford,” the Liverpool legend said.

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Rangers defeat Midtjylland 4-2 in enthralling Europa League clash as Steven Gerrard’s side secure two-goal advantage before Ibrox return

8 Aug

Rangers hit four goals in Denmark to take a huge step towards securing a Europa League play-offs place.

The Scottish side went three up against Midtjylland before emerging from a shaky second-half spell to earn a 4-2 victory in the first leg of the third qualifying round.

Scott Arfield settled Rangers nerves in Denmark as they beat Midtjylland in an enthralling Europa League thriller
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Alfredo Morelos headed Gers in front two minutes before the break and Joe Aribo and Nikola Katic struck twice inside four minutes in the second half to put the visitors in command.

The Danes struck two quickfire goals themselves and Rangers looked rattled but Scott Arfield’s calm finish gave them a healthy lead with 20 minutes remaining.

Steven Gerrard made four changes, with Allan McGregor returning from suspension and Jon Flanagan, Glen Kamara and Jordan Jones brought into the team that secured a late victory over Kilmarnock.

There were few clear-cut chances in the opening quarter but both teams showed attacking intent, the hosts mainly from set-pieces.

Morelos scored one and set one up for Rangers in Denmark
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Former Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko made a crucial interception as James Tavernier tried to find Morelos, and McGregor pushed Evander’s searching ball past the post.

The Rangers goalkeeper then made a point-blank save from Sory Kaba’s shot after the Danes had won three headers following a long throw into the six-yard box.

McGregor punched away the resulting corner under pressure and Jones embarked on a great run from his 18-yard box before crossing just in front of Arfield.

Morelos soon grabbed the opener as he got away from his marker to guide home Tavernier’s brilliant swerving cross from seven yards.

Flanagan survived a handball claim in his box before Jones might have had a penalty after being clipped, but the winger soon set up the second in the 52nd minute.

The Northern Ireland international picked up a loose ball midway inside his own half and ran deep into home territory before feeding Aribo, who carried the ball into the box, steadied himself and fired into the far corner.

Jones soon ran at the full-back and fired a deflected effort that was tipped on to the bar and over, and the third goal came after the resulting corner was half-cleared towards Kamara on the edge of the box. The midfielder headed down to Morelos, who helped the bouncing ball on to the unmarked Katic and the Croatian supplied an excellent finish.

Rangers soon threatened to implode, though. They lost possession deep inside their half, Ryan Jack was beaten on the byline and Frank Onyeka eventually forced home the cutback on the turn in the 58th minute.

The Danes pulled another goal back five minutes later after working the ball from wide left to Kaba 20 yards out and the Guinea international fired into the bottom corner.

The hosts had their tails up and Rangers took time to settle but, once they had, they quickly regained a two-goal cushion.

Tavernier’s pass got Morelos inside the full-back and Arfield trapped his cutback before passing the ball past a defender and the keeper into the net.

Jack, Flanagan, Aribo and Morelos were booked along with two opponents in a fractious finale but McGregor did not have much to do despite the home side piling men forward.

Steven Gerrard admits Rangers have been priced out of Ryan Kent transfer by Liverpool

31 Jul

Rangers have no choice but to move on from Ryan Kent, according to manager Steven Gerrard.

The Glasgow side were desperate to get the Liverpool winger back following an impressive loan stint last season.

Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Kent would only be leaving the club on a permanent basis this summer – with the finances involved beyond Rangers’ reach.

Ryan Kent was a big hit during his season-long loan at Rangers
getty

“I haven’t asked that question (to the board) but I think the answer would probably be yes,” said Gerrard as he admitted the figures required to sign Kent would be too rich for his side.

“Jurgen has come out and given the answer that will come out of my mouth anyway. It has been addressed and we move on.

“The end of it? Where we are right now, yes. We respect Liverpool’s stance and we thank them very much for allowing us to work with Ryan for a year.

“We have obviously got a Liverpool player at the moment in Sheyi Ojo who has started very well. I had a good conversation on the phone with Jurgen a few days ago and we totally respect Liverpool’s position on it.

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“It is possible we still might get one more player in, but there is no rush. The squad is in a decent place so we will go with what we have at the moment.

“If something was to come up that makes us better and we think it will make us better then we will take it to the board and the answer will be with them.”

