Rangers kept their title hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Hibs at Ibrox – leaving it late for Ianis Hagi scored on his first start for the Light Blues following his deadline day move.
The Gers made three changes from the weekend draw with Aberdeen as Matt Polster, Nikola Katic and Glen Kamara all dropped to the bench, with the fit-again James Tavernier, George Edmundson and Hagi replacing them.
Despite dominating much of the first 45 minutes, the Gers fell behind to Paul Hanlon’s goal ten minutes before the break after a mistake by Allan McGregor.
Ianis Hagi rightfully Man Of The Match. Best player on the park. Will take the ball anywhere and look to move it forward in a positive way. Finally someone who finds the pockets middle to front. Great finish to win it. 👏🏻 #Hagi pic.twitter.com/htnnOwGdmS
— BMC Rangers Rants (@BMCRangersRants) February 5, 2020
The lead didn’t last too long though as Edmundson marked his second league start with his first goal for the club, firing home from James Tavernier’s free-kick in injury-time.
Rangers dominated the second half, winning more than a dozen corners after the break, but it took until the final six minutes for the Gers to get themselves in the lead.
The impressive Hagi found himself in space after a corner wasn’t cleared properly and the on-loan Genk man fired home to send Ibrox wild.
It was nothing short of what the Gers deserved after pinning Hibs back for long spells of the game and the biggest concern will be how they didn’t win by a bigger margin.
Here’s how Steven Gerrard’s side performed against Hibs:
Allan McGregor – 6
Should have done better with the Hibs goal – even if he wants to claim he was fouled by Whittaker. Little to do for long spells of the game otherwise. Always tried to get things going quickly when the ball came to him.
James Tavernier – 6
Subdued first-half performance from the captain but he started to impose himself more and more as the game went on in his first start of the year. Needs to get back to his best soon.
Connor Goldson – 6
Quiet enough night for the defender and looked comfortable alongside Edmundson. Didn’t seem fazed by the physical threat of Doidge. Can’t have many complaints.
George Edmundson – 7
The defender made his second league start of the season at the expense of Niko Katic and put in a decent performance. Physical battle with Doidge. Booked shortly before the break but then grabbed the equaliser as he netted from Tavernier’s free-kick. A good night for the Englishman.
Borna Barisic – 8
The left-back saw loads of the ball in the first half but struggled to really do much in the final third as Paul McGinn and Joe Newell doubled up at right-back for Hibs. Much more joy after the break. Almost everything Rangers done going forward came through Barisic as the Croatian had an impressive night.
Steven Davis – 6
Tried to dictate the tempo from the middle of the park but wasn’t up to his usual standards. Took too much time to move the ball at times and never spotted the runs ahead of him. Needs to sharpen up.
Joe Aribo – 6
Played in a deeper role than he has recently and, like Davis, was too slow on the ball at times. Some clever touches but not enough influence on the game overall. Worked hard as Rangers chased a winner but needs to become someone that can really take control of games. Replaced by Greg Stewart after 70 minutes.
Scott Arfield – 6
Lots of hard work and energy but sometimes a bit short of quality. Covered loads of grounds to cover the Hibs midfield when they did break forward. Not his best performance but far from terrible. Done lots of dirty work to allow Hagi to get forward.
Ianis Hagi – 8
Took him a little bit to get going but once he did he looked like a really intelligent player. Made several excellent runs in behind but the midfield weren’t always on the same page. Got better as the game went on before grabbing a deserved winner with a lovely finish. Went off to a massive cheer a few minutes from the end.
Ryan Kent – 5
Largely anonymous and need to be offering far more than he has recently. Can’t just do it every five or six games and then disappear. Replaced by Jones late on.
Alfredo Morelos – 7
Morelos ran himself into the ground but little came off for the striker as the Gers had plenty of chances to take the lead. Looked much sharper than he did against Aberdeen at the weekend.
Substitutes: Greg Stewart (5) Replaced Aribo with 20 minutes to go. Jordan Jones (5) On for Kent late on. Glen Kamara (5) Late replacement for Hagi.