Philippe Clement 'proud' of Rangers players despite Europa League exit

Rangers were defeated by Benfica at Ibrox on Thursday night.

Philippe Clement says he is “proud” of his Rangers side despite their Europa League exit at the hands of Benfica on Thursday night.

The Portuguese side ran out 1-0 winners at Ibrox to seal a 3-2 aggregate victory in the round in the last-16 clash.

The Rangers manager seen improvements from his players from the 2-2 draw in Lisbon last week and praised their bravery against a team with a “much bigger budget” but admitted that it just wasn’t enough on the night.

Speaking after the game he said: “I think it was a close tie, but I’m proud of what my players showed.

“We played a better game than we played in Lisbon, better game on the ball.

“But you need to be on your toes to compete with these kind of teams with a much bigger budget than you have.

“Everybody did that. So everybody raised their level towards the Lisbon game. And then you need to take the moments.

“And we didn’t take enough of our moments and they took that moment.

“Yeah we made a wrong decision making, if Dio just runs with the attacker then nothing happens in that situation. But he’s still a young player who plays for the first time at this level.

“And he played a really good game. So I’m proud what I saw.

“I saw a team who was brave, I saw a team who wanted to take the domination of the game because Benfica started with wanting to put pressing on us like they did in Lisbon, where we were less good on the ball. But we were much better on the ball in that way.

“And, and then it’s about taking the important moments in the round of 16, but we didn’t do enough.”

The Premiership leaders now turn their attention back to league duty with a trip to play Dundee at Dens Park on Sunday afternoon.

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