Reports on Thursday claimed striker Alfredo Morelos had decided against a move to Hebei Fortune despite the Chinese Super League outfit having been prepared to meet Rangers’ £15million valuation.

It was claimed a £30million, three-year package had been put on the table before the Colombian turned it down.

But Gerrard responded to the story by saying: “I’m unaware of it. There have been no bids. It is as you were from the last time. I’m not sure whether he is going to do the interview for you, though.”

Rangers star Alfredo Morelos suggested for Crystal Palace transfer after Steven Gerrard discusses striker’s future

8 Jul

Steven Gerrard has confirmed Alfredo Morelos may leave Rangers this summer – but only if a big-money deal is agreed early in the transfer window.

Morelos has been linked with an Ibrox exit over the past few months, with Chinese Super League clubs keen on the Colombia forward.

Brendan Rodgers, the former Celtic manager, is also said to be keen on signing Morelos for Leicester, with a switch to the Premier League rumoured since last season.

Morelos is sure to be at the centre of transfer speculation for much of the summer
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Rangers have already started preparing for the 23-year-old’s potential departure, with reports claiming Gerrard is eyeing up a swoop for Leeds star Kemar Roofe to replace Morelos.

And the Rangers boss provided an update on his star striker on Sunday, after Morelos missed a 5-0 friendly defeat of Oxford United due to injury.

“I can’t control the speculation,” Gerrard admitted, “but as a club we haven’t got a decision to make because a bid hasn’t come of any sort.

“Does anyone want Alfredo Morelos? I don’t know, I can’t answer that question, but if they do they best bring a really, really big offer.

“It won’t happen late. A million per cent it won’t happen late, that’s for sure.

“So if someone wants to spend a lot of money on a centre-forward and they want my centre-forward, they will have to come early.

“If he did end up going he would be impossible to replace with days or weeks to go in the window. We don’t want to sell him, but you know and I know that every player has a price.

“I’m not going to sit here and say he’s not going out the door because if a bid lands that the board like and want to accept, it’s a completely different conversation. But that hasn’t happened. There hasn’t been one single bid.

“If teams are planning on waiting until days or the last week of the window, they are wasting their time.”

Gerrard may not be aware of any interest in Morelos, though the reports of a summer move certainly suggest the striker is relatively in demand.

Leicester’s interest in him appears to have died down since they signed Ayoze Perez from Newcastle, but a move to the Premier League could still be on the cards.

And talkSPORT’s very own Ray Parlour has named the one team who could benefit from Morelos’ talents – if they can afford to prise him away from Ibrox.

“Morelos looks like he could be off,” said the Arsenal legend. “Could he come into the Premier League? Somewhere like Crystal Palace?

Morelos has scored 48 goals for Rangers – but has also been sent off FIVE times
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“He’s a good goalscorer.”

Parlour was discussing Morelos on Monday’s Sports Breakfast, and host Alan Brazil had his say on Rangers’ star striker.

Big Al said: “He’s a screwball! He can play, but he’s a screwball. You can wind him up like a clock, and he’s got to curb that.”

Rangers star Alfredo Morelos ‘dreams of playing in much better, more competitive league’ amid Leicester and Borussia Dortmund transfer interest

20 May

Rangers star Alfredo Morelos says he wants to play in a ‘much better, more competitive league’.

The 22-year-old, who has been linked with moves to Leicester and Borussia Dortmund, has scored 30 goals in 48 games this season.

Alfredo Morelos has been in sparkling form this season
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Morelos’ campaign has been tarnished by his disciplinary record which has seen him pick up five red cards.

Despite the Colombia striker’s impressive record in front of goal, Rangers finished nine points behind Celtic, who clinched their eighth successive Scottish Premiership title.

When quizzed about his future, Morelos told the Scottish Herald: “There is a lot of speculation about my possible departure, but there is nothing concrete yet.

“I know there are many interested clubs asking and as soon as there is something official I will be announcing it.

“But I’m committed to Rangers just now. I’ve had a good season and many clubs are interested and hopefully everything will be done in the right way.

“I dream of playing in a much better, more competitive league. I look at the English Premier League and the Spanish league. The leagues in France and Italy are very big leagues, too, and very competitive.

“But I am very happy with what has been a great season with Rangers.”

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Alfredo Morelos and red cards and other iconic duos in football

5 Apr

Like Alfredo Morelos and an early bath, some things just go together in football.

