Jose Enrique expects Liverpool great Steven Gerrard to manage the Reds one day but suggests it would be a tough ask to replace Jurgen Klopp.

Gerrard, who played alongside Jose Enrique at Anfield, is making impressive initial strides in his coaching career, leading Rangers to the top of the Scottish Premiership, on course to end Celtic's dominance of the division.

But having won nine trophies with his boyhood club as a player, including the Champions League, a return to Liverpool has long been mooted.

The Reds are reigning Premier League champions under Klopp and in a title race again this year, trailing rivals Manchester United by three points at the summit ahead of the sides' clash on Sunday.

So, while Jose Enrique anticipates Gerrard will take the helm, he sees no swift appointment and predicts succeeding Klopp will be difficult.

"Definitely, he will be [manager]," the former left-back told Stats Perform News. "I believe everyone knows that. I'm not sure when.

"But that's always different; I'm talking to you in an interview, but many Liverpool fans have this question.

"I always say, 'Listen, enjoy Klopp first, because we have so much good with him'. But Steven will become manager.

"I'm not sure, to be honest, if it's the best decision to be after Klopp. I'm not sure about that.

"Because anyone who is after Klopp is going to have the pressure that we saw with United and Sir Alex Ferguson, and Sir Alex Ferguson was for a longer time with more titles. That's true.

"Klopp, we don't know when he's going to retire from Liverpool and hopefully with many more titles, so going after someone like that, even if you're Steven Gerrard, is not easy.

"But it's true he is already doing really well in a big team in Scotland, because Celtic have been the king in Scotland for a really long time, but he's taken over now and is probably going to win the league. In Europe, he's doing well as well.

"So, from what I know – and I don't know him as a manager but as a man – I'm sure the players will be really happy with him and he was a great captain.

"It is a different role, but I'm sure he would have that inside him to be the manager and captain at the same time for the team, and you are seeing that at Rangers.

"He doesn't care, he will put the best to play and he will be the manager in the future."

Steven Gerrard felt Rangers had made a statement with their 1-0 win over rivals Celtic, but insisted they were not looking at their 19-point lead atop the Scottish Premiership. 

Rangers took a huge step towards winning the league, an achievement which would deny Celtic 10 in a row, with a narrow triumph at Ibrox on Saturday. 

Callum McGregor's second-half own goal, shortly after Nir Bitton had been sent off for a foul on Alfredo Morelos, meant Gerrard's men triumphed despite not registering a shot on target. 

They also won 2-0 at Celtic Park in October and have won three straight derbies dating back to last season, their best run since 2008 when Walter Smith was in charge. 

While 19 points is a formidable advantage, Gerrard is not taking anything for granted, with Celtic holding three games in hand. 

"We don't look at the 19-point lead, we look at our next game against Aberdeen," Gerrard said to Sky Sports. 

"There are three points available there and 48 still to play for, so still a lot of challenges, a lot of obstacles to get over. We don't look at leads and our season starts now. 

"But today was big in terms of making a statement and proving we can win our second derby out of two."

Celtic were on top until Bitton saw red, with Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor making three important first-half saves, most notably tipping a 25-yard Leigh Griffiths strike onto the post. 

Asked about McGregor's performance, Gerrard said: "Wow - outstanding. He is a world-class goalkeeper. 

"Good decision [making him man of the match]. The couple of saves he made kept us in the match. He is outstanding, reliable and trustworthy.  

"I knew already but I now know even more why he has been so successful at this club because he has bailed us out again." 

Former Liverpool captain Gerrard was not overly worried by Rangers' performance, adding: "First half we were not good enough, we were not ourselves and second best in a lot of areas. 

"There was a massive improvement in the second half, then obviously the sending off is a big, major incident in the game and it looked like only one team would win it from there. 

"Credit to Celtic - they played really well in the first half, but we were outstanding in the cup final for 90 minutes not too long ago and got nothing for it. It is about the end result. 

