Media 205259 109 compressed
Wed 01 Dec 2021
HT 0-0
Hibernian Hibernian
Rangers Rangers
Match Report

A Kemar Roofe penalty kick six minutes from time saw Hibs fall to a 1-0 defeat at home to Rangers in the cinch Premiership.

The Rangers striker once again stepped off the bench to notch the winning goal against us having done so in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

On a night of few clear goal scoring opportunities at either end, we more than matched the Scottish champions and played well throughout, only to finish disappointed with nothing to show for our efforts.

Jack Ross made one change from the side that defeated St Johnstone at the weekend as Martin Boyle returned from suspension to replace Jamie Gullan.

Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst watched from the Hampden main stand ten days ago as we dumped his new side out of the Premier Sports Cup.

A key feature of our victory that evening was the blistering start we made to the match and the visitors were determined there would be no repeat this evening.

They started purposefully and moved the ball around well during the opening exchanges before having the first effort on goal through Ianis Hagi that he blazed well off target from distance.

Matt Macey was called into action for the first time this evening on 13 minutes when Rangers broke purposefully. Alfredo Morelos found Hagi on the right, he in turn laid it onto Steven Davis on the overlap and the Northern Irishman’s rising shot was saved by Macey at his near post.

Two minutes later we had an opportunity ourselves after Paul McGinn spotted the run of Boyle in behind on the right and the winger outpaced Connor Goldson before his first-time shot was held by Allan McGregor.

Rangers were dominating possession however most of it was coming in areas of the park that were not troubling us.

Indeed, for a good portion of the first half the visitors’ best opportunities came from set piece with Joe Aribo heading harmlessly wide following a James Tavernier free-kick and Goldson drawing a save from Macey soon after.

On the cusp of half-time Rangers should have gone ahead. They countered with pace following a Hibs corner kick with Glen Kamara feeding Aribo on the overlap and he picked out the unmarked Alfredo Morelos, who headed wide with the goal at his mercy.

After the break we pushed up and enjoyed our best spell of the game as we put Rangers under pressure.

Josh Campbell, who had earlier penned a new deal keeping him at Easter Road until 2025, carved out the first chance when he pickpocketed Goldson before finding Boyle on the far side of the box and the Australian international’s strike was blocked by Borna Barisic.

Moments later Joe Newell ran onto Chris Cadden’s quickly taken throw and struck an early, low cross that was destined to be turned in at the back post by Kevin Nisbet had Goldson not got a toe to the ball to only just take it away from the striker.

Ryan Kent was doing his best at the other end for Rangers, and he was unlucky on three separate occasions in quick succession.

First, his rising shot from distance flashed over Macey’s crossbar; then, he had an angled drive that Ryan Porteous brilliantly deflected wide and finally, he saw his near post shot beaten away by Macey.

With 20 minutes remaining we almost snatched an opening goal when Jake Doyle-Hayes' cross, meant for Kevin Nisbet but partially cut out by Goldson, dropped to Cadden and his first-time strike fizzed wide of McGregor’s near post.

Rangers had earlier introduced Roofe and Scott Arfield to bolster their attack and they combined with eight minutes remaining with the former’s powerful shot from 20-yards beaten away by Macey.

A minute later the visitors were awarded a penalty kick when Kent went down after Porteous had stuck a leg out and John Beaten pointed to the spot. Roofe stepped forward to send Macey the wrong way to score.

We immediately threw on Scott Allan and Jamie Murphy and had one final chance to take something from the game when Newell’s corner found Porteous, however the defender’s header drifted aimlessly over the crossbar and the visitors held on to take all three points.

Hibernian: Macey, Doig, Hanlon, Porteous, McGinn, Boyle, Newell, Nisbet, Doyle-Hayes, Cadden (Murphy 86’), Campbell (Allan 86’). Substitutes not used: Dabrowski, Wright, Gogic, Stevenson, Scott.

Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Bassey, Goldson, Hagi, Davis (Arfield 65’), Kent (Lundstrum 86’), Aribo, Kamara, Morelos (Roofe 65’), Barisic. Substitutes not used: McLaughlin, Patterson, Wright, Sakala.

Referee: John Beaton.

Attendance: 17,209.