STEVEN GERRARD hailed his resolute Rangers defence as Braga were beaten in a thrilling Europa League clash.

Ryan Kent fired the Gers into the last 16 as his second half strike clinched a win on the night and a 4-2 aggregate victory.

The Light Blues had to fend off real pressure from Braga over the tie as they came back from 2-0 down at Ibrox to progress.

And Gerrard was delighted with the showing of his stoppers as George Edmundson came in alongside James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and Borna Barisic

He said: "The defensive shape of the whole team and everyone committing to what was needed tonight ...when you play against top players and a top team who move the ball really well and who are very very dangerous, you can’t do it with individuals and just one unit.

"Allan McGregor was such a big performer for us - I wouldn’t be sitting here in this competition if it wasn’t for Allan McGregor.

"The partnership of the two centre backs tonight was faultless. George was thrown in at the deep end but there’s one way to get European experience. At some point a manager has got to trust you to go in, whatever the challenge is.

"He stepped up and he fancied it and he delivered with the help of Connor, who played like a captain, like a leader.

"He is someone who has had some stick since the weekend, along with the rest of us, so to bounce back and post that type of performance was great.

"Connor was outstanding and he and George were backed up by the two full-backs on either side who were up against some really dangerous, top class operators. The back five were outstanding, shielded by the three in front of them.

"From a defensive point of view the game plan was delivered by them, so they deserve the credit for it."