Zero to hero: Rangers' Patterson scores on return from COVID breach

Soccer Football - Europa League - Round of 32 Second Leg - Rangers v Royal Antwerp - Ibrox, Glasgow, Scotland, Britain - February 25, 2021 Rangers' Nathan Patterson scores their second goal Pool via REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

(Reuters) - Rangers manager Steven Gerrard said he is ready to draw a line under Nathan Patterson's COVID-19 breach after the 19-year-old defender scored in Thursday's 5-2 Europa League home win against Royal Antwerp.

Patterson was among five Rangers players ordered to self-isolate for 10 days after local media reported they had attended a party in Glasgow which was broken up by police.

He returned to the squad this week, offering an apology to the club and fans, and was on the bench for the last-32 second leg against the Belgian side.

Patterson then capped a rollercoaster week by coming on to start the second half and netting his first goal for the club within 16 seconds to make it 2-1.

Rangers advanced 9-5 on aggregate.

"He's had a whirlwind week," Gerrard told RangersTV. "He's obviously made a mistake that he regrets and we are trying to draw a line under it.

"I am sure it will be a big week in terms of his development and I think he needs to acknowledge the support the club have given and the opportunity that he has got and he needs to really focus on his football.

"He needs to learn from the mistake but his performance tonight was top. When he came on, he was enthusiastic, strong, physical, and his goal -- any player on the planet would be proud of that."

Rangers, who need seven points from their last eight Scottish Premiership games to clinch the title, travel to Livingston on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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