STEVEN Gerrard last night revealed he would have reacted in exactly the same way as Andy Halliday when Celtic captain Scott Brown deliberately goaded the Rangers fans following the Old Firm game at Parkhead.

Halliday sparked a mass brawl between both sets of players at Celtic Park yesterday afternoon when he went for Brown following a Ladbrokes Premiership game his side had lost 2-1.

The left back received a second yellow card from referee Bobby Madden for his actions after a result which effectively ensures the East End club will win their eighth consecutive Scottish title this season.

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However, Gerrard, whose side levelled despite his striker Alfredo Morelos being sent off for an elbow on Brown in the first-half, criticised the Celtic midfielder and defended his player’s conduct.

“I feel for Andy,” he said. “Celtic are well within their rights to celebrate. They’ve won the game and they’ve stretched their lead. We celebrated when we won the last Old Firm game, so you are well within your rights.

“But I can’t understand why a guy (Brown) then decides to celebrate 10 yards away from the two per cent of Rangers fans when they’re 98 percent home support. Andy went in to protect his own people – I would have probably done that myself.”

However, Gerrard revealed he would be fining Morelos a week’s wages for his red card - and would donate the money to the Rangers fans.

The Liverpool and England great also admitted that his team had shown poor discipline throughout the 90 minutes and promised to get tough on all of his players if they display a lack of professionalism in future.

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“I’ve gone above and beyond for Alfredo,” he said. “I’ll continue to protect him, support him and love him, because of the player and the person he is.

“But I’ve got to draw a line. He’ll be punished. I’ll recommend to the board he’s fined a week’s wages –and that the money should go to the supporters who came today.

“They are the ones who’ll suffer from his lack of discipline, along with his team mates. The money is no use to the players. It’s more use to the supporters, so that’s what I’ll recommend.

“Will he get the message? That’s a question you’ll have to ask the player himself. I’m sitting here hoping and wishing and waiting.

“I can honestly say, hand on heart, I have done everything, as have his team mates and my support staff.

“He accepted what I said to him after the game. In terms of his thoughts, it’s his responsibility moving forward. I’ve said my piece. I recommend a punishment to the board and we’ll deal with it from there.

“You expect that coming here. We have to be more clever and cute to deal with it. That’s standard when you come to Celtic as a Rangers player. It’s no problem. We need to deal with it better.”

“At the same time there’s been other ill-discipline through the team that has hurt us this season. So the rules will be changed moving forward. I’ll deal with that.”

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Asked if he would be taking a harder line in future, he said: “A million percent. I have tried every other avenue or trick, I’ve tried it all. It’s hurt us on too many occasions.

“I think that’s five reds for Alfredo, which is not acceptable, and as a group we much be in double figures now. It’s not acceptable.

“There are times in matches when you need to put your body on the line and put yourself at risk with a challenge.

“Sometimes you get a double yellow or you are hard done by. Earlier in the season he got done for violent conduct when it wasn’t and I can defend that. I will defend my players and I’ve gone above and beyond for them.

“But it gets to a stage where enough’s enough and that’s where we are now.”

Gerrard was pleased with how Rangers, who levelled through Ryan Kent in the second-half, had performed after being reduced to 10 men.

“There was a lot about the performance to be proud of,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like that right now because of the result. Defeats taste worst straight after the game.

“But, big picture, we’ve proved today that while it took us a some time to believe, at times we were much better than Celtic.”

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