"You are not always going to be pretty on the eye and able to show your style. It is about the outcome. It was all about the three points, especially at this stage of the season. 

"It is another big three points and another clean sheet, so really proud of the team in terms of their efforts. We stretch our lead, remain humble and move on to Aberdeen."

Rangers took a huge step towards winning the Scottish Premiership title as Callum McGregor's own goal gave them a 1-0 Old Firm derby win over Celtic.

Steven Gerrard's unbeaten team now lead their fierce rivals by a formidable 19 points at the top of the table.

Celtic still have three games in hand but their hopes of clinching a historic 10th straight title look increasingly slim, with this result piling the pressure on manager Neil Lennon.

Champions Celtic had the better of Saturday's match at Ibrox, but the tables were turned when Nir Bitton was sent off after 62 minutes.

Callum McGregor then inadvertently gave Rangers, who did not register a shot on target in the contest, a priceless winning goal.

Celtic made an excellent start and it took two pivotal saves from goalkeeper Allan McGregor to stop the visitors from going into an early lead.

He impressively got down low to deny Odsonne Edouard, who had not played in the last meeting between the sides, which Rangers won 2-0 in October.

The Rangers keeper then produced an even better fingertip stop to tip a 25-yard shot from Leigh Griffiths that was destined to find the top corner onto the post.

Gerrard brought on Ianis Hagi – who had been dropped from the starting XI in place of Ryan Kent – at half-time, with Kemar Roofe coming off and his side gradually began to improve.

Rangers got a big boost when Bitton was dismissed after wrestling Alfredo Morelos to the ground as the striker attempted to race on to a James Tavernier pass and looked like he had a clear path to goal.

They moved in front after 70 minutes, Joe Aribo flicking a Tavernier onto Callum McGregor, whose arm deflected the ball beyond Vasilios Barkas.

Celtic substitute Mohamed Elyounoussi shot just over but there was no way back for the 10 men, who have now lost three straight league derbies for the first time since 2008.

Rangers sealed top spot in Europa League Group D as goals in either half from Cedric Itten and Ianis Hagi led Steven Gerrard's side to a routine 2-0 win over Lech Poznan on Thursday.

The Scottish Premiership leaders made seven changes from the weekend triumph over Ross County after ensuring their progression to the last 32 with last week's 3-2 beating of Standard Liege, but they never looked in danger of failing to secure a fourth win from their six group games.

The new-look side went ahead shortly after the half-hour mark thanks to Itten's first European goal for the club.

They wrapped up just a third win in their past 20 away games in Europe courtesy of Hagi's close-range header with 18 minutes remaining.

Rangers started slowly and were fortunate not to fall behind after 15 minutes, unmarked Poznan captain Lubomir Satka inexplicably heading over from six yards.

The visitors belatedly woke from their slumber and went ahead with their first shot on target after 31 minutes.

Jakub Kaminski sloppily gifted possession to Itten, who waltzed past Djordje Crnomarkovic inside the penalty area before lashing a fierce strike into the roof of Filip Bednarek's net from 10 yards.

Rangers went agonisingly close to doubling their advantage before the interval, but Hagi's deflected strike flashed narrowly past the post.

Hagi had a low shot from outside the area saved by Bednarek early in the second half, while Jon McLaughlin did well to paw away Tymoteusz Puchacz's free-kick at the other end.

Rangers then sealed victory inside the final 20 minutes, Hagi nodding in from almost on the line after Connor Goldson's looping header bounced down off the crossbar.

Mohamed Salah is aiming to "make the gap bigger" between himself and Steven Gerrard after the Egyptian overtook the Liverpool legend as the Reds' Champions League record goalscorer.

Salah netted his 22nd goal in the competition – excluding qualifiers – for Liverpool in the opening minute of Wednesday's clash with Midtjylland.

It saw him surpass Gerrard's record of 21, with the former Liverpool captain having won the Champions League in 2004-05.

Liverpool's opener was also the quickest strike in their Champions League history, with Salah having intercepted a loose back-pass to prod home after just 55 seconds.

