We were robbed of two points against Rangers by offside goal, claims Motherwell boss

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander claims his side were robbed of two points after drawing 1-1 with Premiership pace-setters Rangers today, January 17.

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander reacts during his side's Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match against Rangers at Fir Park on January 17. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

’Well led for over half of the game and only a 72nd-minute goal by substitute Cedric Itten prevented them from claiming all three points and inflicting a first league defeat of the season on the Glaswegians.

That goal, salvaging a point for Steven Gerrard’s side after Devante Cole had put the hosts ahead at Fir Park, shouldn’t have been allowed to stand, however, according to Alexander as he reckons the Swiss striker was offside.

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The former Salford City boss didn’t spot that alleged infringement at the time but says it was clear to see after watching replays of Itten heading home a Borna Barisic cross at the back post to extend Rangers’ unbeaten run to 24 matches.

Cedric Itten of Rangers scores his team's only goal during their Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match with Motherwell at Fir Park on January 17. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“The frustration is the goal which I don’t believe should have counted,” he told Sky Sports after the game.

“I didn’t see it at the time at all but I’ve seen the stills and pictures and the lad looks offside when the ball comes in.

“But that’s not within our control. All I can concentrate on is the structure of the team, the players’ motivation and the togetherness of everyone at the club, and that, for me, was top notch today.”

The point earned by today’s draw lifted Motherwell off the bottom of the Premiership table, though they remain level on 19 points with basement side Hamilton Academical.

It was also a second point from two games for Alexander since he was recruited to replace Stephen Robinson 10 days previously.

Had Itten’s goal – his fourth of the season, all scored against Motherwell – been flagged offside, though, ’Well would have leapfrogged Ross County into 10th place and would only have been three points behind seventh-placed Kilmarnock. It would have been their first win since a 2-0 victory away to Livingston at the end of October.

The North Lanarkshire side’s next game is away to fourth-placed Aberdeen on Saturday, January 23, kicking off at 3pm, followed by a trip to Ross County on Wednesday, January 27, at 6pm, and Alexander is hoping to continue picking up points then.

The 49-year-old said: “The players deserve all the credit because they took on our game-plan.

“I thought we were the better team in the first half in our structure. In the second half, they were always going to build up momentum and pressure, but we defended really well.

“I couldn’t ask for any more from the team.

“But for a cross and an offside header, we take three points, so the players have got to take great confidence from that, but, without a shadow of a doubt, we’ve got to work just as hard next week.

“Every game’s important, and we’ve got to take the positives from that.

“We’ve got to see if we can improve anything we need to improve, and it’ll be a different sort of challenge next week at Aberdeen certainly and a big one, but the opportunity is there again to take points and that’s what we’ve got to focus on.”