Hibernian FC

CLASSIC ENCOUNTER | HIBERNIAN 1-0 RANGERS (2000)

CLASSIC ENCOUNTER | HIBERNIAN 1-0 RANGERS (2000)

By: Hibernian Media on 11 May, 2018 09:50

David Zitelli scored the only goal of the game in October 2000 as Hibernian defeated defending champions Rangers 1-0 at Easter Road Stadium.

The French forward had form for putting the Ibrox club to the sword having helped Strasbourg dump the Gers’ out of the UEFA Cup three years earlier.

And he returned to haunt Dick Advocaat’s men as he hit the winner after just 23 minutes in an impressive performance by Alex McLeish’s side.

Ukrainian midfielder Andrei Kanchelskis was dismissed late on for the visitors as the men in green and white maintained their unbeaten home record.

Zitelli could easily have given the home side the lead within the first ten minutes as he capitalised on a misjudged header by Lorenzo Amoruso.

But he fired straight at a young Mark Brown in the Rangers goal under pressure from Tony Vidmar.

Stuart Lovell then saw his long-range effort tipped round the post by the then-teenager - making just his second appearance for the club.

However, the Rangers back line were troubled by Zitelli’s probing runs and the Frenchman broke the deadlock with a clever finish into the far corner from 15 yards.

John O’Neill robbed Turkish midfielder Tugay in the middle of the pitch before sliding the ball down the right flank for Zitelli to chase.

He accelerated beyond Vidmar and blasted the ball home to give the home side the lead.

Hibernian looked comfortable before the break, but the introduction of Kanchelskis and former Easter Road favourite Kenny Miller during the interval gave the Gers more of an attacking threat.

However, former Manchester United star Kanchelskis was carded for an over-dramatic dive within five minutes of the restart as he bore down on goal.

Gary Smith went close to extending the hosts’ lead with a rare long-range strike, however he saw his dipping effort rebound back off the bar.

Barry Ferguson then looked like he had drawn Rangers level when he tapped in from close range after Jorg Albertz cross, but the offside flag denied him an equaliser.

And the Gers’ hopes of taking anything from the game were effectively ended nine minutes from time when Kanchelskis needlessly lunged in on Ulrik Laursen, picking up a second booking.

Hibernian held on to make it an impressive nine wins from their opening 12 matches, but would end the season in third place behind the Old Firm.

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