Midtjylland fought back to draw 1-1 in contentious fashion, with the Danish side scoring from a penalty awarded after a long VAR check.

Alexander Scholz converted the spot-kick and thought he had scored a second when he finished from an acute angle, only for VAR to rule it out, with the technology then disallowing Takumi Minamino a winner at the other end.

Speaking to BT Sport at full-time, Salah was delighted to have cemented his name in Liverpool's record books, but is now looking to put distance between himself and the others on the list.

"It's a great feeling to be the top scorer for the club, it's something I'm proud of," said the 28-year-old.

"I need to keep going with that, score more goals, make the gap bigger between me and the others! I'm trying all the time to score goals to help the team to win games.

"One of the most important goals. They played good, almost man-marked us. We scored the goal early, but they strike back, they played a good game.

"The most important thing is to qualify, it's a game to learn [from]."

SALAH'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GOALS BY SEASON

2017-18 (10)

Salah's first goal for Liverpool in the Champions League proper came in a 2-2 draw with Sevilla on September 13, 2017. He followed that up with a further nine goals, taking his tally to 10 for the campaign from 13 appearances, while he provided four assists.

The former Roma star, who went off injured as Liverpool lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the final, crafted 29 chances for team-mates, while converting 70 per cent of the big opportunities he was presented with, as per Opta data, averaging a goal every 92 minutes 54 seconds, and his maiden Champions League campaign with Liverpool remains his best on an individual level.

2018-19 (5)

Salah's output in Europe dropped off slightly in 2018-19, as Liverpool went on to win their sixth European Cup. He scored five goals and set up an additional two from 12 appearances.

All five of his strikes were from inside the area, with two of them from the penalty spot – including the opener in the final against Tottenham. 

2019-20 (4)

Liverpool's defence of their title was ended in March, when they slipped out at home to Atletico Madrid in the last 16, just before football across Europe was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Salah started in all eight of Liverpool's games and was subbed off only twice, clocking up a total of 731 minutes, while his four goals were shared equally between his left and right feet, with one coming from outside the box. His big chance conversion rate, so high in his first season, dropped to 30 per cent last term.

2020-21 (3)

Salah's conversion percentage when it comes to good chances has risen to 40 this term, having netted three goals from his six group-stage appearances.

He has created six chances, including one assist, with his strikes all coming from inside the 18-yard box – two with his imperious left foot, and the other with his right. Salah is yet to score for Liverpool with a header in the Champions League.

Darwin Nunez scored a stoppage-time equaliser as Rangers squandered a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 at 10-man Benfica and see their 100 per cent start in Europa League Group D come to an end on Thursday.

Steven Gerrard's side triumphed against Standard Liege and Lech Poznan in their opening two games, but they got off to a poor start at the Estadio da Luz as Connor Goldson diverted a low cross into his own net after just 60 seconds.

They powered back before half-time, though, taking ruthless advantage of Nicolas Otamendi's straight red card for a professional foul through an own goal from Diogo Goncalves and a fine strike from Glen Kamara.

Alfredo Morelos added a third shortly after the restart, but Benfica fought back for an unlikely draw as Rafa's 77th-minute effort preceded Nunez dramatically levelling proceedings with the clock winding down.

Mohamed Salah moved level with Steven Gerrard as Liverpool's top goalscorer in European Cup and Champions League history on Tuesday.

Salah netted a stunning breakaway goal early in the second half against Atalanta as the Reds tore the Serie A side apart.

That strike, a composed left-footed finish at the end of a rapid burst forward, was the Liverpool number 11's 21st in the Champions League proper for the club.

Salah therefore tied Gerrard's all-time benchmark.

Salah, who reached the 2018 final in his first season at Anfield and won the competition the following year, swiftly teed up a fourth Liverpool goal for Sadio Mane.

Diogo Jota had scored twice before the break and completed his hat-trick – his first in Liverpool colours – as Jurgen Klopp's side moved 5-0 up after just 54 minutes.

