Written by – Jamie Currie
Rangers travelled to Easter Road after Sunday’s heroics but came away empty-handed as Hibs ran out 3-2 winners.
Rangers did all the early running and should have gone ahead early on. The chance came from a superb move on the edge of the box between Holt, Miller and Tavernier – the right-back got in behind the defend but couldn’t finish Miller’s neat through ball.
Hibs took the lead just minutes later, and it came from a Rangers defensive lapse. Tavernier’s throw-in caught Wilson and Kiernan sleeping and that allowed Jason Cummings to nip in and fire beyond Foderingham.
Foderingham’s night didn’t improve when he completely misjudged Anthony Stokes‘ poor cross, which put Hibs 2-0 ahead.
However, Jason Holt would make sure the lead would be halved going into half-time. Tavernier, who kept going all night, crossed from the right, Oxley couldn’t deal with it and when it came back off the crossbar, Holt tapped home.
Despite Rangers having most of the possession in the opening period of the second half, the old set-piece woes would re-appear.
The corner wasn’t properly dealt with, and somehow Niklas Gunnarsson found himself in acres of space to smash a volley beyond Foderingham, who had no chance with it.
Barrie McKay, who was the shining light on the night, cut the deficit again – from 25 yards, he smashed a terrific shot beyond Oxley.
Rangers could have nicked the draw at the bitter end, but Jason Holt’s swivel and shot was smartly saved.
Mark Warburton was left frustrated by the team’s performance levels and lack of attacking thrust on the night.
He said: “You never want to lose a game of football, that’s for sure, especially when we started so brightly, controlled possession and looked very dominant.
“But what we can’t do is give away cheap sloppy goals; it’s as simple as that. A couple of mistakes and we find ourselves 2-0 down in a game that we had completely controlled.”
MAN OF THE MATCH
Another top display from McKay. He was a constant thorn in Hibs’ side and showed his class throughout the 90.
He carried on his goalscoring for with another fantastic strike.
Losing the goal 13 minutes after half-time. It gave Hibs the cushion and they managed to see the game out from there.
STAT OF THE MATCH
Interestingly, Rangers have lost both league fixtures at Easter Road this season – and both fixtures away at Falkirk. So from a possible 12 points away against the teams immediately below Rangers in the table, they have picked up no points.
- It seemed to be a case of tired minds, not tired legs on the night, especially when gifting Hibs the opening goal. Again, it came down to the defence switching off.
- The lack of cutting edge on the night was frustrating. Rangers had most of the ball in decent areas, but when the ball was pulled back into the six-yard box, it was a Hibs player who was there more often than not. Many times it would be one winger coming into the box to try and get on to the other winger’s cross and no one else would be in a central area – apart from Tavernier on the odd occasion.
- Defending set-pieces are a worry. So many times in recent weeks there has been cheap goals given away. It looked like Halliday and Wilson failed to deal with it and that culminated in Gunnarsson being left unattended to smash home Hibs’ third.
- Two bright spots were Tavernier and McKay. Both were very threatening for Rangers in attack. It was no surprise both goals came from their handiwork.
Rangers welcome Alloa to Ibrox in the early kick-off on Saturday, with the trophy presentation taking place.