HomeFeatured ArticlesRangers and Benfica Battle Out 2-2 Draw in Europa League

Rangers and Benfica Battle Out 2-2 Draw in Europa League

Thrilling Europa League Draw: Rangers Hold Benfica at Bay

In the latest chapter of the Europa League saga, Rangers showcased their mettle in a pulsating 2-2 draw against Benfica in Lisbon. This match was a testament to their resilience and tactical acumen, particularly given the twice-taken lead that kept fans on the edge of their seats throughout the encounter.

Opening Salvo from Rangers

The match kicked off with Rangers taking the initiative early on, courtesy of Tom Lawrence’s precision header. This came after Mohamed Diomande’s exceptional effort on the left flank, setting up the Welsh international for a memorable goal. This opener underlined Rangers’ efficiency, converting their first genuine attack into a lead.

Photo: IMAGO

VAR Drama and a Swift Response

As the half-time whistle loomed, controversy struck. John Souttar found himself at the centre of a VAR review for a handball, leading to Angel Di Maria’s calm penalty conversion for Benfica. However, Rangers’ resolve was unshaken. They promptly regained the lead through Dujon Sterling’s emphatic finish, marking his maiden goal for the club with gusto.

Benfica’s Fightback

Post-interval, Benfica ramped up the pressure, although Rangers had chances to extend their lead, notably when Fabio Silva was thwarted by the goalkeeping prowess of Jack Butland. The home team’s persistence paid dividends when Connor Goldson’s misjudged header found its own net, bringing the scores level once more.

Despite further chances for Benfica, including a missed opportunity by Rafa Silva, Rangers’ disciplined defence secured a draw. This outcome, undoubtedly, was something they would have accepted with open arms before the match commenced.

Standout Performer

Jack Butland’s performance was instrumental in Rangers’ ability to secure a point on foreign soil, making pivotal saves that kept his team in contention throughout this high-octane clash.

Match Statistics

Team Possession Shots Shots on Target Corners Fouls
Benfica 68% 24 5 14 8
Rangers 32% 9 5 4 13

In summary, this draw serves as a testament to the Europa League’s unpredictability and the sheer competitiveness of its participants. As Rangers return home, they do so with heads held high, having stood their ground on one of Europe’s grandest stages.

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