Alfredo Morelos came off the bench to inspire Rangers to a slender 1-0 win over Lech Poznan in Europa League Group D on Thursday. 

Steven Gerrard's side kicked off their campaign in style last week with a 2-0 win over Standard Liege, but they looked destined for a disappointing draw at Ibrox until Morelos' introduction in the 63rd minute. 

The Colombian made a swift impact after replacing Kemar Roofe, thumping home a close-range heder five minutes later to seal an eighth consecutive win across all competitions for the Scottish Premiership leaders.

The result means Rangers are level on six points with Benfica – who they face next week – at the summit of the group.

Chances were at a premium during the opening 45 minutes of the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Roofe skewed an overhead kick wide in what was Rangers' best opening, while Poznan forward Mikael Ishak lashed over at the end of a largely insipid half.

The visitors started the second half brightly, with Thomas Rogne heading narrowly wide from Daniel Ramirez's free-kick.

Scott Arfield fizzed wide from 25 yards on the hour mark before Morelos met Borna Barisic's superb cross from the left with a powerful header from six yards that thundered past Filip Bednarek.

Poznan – who failed to register a shot on target – never looked like salvaging a point in the closing stages, with Gerrard's side seeing the game out in relative comfort for yet another win and a fifth clean sheet on the bounce.

Rangers continued their impressive form in this season's Europa League, with a James Tavernier penalty and a Kemar Roofe stunner securing a 2-0 win away at Standard Liege. 

Having overcome Lincoln Red Imps, Willem II and Galatasaray in the qualifying rounds – and fresh off an Old Firm triumph over Celtic – Steven Gerrard's side battled their way to three points in difficult conditions at Stade Maurice Dufrasne. 

Tavernier scored the opening goal of the Group D contest in the 19th minute, Rangers' captain converting from the spot for his ninth goal in 10 outings this season. 

The visitors relied on the crossbar to keep out a Jackson Muleka header before the break but were rarely troubled in a second half played out amid torrential rain, Roofe sealing a deserved victory when he spectacularly lobbed Arnaud Bodart from long range in stoppage time.

Connor Goldson had been the unlikely hero against Celtic, scoring twice in a 2-0 win at the home of their rivals, and the defender once again played a pivotal role with his aerial prowess.

It was his downward header from a corner that struck Nicolas Gavory on the arm, allowing the in-form Tavernier to tuck away the opportunity from 12 yards out.

Bodart was unable to keep the attempt out despite guessing the right way, though he did twice deny Alfredo Morelos early in the second half to keep the deficit down to one.

However, the goalkeeper was finally beaten again in the second added minute. Ex-Anderlecht forward Roofe pinched possession and, spotting the opportunity, lofted the ball spectacularly over the out-of-position Boudart from inside Rangers' half.

 

Steven Gerrard challenged his Rangers players to follow up their success against Celtic with a meaningful title challenge after winning a second straight Old Firm derby.

Rangers triumphed 2-0 on Saturday thanks to an unlikely double from centre-back Connor Goldson, who scored in each half as a depleted Celtic failed to register a single shot on target.

Having also won the last meeting in December, Gerrard has become the first Rangers manager to win back-to-back away league games over Celtic since March 1997.

As his team bid to prevent their rivals from winning a 10th straight Scottish Premiership, he urged his players to build on their victory.

Asked if the 23-year first proves the gap has closed between the two teams, Gerrard told Sky Sports: "The players are showing more maturity, with time and games we are getting more experienced together.

"It was a really mature performance, but we need more of that from now until the end of the season. We have still got an awful lot of hard work to do and we have respect for the team we are chasing.

"That is going to be our challenge now: can we go the distance?

"It is a big win, of course it is. Always a tough game, big challenge when you come here with a lot of pressure, a lot of anxiety.

"We did not have to play at our maximum and I don't think we were at our fluent best, but we've come here and controlled the game with and without the ball.

