Rangers travelled to Spartak Moscow last night looking to extend their record-breaking European unbeaten run this season and seize control of their Europa League group.
And if you’d told Steven Gerrard and his players that they were going to score three first half away goals in pursuit of that result, every single one of them would have snapped your hand off.
But as it turned out, Roman Eremenko’s own goal and strikes from Daniel Candeias and Glenn Middleton, which put Rangers into the lead three times were not enough to avoid going down 4-3 and slipping down to third in Group G.
Ahead of what was always going to be a tough away assignment in a hostile atmosphere, Gerrard opted to recall Nikola Katic to his backline ahead of Nottingham Forest loanee Joe Worrall.
But the four goals conceded which saw Gerrard claim Rangers’ defending was worse than what you’d see at under 12 or 13 level shows that wasn’t necessarily the best move.
Katic was honest enough to face the media in the aftermath of the game and it was clear from the expression on his face that he was absolutely gutted about the result.
So while Gers fans might have been expected to lay into their centre-half after letting in four goals, that clear passion meant that they rallied round him. We’ve taken a closer look…
Head up big man bad night at the office but he’s had plenty of good nights
— KennyGrfc (@kennygrfc) November 8, 2018
Our captain should have been the one speaking after the match tonight. Katic looks like he’s going to burst in to tears 😞
— Janis (@Dorothyparker_) November 9, 2018
All the big man needs is a couple of big tackles and headers…keep it simple and be strong!!
— Colin MacKay (@ColinJWM) November 8, 2018
He looks gutted! No wonder, worral is decent but isn’t our player, I’m frustrated by this
— James (@juicyartifact) November 8, 2018
@ReeceCampbell21 he’s pure choked up ☹️ nearly had me greeting x
— Rachael Hanson (@rachaelxhanson) November 8, 2018
Chin up big man we can all learn from the mistakes still got 2 games to qualify 💪🏻 can be dun big man just gutted not to get at least a point but wasn’t to be so onto Villarreal 🔴⚪️🔵
— 💙 🇬🇧 NoSurrenderGazza 🇬🇧💙 (@Alex_WATP_RFC) November 9, 2018
Still believe in you big man we can do this and go through. Keep head up because I believe in you 💙💯
— Ally (@AlasdairMore) November 8, 2018