PROUD Steven Gerrard reckons ‘it was a fair result’ as his Rangers and Benfica played out a 2-2 draw at Ibrox tonight.
Leading 2-0 thanks to Scott Arfield and Kemar Roofe goals, Gers were pegged back but still have their Europa League destiny in their own hands, with wins over Standard Liege and Lech Poznan in their final two matches securing top spot in Group D.
Speaking to RangersTV, Gerrard said: "I think it is a fair result and I think we did ever so well to get ourselves two in front but I didn't feel we were in total control of the game.
"We scored two magnificent goals, especially Kemar's and it was fantastic - one of the goals of the season so far.
"But look, I think Benfica have got us again at the end of the game when we were tired. We have had to put an awful lot of focus, effort and concentration into the game and I thought we tired in certain areas towards the end and they made us pay.
"But, when the emotion settles and days go by and we line-up against Standard Liege here next week, two draws against Benfica is a decent effort from the players and I am proud with what they have given over both games.
"Yes, we will be slightly disappointed and frustrated we haven't got wins in the positions we got ourselves in, but you have to remember who we are playing against.
"We are playing against a team who shouldn't be in the Europa League - we are playing against a Champions League team so taking it all into consideration, I thought it a fair result."
That Gers have been able to compete and hurt a team like Benfica in two matches is heartening for Gerrard who continued: "It shows we are not too far away and it shows we have made big progress and we are taking big strides.
"We are competing with these teams - I think Benfica spent the fourth most in World football in-terms of building their squad in the summer and we are where we are and we are standing up to these teams and competing and giving ourselves an opportunity to win these games.
"I can't be any more proud of the players - the unbeaten run goes on and now it is about switching the attention domestically and it is about attitude and mentality and getting them ready for the weekend.
"Everyone will be slightly frustrated and disappointed - I get that, and when we analyse it and pick the bones out and we will find areas where we need to improve.
"But, we are drawing against Benfica - we are drawing against a Champions League team over two 90 minutes - it's not a bad place to be in where we are."
Roofe’s second half goal tonight was of exceptional quality, and on that, the manager added:
"His song is that he is on fire, and at the moment, he is certainly catching fire - he is injury free, he is training and he is repeating games.
"He's smiling and he's enjoying it - he has played a few on the spin now after a couple of injuries so I will probably need to look after him at some point, but we are really pleased where he is at and we need to keep him fit and healthy as he is going to be a big help to us going forward."