What the Rangers pundits said about Benfica pain as 'scarred' hosts spark gutted Boyd into brutal reaction

Rangers have been put out of the Europa League by Benfica.
John Lundstram's expression says it all after Rangers' 1-0 loss at Ibrox.John Lundstram's expression says it all after Rangers' 1-0 loss at Ibrox.
John Lundstram's expression says it all after Rangers' 1-0 loss at Ibrox.

Rangers stars were left pondering what could have been in the Glasgow rain as Benfica dumped them out of the Europa League.

After a 2-2 draw in the first leg away from home, hopes were high that a raucous Ibrox could spur the team on to victory like they had in the 2022 run to Seville. But a Rafa Silva goal burst the bubble and sealed narrow Portuguese progression.

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It means Rangers miss out on the chance to compete with the likes of AC Milan, Liverpool and West Ham in the last eight, but focus can now turn to the Premiership title race and Scottish Cup. Here's how the pundits reacted.

Kris Boyd (Sky)

After the Benfica goal was scored: "There's no smiling here that is for sure. It's a great counter from Benfica. Rangers have been so open when they have free-kicks and corner kicks. They have had so many people up the pitch and Benfica have had at least five or six chances on the counter to punish Rangers. This time they have."

He added at full-time: "Rangers gave the ball away from a corner and Benfica capitalised on that. It's an excellent finish from Rafa Silva. Rangers never really troubled Trubin in the Benfica goal and they deserved to go through on tonight's performance. No complaints. It could have been two or three towards the end. Rangers failed to really trouble Benfica in an attacking sense."

Don Hutchison (Discovery +)

"I think you can tell from Jack Butland's interview after the game, they were scarred going into it from what happened last week. An own goal, they were up twice in the game, a questionable penalty. But you've got to park that to one side. They didn't really do enough. It was tight and Rangers started well, but they were very open for a European game at this level. The goal, it looked like Rafa Silva had gone early, but when you see it back, he's in his own half, which is in his favour. He's got pace and quality, but then Rangers are chasing the game.

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"When you go up once in a European tie, make sure you stay up. When you go up twice, you need to make sure you see the game through and come back with a win. When you play a good European team, you've got to pick your time, take your chances, and be defensively solid. If you look back at the goal, Rangers emptied so many bodies at the top end of the pitch and left themselves exposed. Those are the fine margins."

Derek McInnes (TNT)

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

Ally McCoist (TNT)

"I find it incredible. It might be in his own half. This is going to be close. Whatever happens, the defending from Rangers again, I find it frankly unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable from your own corner that you get caught like that. Not once, twice, but three or four times. It is amazing."

Stephen Thomson (Sportsound)

"Tonight you would have said with the home crowd behind them, a slight advantage going into the game. But quite simply Rangers didn't do enough. I think Benfica managed the game very well, limited Rangers. Defensively they had some big performances. They were incredibly effective on the counter-attack. At this level you are going to get a couple of chances, Rangers probably only had two, three at max, efforts on target at home. It's not enough. It's been a good run for Rangers and they can now concentrate on the domestic front. Rangers are better than what they showed but I have to say, I thought Benfica performed well."

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