In fact, it would be downright odd if the Rangers striker didn’t lose his rag during games.

Here, talkSPORT.com looks at other things in football where you can’t have one without the other, starting with the Gers’ angry striker.


When you think of Alfredo Morelos, you think of red cards

At Celtic Park, the striker was sent off for the fifth time this season when he allowed himself to be wound up by Scott Brown. The joke on the weekend during the Old Firm derby was that 32Red on Rangers’ shirt was merely a sponsor and not a target. Take note, Alfredo.


When Fabio Quagliarella’s name comes up, you think of great goals

The 36-year-old is the top scoring player in Serie A and he only scores beauties. It’s a rule.

You could say he is the Adam Reach of Serie A…


When you think of Tony Pulis, you think about his hat collection

Slash, Indiana Jones, Tony Pulis. Three legends – three iconic hats.

“The style comes from years ago, I think,” the Middlesbrough manager once explained. “I started wearing the cap when I was at Gillingham and we had a good run of results and it just continued from there.”

“I think it was more superstitious and as the years have gone on I think wearing that cap, my hair’s gone. So yeah, it’s been a good cover to keep me warm in the winter.”

Like Slash from Guns n Roses, Tony Pulis doesn’t go anywhere without his hat

When you think about Tottenham, most fans think of ‘bottling it’

Call it choking if you want, but football supporters – other than the White Hart Lane faithful – associate bottling with Tottenham.

Having ‘put the pressure on’ on several occasions in the last few years, the club, for whatever reason, are yet to win anything major. Spurs’ last trophy came in 2008 when they won the League Cup.

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Spurs have bottled it once again 😂

A post shared by Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) on


When you think about Lionel Messi, you think about Cristiano Ronaldo

To some fans, you can only like one or the other, but why can’t we enjoy both? When Ronaldo was at Real Madrid, they just seemed to push each other and quite rightly, are both considered to be the greatest footballers ever.

“I miss Cristiano in Spain,” Messi told Radio C5N. “It was lovely having him here, even though it annoyed me seeing him win so many titles. It would be great if he was still here.”

TROPHY BATTLE

They've won the Ballon d'Or five times, as well as...

MESSI

League titles x9
Spanish Cups x6
Champions Leagues x4
Olympic gold medal x1

RONALDO

League titles x5 (Premier League and LaLiga)
FA Cup x1
Spanish Cup x2
League Cup x2
Champions League x5
European Championship x1


When you think of Jordan Pickford, you want to watch This is England

What do you think about when you see Jordan Pickford? Yes, you’re right, it’s ‘I haven’t seen This is England in ages’.

Such were his displays for England at the 2018 World Cup, actor Thomas Turgoose, who starred in the 2006 film, even joked he’d like to play the goalkeeper in a biopic.

The 25-year-old Everton no.1 also acknowledges the similarities.

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Celtic 2-1 Rangers: Alfredo Morelos accepts fine after receiving fifth red card of the season for elbow on Scott Brown

2 Apr

Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos has accepted a fine from the Scottish Premiership club for receiving his fifth red card of the season during Sunday’s Old Firm derby defeat by Celtic.

Morelos, the Colombia forward, was dismissed for an off-the-ball elbow on Hoops skipper Scott Brown, half-an-hour into the clash at Celtic Park.

Morelos was dismissed for his off-the-ball clash with Brown

He will now miss four matches through suspension – two for this sending off plus an additional two for his previous indiscretions – meaning the 22-year-old will not be available for more than half Rangers’ seven remaining league matches this season.

And Steven Gerrard, the Rangers manager, confirmed Morelos has been fined by the club – a punishment the striker has accepted.

“He has shown remorse and accepted the punishment I have given him,” Gerrard said.

“We spoke to his representation as well and everyone is on the same page.

“Now it is just a decision for the club to decide where the fine goes to but Alfredo has accepted, shown remorse and apologised.”

Morelos posted an apology on Twitter on Monday afternoon, saying sorry to ‘the fans, my team-mates and the coaching staff’.

 

Gerrard praised the forward for his decision to speak out over his actions.

“I think he made that public himself which is the right thing to do and we draw a line under it,” the former Liverpool captain added.

“Moving forward we hope Alfredo learns the hard way and we wait now for him to return to help us in the final push.”

Andy Halliday, who was playing at left-back, also saw red during Sunday’s Old Firm derby, with the 27-year-old shown a second booking after the final whistle.

