Rangers news: Filip Helander torn apart by Benfica in Europa League draw

Filip Helander Rangers vs Benfica

If offered a draw at the start of the evening, it'd surely have been tempting for Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. 

Under his watch, the club have claimed big scalps in European competition but Benfica have won all but one of their Liga NOS games this season and spent big money during the transfer window.

However, the fact Rangers seemed to throw it away by conceding two goals within the last twenty minutes after taking a 3-1 lead, even a point away at a side not to have lost in Lisbon within the context of this competition since 2009 dampens the result somewhat. 

Gerrard himself spoke of how the Gers have no one to blame but themselves. Indeed, that may be true, but a certain Filip Helander should take more than his fair share of it. 

The central defender has not lost in the league since joining the club from Bologna in the summer of 2019 and usually looks rather formidable in that competition given he's averaging 5.3 aerial duels won per 90 minutes (via WhoScored) but endured a torrid evening in the Portuguese capital. 

A major mistake in the first minute led to Connor Goldson's own goal as he hacked and sliced at a clearance before dithering again to allow Darwin Nunez to set-up Rafa Silva for the second.

For the third, his lack of pace was cruelly exposed.  

Such poor decision making cost his teammates what would have been their biggest European result since the run to the UEFA Cup Final in 2008. 

A 94% passing accuracy sometimes speaks to a player assured and composed. However, the Swedish international proved anything but last night and was run ragged in the dying embers of a game Rangers should have sewn up.

If anyone is to blame for last night, it's Filip Helander. 

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