Benfica manager Jorge Jesus has given Steven Gerrard and Rangers the ultimate praise by hinting he and his team were almost ‘scared’ about what Rangers would do to them before kick off.
The Portuguese giants, who salvaged a draw thanks to poor game management from Rangers players and admittedly a few errors from the manager too, went into this match as strong favourites and the team to beat.
With the record they have and the players they boast, this wasn’t that much of a shock, but Jesus’ confession is very telling and we have to be impressed he thought that much of us:
Incredible words really, when you look between the lines – their manager is saying, pretty clearly, just how wary they were of this Rangers team, fearing being toyed with and dominated – and in truth, despite the shaky start, even before the sending off that’s pretty much how it panned out.
What an incredible rise and turnaround for a team being humped by Process Unicorn three years ago, that teams of the calibre of Benfica are genuinely scared and wary of facing us – on their OWN pitch, and aren’t too proud to admit it.
Is that the Gerrard Effect? It certainly plays a role, but there’s absolutely no doubt European teams fear playing Rangers now, in a way we can rarely remember.