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His dismissal, like Morelos’, came after a clash with Brown, who was also shoved by Ryan Kent after James Forrest scored Celtic’s winning goal.

Vinnie Jones, the famous football hard-man, joined talkSPORT on Monday morning to explain how he would have dealt with Brown throughout the match.

Jones said: “Brown has tripped him from behind, he’s wound him up and the Rangers lad has lashed out at him.

Brown spent much of the match winding up the Rangers players

“He’s either got to wise up, man up and deal with it in a tackle or something else like that, or he’s going to be down the road.

“I would have waited, said ‘alright son’, set one up and then smashed him later on.”

Alfredo Morelos: Rangers star apologises to fans, team-mates and coaching staff after latest red card against Celtic

1 Apr

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos has issued an apology to fans, team-mates and coaching staff following his fifth dismissal of the season in Sunday’s dramatic Old Firm derby.

The Colombian was sent off for an off-the-ball elbow on Celtic skipper Scott Brown in the Gers’ 2-1 defeat.

Morelos elbowed Brown off the ball

His manager, Steven Gerrard, said after the game that he could no longer defend Morelos after another costly incident.

Morelos said in a post on his Twitter account: “Good afternoon, I would like to offer an apology to all the fans, my team-mates and the coaching staff for what happened in yesterday’s match.

“I promise to do everything in my power to ensure that nothing like that happens again & to give the club and the fans my all. Thanks for the support and affection you’ve always given me.”

Gerrard, who confirmed defender Andy Halliday had been shown a second yellow card in an unsavoury post-match melee between the players on the pitch, gave a simple reply when asked if he could still defend Morelos.

“No. Not anymore,” he said.

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“I have gone above and beyond for Alfredo. I have continued to protect him, support him and love him as a player and the person he is but I have to draw the line under it now and he will be punished internally.

“I will recommend to the board that he is fined a week’s wages and will also recommend that that fine should go to the supporters who came today because they are the ones who will suffer from his lack of discipline, also his team-mates as well.

“The money is no use to his team-mates it is more use to the supporters, that’s what I will recommend and we will see what happens from there.”

Player of the weekend: Celtic captain Scott Brown earns Sergio Ramos comparisons after causing Rangers to capitulate in fiery Old Firm clash

1 Apr

Scott Brown may be one of the most divisive figures in British football, but there is no denying he is effective.

The Celtic skipper was at his antagonistic and brilliant best during Sunday’s Old Firm clash at home, which saw the Bhoys emerge as 2-1 winners.

After tangling with Alfredo Morelos in the first half, Brown’s reaction saw the Colombia international receive his fifth red card of the season.

And when James Forrest struck the decisive winner late on, it was the 33-year-old who was again on the deck after triggering a reaction from Ryan Kent.

It may be deemed as the ‘ugly side’ of football, but gamesmanship and mind games are as much a part of fierce derbies as goals and assists.

And when it comes to winding the opposition up, there are few better in the world than the midfielder.

Brown was hailed on social media as being ‘Better than Sergio Ramos’ at winding opposition players up

Technically speaking, Brown was assured on the pitch when the ball was in play as well.

Celtic had 59 per cent possession throughout the game, with Brown dictating play for the hosts from his traditional deep-lying role.

Halliday was given a second yellow card for his part in the scuffle at the end of the Old Firm derby

It may not be the most glamorous role, but the midfielder is a master of disrupting the opposition – using their emotion against them as just for good measure he had a part in Andy Halliday receiving his marching orders, the Rangers midfielder having taken exception to Brown celebrating in front of the away fans.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard even acknowledged his side had been duped, citing their ill-discipline as the cause for their downfall at Celtic Park.

He told Sky Sports: “You’re playing against a player who loves to antagonise. Morelos and [Ryan] Kent are both provoked. Celtic fans have the right to celebrate but to do it right in your face, Halliday has the right to protect his own people.

“The guy who antagonised it all from the beginning deserves to be punished as well. When you’re provoked, it’s only fair that both sides get punished in my view.

“We’ve hurt ourselves badly this season with a lack of discipline. I’ve given my players the benefit of the doubt on too many times.”

As a result of his performance, Scott Brown is talkSPORT.com‘s Player of the Weekend.

Scott Brown is talkSPORT.com’s Player of the Weekend