Portuguese media react to Rangers defeat as Clement's 'hellish' stars stung by Benfica's VAR 'blessing'

Rangers crashed out against Benfica.Rangers crashed out against Benfica.
Rangers crashed out against Benfica.
The Portuguese media have reacted to Rangers defeat in Glasgow.

It was a night that promised so much but in the end it delivered pain as Rangers crashed out of Europe.

The Europa League round of 16 second leg was sat at 2-2 after Benfica were held on their own patch by Philippe Clement's side. But they went one better at Ibrox, and Rafa Silva's effort beat the offside trap and sealed Portuguese progression.

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With the Eagles seemingly vulnerable amid mounting pressure on boss Roger Schmidt, it's a bitter blow not to capitalise on the angst. But Rangers still have so much to play for this season amid Premiership and Scottish Cup pursuits.

Portuguese media outlets have reacted to the clash in Govan. Here is a selection of their reactions.

De Sporto

"Rafa hands over passport to the quarter-finals of the Europa League. On an afternoon with typical Scottish weather, quite rainy, the two teams took to the field with the aim of reaching the four finals of the Europa League, but it was a part that started quite divided, a constant that would be seen throughout the longest period of time. part of the first 45 minutes.

"Around half an hour into the match, Rangers were growing in the match, as they managed to win most of the duels against the team led by Roger Schmidt. However, the embodied answer ended up appearing in the head of Marcos Leonardo. Di María dominated with his chest and crossed into the area, with the Brazilian striker trying to finish with a header but the ball went wide of Butland's goal.

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"The Benfica team's lack of discretion encouraged the home team to create more dangerous opportunities. In the first play, it was António Silva who came close to deceiving Trubin with a cut that came very close to the red goal post and, shortly after, it was Souttar again, after some insistence from the Scottish captain, who headed the ball into the side net. Benfica tried to take control of the game with two shots from Di María blocked by Yilmaz and, shortly afterwards, a shot from Tengstedt, in the figure, after an understanding move by the red attack, the Danish forward could have done more and better.

"It was necessary to suffer, especially with the video referee's analysis, but it was a goal. Still in the Scottish midfield, Rafa receives a header from Di María who, in a typical run by the Portuguese forward, manages to open the scoring. The move was still invalidated by the inspector, but VAR confirmed Rafa's regular position."


"Rangers had several opportunities to resolve the tie, but it was a less successful performance than the one he had in Lisbon. And as so often in football, 'those who don't kill die.'

A Bola

"Of all, one. Benfica 's motto , written in Latin on the emblem, carried the Portuguese champion to the quarter-finals of the Europa League. The victory in Glasgow will not go down in the gallery of the most memorable European nights in the history of the Eagles, but it goes down in the record as the first over Rangers , in the fourth duel, as well as the first Portuguese triumph at Ibrox.

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"The red group was clearly aware of the importance of the moment and managed, within a very particular context, to put on the field a cohesion rarely seen this season. The union was strong enough for a single blow, enough to take down the Rangers. The biggest difference in the first half was not in the home team's offensive production, but rather in the Eagles' sharpness in transition. Launched in place of Marcos Leonardo , Casper Tengstedt wasted a quick first outing of quality, but he didn't have to wait much longer for the goal. What took longer was the VAR validation, which verified that Rafa was before midfield when he received the pass in an effort from Di María .

"The goal came with Kokçu replacing Neres , and Schmidt then waited until the final minutes to launch João Mário and Tiago Gouveia , leaving an exchange to be spent. The coach did not dare change the stability that the team demonstrated, and Benfica even had two opportunities – through defenders Bah and António Silva , interestingly – to bring forward the end of the tie. Trubin didn't even get scared by a weak shot from Lundstram , and that was the best the Rangers could do after the goal conceded. From now on, Benfica will need different arguments, but now the essential thing was to avoid a KO that could leave undisguised marks. Time is scarce, but Schmidt has gained some."


"The triumph follows the draw (2-2) seen in the 1st leg, at Estádio da Luz, on March 7th. With this triumph, Benfica obtained their 2nd victory ever in Scotland, the first coming in the 1960/61 season against Hearts 2-1. Rangers' first defeat at home in the 12 games played against Portuguese teams was based on the excellent defensive organization that Benfica presented.

"The moment of the game came in the 66th minute. With Kökcü on the field (he replaced Neres in the 65th minute), the "eagles" quickly launched the attack, boosted by Florentino's decisive action, leading to the ball reaching Di María's head, close to the dividing line of the field. This placed it on Rafa, who, coming from behind, isolated himself towards Butland's goal, and, already in the area, finished with class (0-1). The assistant referee signaled offside, but, after VAR analysis, the move was validated, giving Benfica an advantage in the game and in the tie.

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"Until the end of the match, Benfica's foresight came to the fore, contrasting with the lack of it on the Scottish side, who were safely controlled by the Portuguese bloc."


"Benfica qualifies in Glasgow with the blessing of VAR. Reds beat Rangers with a goal from Rafa, promptly disallowed for offside, but (well) sanctioned after the review. The first half was played at a hellish pace, imposed by the Scots, even though neither team had any great opportunities to score. Marcos Leonardo, Roger Schmidt's initial bet, could have done better in the 31st minute, but his header went over.

"In the second half, Benfica took a while to return from the locker room. Rangers started the second half much better. At 48 and 51' Dessers and António Silva, the latter in his own goal, could have put the British ahead. At 69' the game began. Corner for Rangers, Benfica counterattacks, Di María, with a header, serves Rafa and he runs towards the goal and scores. The suspension lasted a few moments until the VAR announced the legality of the goal.

"With the advantage, Benfica calmed down, began to exchange the ball better and Bah and António Silva could have increased the score, but the result was done. After 12 games, Rangers lost, for the first time, to a Portuguese team and Benfica gave a signal that they wanted to overcome the crisis of recent weeks, which had already been alleviated with the victory over Estoril."

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