Rangers manager Steven Gerrard picked up his first win against Hibs this season as the Gers ended Paul Heckingbottom’s unbeaten league run with a 1-0 win at Ibrox – but had to contend with a moment of sheer stupidity from Allan McGregor which saw the keeper red carded.
Gerrard’s side almost took an instant lead through Scott Arfield but the Canada international’s header from James Tavernier’s whipped free-kick went just wide of the far post.
The Gers kept up the early pressure as they looked for a goal and veteran striker Jermain Defoe really should have opened the scoring after 18 minutes.
The on-loan striker found himself one-on-one with Marciano in the Hibs goal but dragged his shot harmlessly wide of the post.
With neither side posing any real threat in front of goal, Rangers dominated the first-half possession without ever testing Marciano.
The Gers finally made the breakthrough a few minutes before the break after a lovely bit of play involving Ryan Jack and Steven Davis.
Jack’s lofted ball sent Davis through on the left before the Northern Irishman’s cross was poked home by Defoe for his eight goal for the Gers.
The second half had a very end-of-season feel to it with neither side taking control of the game and seeming happy to simply play out the remaining minutes.
Alfredo Morelos made his long-awaited return after a four-game ban when he replaced Jermain Defoe with fifteen minutes remaining.
The Colombian didn’t take long to have an opportunity at goal but headed just wide of the far post.
He did get the ball in the net in the final five minutes but was flagged for offside to deny him a comeback goal.
Allan McGregor then went from hero to villain after pulling off a fantastic save before being sent-off for a ridiculous kick out at Marc McNulty.
After using all three subs, Ross McCrorie had to go in goal for the final three minutes as Hibs pushed forward looking for an equaliser that they couldn’t find.
Incredibly, McCrorie almost got an assist when his long punt fell to Morelos but Marciano made a good save to deny him.
With Celtic the visitors at Ibrox next Sunday, Gerrard will be hoping for a little bit more from his side in the final third than they offered against Hibs.
Here we look at how Steven Gerrard’s side performed against Hibs.
Allan McGregor – 1
Another game in which McGregor had little to do. At this rate, he’ll be able to continue playing for years. Pulled off an incredible save with just a few minutes remaining. Then he blew it with a stupid kick at Marc McNulty which will see him miss next weekend’s Old Firm.
James Tavernier – 7
Central to everything Rangers done going forward in the first half but the final ball wasn’t always good enough. Tailed off a bit as the game went on but a decent enough afternoon.
Connor Goldson – 7
Strolled it. Has a good understanding with Katic and will be interesting to see what Gerrard does in the summer with his defence.
Niko Katic – 6
Katic is going to be a fantastic defender as he continues to develop. The Croatian isn’t afraid of going on for a header with anyone and tried to get forward a few times as the Gers looked for a second goal.
Jon Flanagan – 6
Starting to make a real case to be given a chance to cement a first-team place. Nothing spectacular again but put in a solid shift and minimised the threat from Hibs down the left.
Glen Kamara – 7
£50,000. What an absolute steal. Dundee deserve to have been relegated simply for freezing Kamara out then letting him go so cheaply. Replaced by Ross McCrorie with ten minutes left.
Steven Davis – 8
Now that he’s finally found his feet, Davis is showing just how good he is. The Northern Irishman has added another level to the Rangers midfield and is well worth his new deal.
Ryan Jack – 8
Jack was a doubt during the week after being ill but was fit enough to start. Never looked under any pressure and put in a solid afternoon’s work for the Light Blues. Really looks comfortable alongside Davis and Kamara and it’ll take a lot to shift any of them from the starting XI.
Scott Arfield – 8
Another really impressive afternoon for Arfield. Canada international looked really hungry and showed some fantastic touches as he caused problems for the Hibs defence. Unlucky not to open the scoring in the first few minutes.
Ryan Kent – 6
Started brightly but didn’t really threaten much going forward before being substituted at the break for Daniel Candeias.
Jermain Defoe – 7
Veteran striker looked like he was having one of those days in front of goal before he opened the scoring. Some of his work in creating space for himself is absolutely fantastic to watch – even if some of his finishing is a bit off. Replaced by Morelos.
Substitutes: Daniel Candeias (6), Alfredo Morelos (6), Ross McCrorie (7)