Dubai: Steven Gerrard sealed his first ever football league title as he masterminded Rangers’ progress back to the top of the table in Scottish football — without kicking a ball.
After Rangers’ 3-0 win over St Mirren on Saturday, the Glasgow giants only required one point to secure their first title since they went into administration a decade ago.
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And fallen champions Celtic — who were going for a historic 10-in-a-row — handed them the trophy as they were held 0-0 at Dundee United in another limp display during a season that saw manager Neil Lennon depart.
For Gerrard it was a sweet moment, as the Liverpool hero, who had won every trophy going except for a domestic league title while with the Anfield club, finally could say he is a league winner — albeit as a coach.
Rangers’ storm to the title was confirmed on Sunday after Celtic’s 0-0 draw at United left them 20 points behind their Glasgow rivals with six games left to play.
Gerrard’s men have waltzed to glory without losing a game to end Celtic’s stranglehold of a record-equalling nine consecutive Scottish league titles as part of a historic domestic ‘quadruple treble’ in which they won all 12 trophies on offer over four years.
The pandemic-defying fan celebrations outside Ibrox began the previous day as Rangers beat St Mirren 3-0. Celtic have dominated since Rangers was demoted to the lowest professional league in 2012 but have now been prevented from winning the title for an unprecedented 10th straight season, and for a 52nd time overall.
Now he can celebrate as it is the first league title ever won by Gerrard. He came agonisingly close in 2014 to finally landing the one club prize that eluded him. Adding to the anguish, Gerrard’s own slip against Chelsea contributed to a 2-0 loss that ended up costing Liverpool the title as Manchester City emerged victorious.
After seeing out the final two years of his playing career at the Los Angeles Galaxy, the midfielder retired from playing in 2016 and embarked on his coaching career with Liverpool’s youth teams.
Gerrard made the step up to first-team management in 2018 when he was hired by a Rangers side in the doldrums after being thrashed 4-0 by Celtic in a Scottish Cup semi-final. It has taken three years for Gerrard to restore Rangers to their once-customary position as champions of Scotland.
"This club has been to hell and back over the past 10 years," said Gerrard. "I've only been part of it for three, but I can certainly relate and I've got that feeling and that affection with the fans and I know what they have been through."