JAMES Tavernier last night held his hands up and confessed he was to blame for the first of two “sloppy” goals that Rangers conceded in another late collapse against Benfica.

Steven Gerrard’s side forged into a two goal lead in the Europa League match at Ibrox thanks to a first-half Scott Arfield strike and a Kemar Roofe screamer in the second.

But captain and right back Tavernier turned the ball into his own net in the 78th minute after failing to deal with an innocuous cross and then substitute Pizzi levelled.

The defender admitted he felt sorry that Roofe’s special strike didn’t win the match – but insisted that Rangers will be better placed to cope with top class opposition in future.

“I am disappointed,” he said. “We put ourselves in a good position. We go 2-0 up against a very good side. We can be a lot better on the two goals that we concede.

“It was just two sloppy goals basically. I can do better on the header at the back post. It goes into the box and then there are a few ricochets. For the second goal we have to be a bit tighter to the men with the combinations that we are doing.

“But they are a great side. It is good for us to learn from this going forward. It is a good learning curve. We can look back on this game and be stronger as a team. We can still take the positives out of the game. We put ourselves in a great position. We will move on.”

Asked about Roofe’s effort, Tavernier added: “He definitely turns up in Europe. He has done it in the league as well. He scores amazing goals. Tonight was a great one.

“It’s a shame. The headlines should be about Kemar and a great strike. That is disappointing. But we have just got to learn and move forward.”