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Benfica edge past Rangers at Ibrox

Benfica edge past Rangers at Ibrox

2024/03/14 19:48

Rafa Silva remained composed to score the winner as Benfica edged past Rangers by a goal to nil at Ibrox and move themselves into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League. 


RANGERS XI: Butland; Tavernier*, Goldson, Souttar, Yilmaz; Diomande, Lundstram; Wright, Lawrence, Fabio Silva; Dessers

RANGERS SUBS: McCrorie, Davies, Barisic, Yfeko, Fraser, King, Raskin, Cantwell, McKinnon, Matondo, Roofe, McCausland

BENFICA XI: Trubin; Bah, A. Silva, Otamendi*, Aursnes; Joao Neves, Florentino Luis; Di Maria, Rafa Silva, David Neres; Marcos Leonardo

BENFICA SUBS: Kokubo, Samuel Soares, Morato, Alvaro Fernandez, Tomas Araujo, Kokcu, Tiago Gouveia, Joao Mario, Rollheiser, Arthur Cabral, Tengstedt

Action: With a fever pitch atmosphere in the pouring rain in Glasgow, it was the hosts who set about their Portuguese opposition with attacking intent and Benfica forced to rely on playing on the break. 

The ‘Gers very nearly took the lead via an Anatoliy Trubin mistake after around ten minutes when Tom Lawrence led a Rangers counter-attack of their own and his tame effort was badly handled by Trubin with the ball eventually trickling behind for a corner.

Frederik Aursnes gave Benfica their first effort on goal of the match when the Norwegian struck hard and low from distance but Jack Butland was able to comfortably save.

The rest of the half was even at Ibrox but the biggest moment did come to Benfica when Marcos Leonardo couldn’t quite get over a ball to direct a header at goal and instead had his effort spoon wide.

Philippe Clement sent his Rangers side out to the second-half with some new found vigour as they attacked from the off and nearly forced two goals out of almost nothing via former Feyenoord forward, Cyriel Dessers.

His first attempt was heading wide anyway but was eventually deflected out for a corner, too, before he then had a grappling match with Nicolas Otamendi that eventually bobbled out wide for a corner, too, off the Argentinian centre-back.

Then, from another Rangers attack, Benfica had their moment as they cleared long from a corner before the brilliant Angel Di Maria nodded the ball through to Rafa Silva, who took his time as he ran down on Butland’s goal before finishing confidently past the Englishman.

The goal was initially disallowed for offside but a check with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) showed the Benfica attacker was in his own half when Di Maria played through.



Benfica then began to turn the screw and attempt to put the game to bed as they managed their Scottish opposition well. Joao Neves very nearly snuck a low effort into the bottom corner but Butland managed to push the ball wide. 

Rangers did eventually pile forward but Benfica finally held on to a very important victory at Ibrox to ease the pressure on under fire manager Roger Schmidt. 

The big picture: Rangers will now turn their attention to domestic commitments and they are in the hunt for the double with themselves and Celtic locked in an intense title race and the Bears are in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup. Benfica are also in an intense title race with their own city rivals, Sporting, and face Sporting in the semis of the cup next month, too, as they aim for another trophy-laden campaign.

Man of the match: Rafa Silva. It can only be the Portuguese playmaker that takes the man of the match award with the maverick, who will depart Benfica at the end of the season, crucial in delivering Benfica into the last eight of the UEL.




’66 | GOAL: Rafa Silva (0-1)



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2024-03-14 20h38m by awalkerson7
However, it was the visitors who found the breakthrough in the 70th minute with a composed finish from Rafa Silva.

As a Rangers fan, I'm gutted to see us lose in such a crucial game, but credit to Benfica for a solid performance and a well-taken goal from Silva. The atmosphere at Ibrox was electric and our boys gave it their all, but it just wasn't enough. Still proud of our team and looking forward to the next game.
2024-03-14 20h00m by hturnerford
However, it was Benfica's Rafa Silva who proved to be the difference with a composed finish to secure the win for the Eagles.

As a Rangers fan, I have to say it's a tough loss to take. We dominated the game and had some great chances, but Benfica's defense held strong and Rafa Silva's goal was the difference. Congrats to them on the win, but we'll come back stronger next time!
classic matches
U Thursday, 14 March 2024 - 17:45
Ivan Kruzliak
Rafa Silva 67'


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