"Allan McGregor has not really been tested, so we are really pleased with the performance the players have given.

"We were certainly worthy winners – Celtic threw everything at us. They have started with and brought on really good players that are worth a lot of money but we managed the game.

"We will enjoy the win but there will be no getting carried away. We need to remain humble and on we go."

Last year's win had been Rangers' first over Celtic in the league since 2010 and, after his two goals sealed a second straight triumph, match-winner Goldson also earned the praise of Gerrard.

"I'm shocked but he's certainly capable," Gerrard said of Goldson, who added to his double with seven clearances and two blocks, both tied for game highs.

"His all-round performance was outstanding; he deserves the headlines he is going to get. He led us from the back."

Celtic are now four points behind Rangers but do have a game in hand.

Manager Neil Lennon acknowledged they had struggled without star striker Odsonne Edouard, one of four players missing due to coronavirus-related issues from the international break.

"We have given away two poor goals from our point of view and missed a great chance to equalise [through Mohamed Elyounoussi]," said Lennon, who is also contending with several injuries.

"[Albian] Ajeti and [Leigh] Griffiths are not fully fit, Edouard is out – so three main strikers missing to start with.

"We created good chances in the first half to score but I have to say Rangers defended their box pretty well and that was the difference. We will look at the performance and build for better."

Rangers won a second straight Old Firm derby and moved four points ahead of Celtic in the Scottish Premiership as an unlikely double from Connor Goldson secured a 2-0 victory.

Defender Goldson struck in the ninth minute and added another after the break on Saturday as Steven Gerrard's men made it two straight away league wins over Celtic for the first time in 23 years.

Celtic were without key players like striker Odsonne Edouard but few would have expected Neil Lennon's team not to register a shot on target or have a second-half attempt of any nature until the 85th minute in a miserable outing.

Rangers now hold a decent lead over their fierce rivals at the summit and, while Celtic still have a game in hand, Garrard can reflect on a positive first quarter of the 2020-21 season.

It was a dream start for Rangers when James Tavernier curled in a free-kick from the right and Goldson glanced a header into the far corner from six yards, with goalkeeper Vasilios Barkas unable to keep it out.

Celtic struggled to create many chances of note in the first half but they should have been level soon after the Rangers opener.

Mohamed Elyounoussi capitalised on mistake by Goldson under a long ball, only to send his attempt over the bar from a great opening as he attempted to lob Allan McGregor.

Having made a superb start to the first half, Rangers also struck nine minutes into the second.

Scott Arfield's deflected cross found its way to Goldson, and while the centre-back's initial effort was blocked by Shane Duffy, he composed himself to stab in a shot at the second attempt.

Celtic threw on Albian Ajeti, Leigh Griffiths and Tom Rogic from the bench but barely troubled a Rangers backline that has only conceded three goals in 11 games.

Rangers secured a spot in the Europa League group stage by winning their play-off against Galatasaray 2-1 at Ibrox on Thursday. 

After a dour opening period in Glasgow, second-half goals from Scott Arfield and James Tavernier ensured Steven Gerrard's team will be involved in Friday's draw. 

Connor Goldson saw Christian Luyindama nod his header over the bar before Borna Barisic volleyed a cross from Ryan Babel behind just as Sofiane Feghouli looked to steal in during a first half of few openings. 

The deadlock was broken in the 52nd minute, though. Alfredo Morelos dummied Tavernier's pass and Ianis Hagi steered the ball in behind for Arfield, who guided a cool finish with the outside of his boot beyond Fatih Ozturk. 

Rangers doubled their lead seven minutes later when Tavernier rose above Martin Linnes at the back post to head home Barisic's deflected cross. 

Younes Belhanda was booked for remonstrating with referee Andris Treimanis after his appeal for a penalty following a tackle from Arfield on the edge of the box was ignored. 

Morelos missed a great chance to improve Rangers' advantage and they were dragged into a tense finale when Marcao's header found a way past Allan McGregor and Ryan Jack in the 87th minute. 

