SPFL boss names what dumped Rangers out of Europa League as one Benfica edge breaks Ibrox hearts

Rangers were dumped out of the Europa League by Benfica on home soilRangers were dumped out of the Europa League by Benfica on home soil
Rangers were dumped out of the Europa League by Benfica on home soil
Benfica crushed Rangers' dreams at Ibrox by earning a 1-0 Europa League win

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes believes quality in forward areas proved the difference between Rangers and Benfica.

An electric Ibrox was full of belief before kick-off after earning a valiant 2-2 draw in Portugal last week. Memories of Seville were still fresh in the minds of Gers supporters hoping for another magical Europa League campaign.

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With the home support behind them, the Light Blues went into the clash in the eyes of some as favourites but barely laid a glove on Benfica during a rain-soaked Glasgow night. Rangers were sucker-punched shortly after the hour mark when Rafa Silva rounded Jack Butland to fire the visitors in front.

Ibrox cried for offside and the official agreed - prompting a lengthy VAR check. Replays showed that, although Silva was ahead of the last man, he was fractionally inside his own half when Angel Di Maria headed the ball forward.

The goal was given and Benfica, using their European know-how and star-studded squad, ground out a tight victory. Philippe Clement rang the changes to try and force an equaliser but Benfica held firm to book their place in the quarter-finals.

For Rangers, it is now full steam ahead as they aim to regain the Premiership from bitter rivals Celtic. Speaking to TNT Sports post-match, Kilmarnock boss McInnes insisted the Portuguese outfit simply boasted more talent in attack.

“Benfica just had better forward players than Rangers,” he said. The goal sucked the life out of Rangers, they never really responded. There’s no shame in losing to a team like this.”

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