STEVEN GERRARD reckons Rangers legend Ally McCoist would have been proud of Kyle Lafferty’s stunning strike in Spain.

The former Ibrox forward was in Villarreal to see Gerrard’s side twice come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw in their Europa League Group G opener.

It was Lafferty’s first goal on the continent for the Light Blues and came with just minutes to spare of an enthralling encounter at El Madrigal.

The Northern Irishman became frustrated at times as Rangers struggled to assert themselves as an attacking force.

But he came to the fore when required as he finished off a sweeping move that saw Glenn Middleton and Borna Barisic cut Villarreal open.

And Gerrard compared the finish to one that McCoist would have taken satisfaction from as the Gers legend watched on in Spain.

He said: “I know you say it’s the first goal for him at this level but he’s scored many international goals which is obviously a very high level.

“It’s not a surprise to me, it’s the reason I played him, it’s the reason I bought him and wanted him back here because I know he likes the big stage, I know he’s capable of scoring big goals.

“Before we signed him he scored an important goal against Celtic. It doesn’t matter who he’s playing against, the standard of the team, he believes in himself, he backs himself.

“Sometimes away from home in Europe when you’re playing up on your own it can be a thankless task and you can give in and get frustrated but I thought the control on the finish – he used the speed of the cross – it was a fantastic cross.

“I’m no expert on being a number nine, there’s one at the back he will tell you, but he kept it low and used the pace to guide it in and I thought it was a fantastic finish and one that our man at the back will be very proud of.”