However, Gerrard's men held on to ensure their European adventure will continue.

Steven Gerrard's Rangers thrashed Eredivisie side Willem II 4-0 to set up a Europa League qualifying play-off with Turkish giants Galatasaray.

James Tavernier's 50th goal for the club got Rangers up and running early on and the visitors hardly looked back at Koning Willem II Stadion on Thursday.

Tavernier's landmark strike came from the spot, with the defender lifting a fine finish into the net in the 22nd minute.

Ryan Kent won the penalty and the Leeds United-linked winger doubled Rangers' tally three minutes later when he capitalised on Robbin Ruiter's error from Alfredo Morelos' shot.

Kent's brilliant performance continued when his corner teed up Filip Helander to head in a third early in the second half, with Connor Goldson getting in on the act when he turned home Tavernier's cross.

Rangers' reward for their emphatic victory is a home tie against Galatasaray on October 1, with the winner securing their spot in the group stages.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard believes star forward Alfredo Morelos has "had his head turned" by speculation over his future.

Morelos played 77 minutes against Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday but was unable to add to his 14 goals in this season's tournament as Rangers' lengthy Europa League run came to a close.

Moussa Diaby scored the only goal at the BayArena to conclude a 4-1 aggregate passage into the quarter-finals for the hosts.

Morelos has been heavily linked with a move to Ligue 1 side Lille, with Rangers' moves to sign attackers Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten on Tuesday widely interpreted as them preparing for life without the 24-year-old Colombian.

Asked by BT Sport whether he expected Morales to be at the club next week, Gerrard replied: "I don't know, I can't control what goes on outside.

"Everyone knows he's had his head turned, for sure. There's no denying that.

"But we just move forward. My focus is on the team and the players that want to be here and my focus is certainly on [Rangers' next game against] St Mirren.

"If a bid comes that the board like and are interested in, and the player tells me face to face he wants to go then we'll see what happens."

Gerrard refuted the suggestion that Morales' performance against Leverkusen had been compromised by the prevailing uncertainty.

"I don't think so. I think Alfredo's professional enough to block the noise out and focus," he said.

"He hasn't had the best of games tonight but we haven't as a team either.

"There are no fingers pointed at anyone. We've given it our best shot and unfortunately we fell short.

"We all have to improve, but Alfredo needs to remain focused."

Kolo Toure has tipped former team-mate and "club legend" Steven Gerrard to one day succeed Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager.

Gerrard graduated from the Reds' academy to the first team and became an inspirational captain during 17 years in Liverpool's first team.

The former England international won the Champions League, UEFA Cup, two FA Cups and three EFL Cups but famously never lifted the Premier League trophy during his playing days at Anfield.

Gerrard went close to doing so in the 2013-14 campaign, when he played alongside Toure, but after being pipped by Manchester City on that occasion, Liverpool's 30-year wait for a top-flight title was finally ended as Klopp's side cantered to the trophy this term.

Toure believes Rangers boss Gerrard will have the chance to one day get his hands on the Premier League title as Liverpool manager.

"He's a club legend. If there is anything coming, we will see Steven back there," Toure told Stats Perform News of Gerrard, who previously worked as a coach at Liverpool's Melwood academy. 

"Jurgen loves him, they have a great relationship. The style of play that Steve uses is like Jurgen's. You can see that coming."

Over the past two seasons, Klopp has overseen Champions League, Club World Cup and Premier League triumphs at Anfield.

Toure says the amiable German's success is down to the trust he puts in every member of his squad.

"You will like him because he treats everyone the same, he treats every player the same," he added. 

"It doesn't matter who you are; whether you play, you start or don't start. He treats you the same, he smiles at you the same, shakes your hand the same. 

"He trusts every player that he's got on his team. He's got no doubts about any of his players. You want to fight for him, you want to give everything. 

"You don't want to let him down because he shows you respect. He shows you respect and he shows you that he cares about you as a person, not only as a player."

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