'Slackness crept in': Pundits focus on Rangers defenders for late equaliser in Benfica 3-3 draw
Darwin Nunez scored a late, late equaliser to snatch a point for ten-man Benfica against Rangers in a match Steven Gerrard’s team dominated.
After a terrible start when Filip Helander blundered and allowed the Portuguese side to go ahead through Connor Goldson’s own goal, the Swede’s evening got worse with another slip for the second goal before the Benfica hitman split the defensive duo in injury time.
Both Ally McCoist on BT Sports and Neil McCann, commenting on BBC Sportsound programme, turned focus on the pair who had – until this evening – been so stoic for Rangers’ start to the season.
While McCoist looked at one, McCann - also a former Rangers forward – focussed on the other.
“I’d be looking for Goldson to come across,” said McCoist in reference to cutting out the supply of Gianluca Walschmidt’s through ball. But McCann questioned the other centre half as Nunez glided through.
“Is there an opportunity for Helander to wipe him out and take a red? Balogun is there to step in because a win basically guarantees them qualification.”
He did commend the assist though from the Benfica midfielder. He added: “What a pass, it’s brilliant – eye of a needle stuff. But he shouldn’t be that side of him. One of the midfielders should be deeper picking him up.
Earlier McCann said he “smelled” an equaliser coming and said: “I'm frustrated and deflated after that. You’d have taken a point yeah, but they were so far ahead and it did turn into a training game.
"Slackness crept into the game and without question they got sloppy and it bought the second goal.
"They were punished big time.
“You can't throw away a two goal advantage with a man advantage, it’s so slack.”
Michael Stewart, also on BBC, thought Rangers had played well and added: “It’s a bitter pill to swallow but in the grand scheme of things there’s a lot to be positive about.”
Rangers came back from their early own goal with one of their own when Diego Goncalves turned James Tavernier’s cross in after Nicoals Otamendi’s red card
Glen Kamara sent them ahead at the break and Alfredo Morelos hit the third before Benfica fought back.