Balogun: Rangers won’t fear Benfica after back-to-back Europa League wins

Balogun: Rangers won’t fear Benfica after back-to-back Europa League wins

The Super Eagles centre-back helped Steven Gerrard's side keep their fourth clean sheet in a row on Thursday night

Leon Balogun is confident of Rangers’ chances against Benfica after they defeated Lech Poznan 1-0 in their latest Uefa Europa League outing.

The Nigeria international produced a fine performance at the back as Alfredo Morelos came off the bench to score the only goal that separated both teams at Ibrox Stadium on Thursday night.

The result was Rangers’ second straight win the Europa League this season and it also extended their unbeaten run to 17 matches across all competitions so far.

Balogun thinks the Gers’ fine form will continue to give them confidence as they aim to progress from Group D.

"We kind of made it a big thing to get the three points out of this game because we knew how massive it would be and I think everybody is happy that we accomplished that, because it wasn't an easy game. They are not a pushover,” the 32-year-old told the club website.

"We played a really, really good side and you could see that against Benfica as well. So yeah, it's a massive win and it definitely puts us in a good position for the rest of the group stage.

"Again there is still no need to get carried away, but I think definitely that was a big step forward for us."

Rangers and Benfica are level on six points after two games but the latter sit at the summit of Group D with a superior goal difference.

The Scottish Premiership leaders visit the Portuguese club for their next Europa League fixture on November 5 and Balogun is upbeat about their chances at the Estadio Sport Lisboa e Benfica.

"Nobody will go in there with fear. If at all, probably with respect, which we actually have for every team,” he continued.

"Those teams have qualified for Europe not because they are just some team. Benfica, we all know about the strength of that club, but I don't think we have to hide or anything.

"Definitely those last two games [against Standard Liege and Lech Poznan] gave us confidence, rightfully so, and we have a good management staff and they are going to prepare us well.

“We go into the games with Benfica to win them, there is no point going into the game just to participate. We want to win if possible and I think we are going to have a match plan next week that will show us ways to do that.

"Then it is on us on the pitch to put that into life and breathe life into that plan."

Original author: Taiye Taiwo
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