Scottish Championship
HibernianHibernian4RangersRangers0

Hibernian 4-0 Rangers

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland at Easter Road

Hibernian swept Rangers aside at Easter Road to make Kenny McDowall's debut in charge of the visitors a painful one.

With Scott Allan hugely impressive in the home midfield, Rangers were comprehensively dismantled.

Allan laid on passes for Scott Robertson and Liam Craig to shoot home in the second half.

David Gray opened the scoring with a wonderful strike on eight minutes, with Jason Cummings adding a close-range finish soon after.

A third consecutive victory for Hibs narrows the gap to second-placed Rangers to four points and gives Championship leaders Hearts the opportunity to move 15 points clear when they face Livingston later on Saturday.

Hibs were worthy winners, having played with style and purpose, while Rangers look ever more forlorn.

The notion that a new era might begin with McDowall barely lasted beyond his first team selection. The Rangers side was unchanged from Ally McCoist's last game at the helm before being put on gardening leave and being succeeded by his assistant.

Hibs struck early and their complete command of the game was dispiriting for the visitors.

David Gray opened the scoring with a fantastic strike
Hibs full-back David Gray opened the scoring with a fantastic strike

The hosts were well organised with a diamond shape in midfield which allowed them to dominate centrally, with full-backs Gray and Lewis Stevenson always eager to get forward.

Stevenson had enjoyed a couple of forays forward before Gray became involved, but the right-back was soon prominent.

When a cross was cleared to him at the edge of the box, he took time to steady himself before carefully arrowing a shot into Steve Simonsen's top right-hand corner.

Four minutes later, it was Allan's cross that Craig volleyed back across goal to Cummings, who turned the ball into the empty net.

Only 12 minutes had been played, but Rangers were already too far adrift for redemption.

Much of that was due to the excellence of Allan. His passing, creativity, ability to run with the ball and chutzpah were all evident over the course of the game.

Scottish Premiership play-offs explained
Scottish Premiership bottom team relegated, Scottish Championship winner promoted
Championship third- and fourth-placed teams play two-legged quarter-final
Winner plays Championship runner-up in two-legged semi-final
Winner of that plays Premiership second-bottom team in two-legged final

Some of Rangers' woes were self-inflicted, though, since Ian Black was booked for a reckless and crude lunging tackle, and was substituted before half-time because McDowall clearly felt that he could not restrain his tackling.

Black wasn't happy, and kicked the dugout after being replaced by Kyle Hutton.

Hibs were unfazed and Robertson almost scored a third when he reached the rebound from a Cummings shot that Simonsen parried, but the midfielder turned his shot wide.

The Easter Road side were wholly dominant, although there was a brief flurry of aggression and intent from Rangers just after the break.

A half-chance even fell to substitute Kris Boyd, but he could not make full contact with the ball and skewed it wide.

The hosts might have previously been too frail psychologically to hold their nerve but manager Alan Stubbs is making significant progress.

He could also rely on the accomplishment of Allan as the midfielder created two more goals.

First, he slipped a pass to Robertson, who placed a shot beyond Simonsen's reach.

Eight minutes later, his daring run ended with a chip across the box to Craig, who carefully steered a volley into the far corner with his instep.

Rangers bemoaned a Nicky Law effort that was blocked on the line by Liam Fontaine but, in truth, they were never in contention.

Hibs thoroughly deserved the victory - with Allan even indulging in some tricks and feints before the end - and the Easter Road side will feel that they can yet achieve promotion this season.

Rangers caretaker boss Kenny McDowall gets a pre-match cuddle from Hibs manager Alan Stubbs
Rangers caretaker boss Kenny McDowall (right) made no changes to the starting XI
Rangers captain Lee McCulloch (left) can't believe what's happening as his side go two behind
Rangers captain Lee McCulloch (left) can't believe what's happening as his side go two behind

Line-ups

Hibernian

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Oxley
  • 2GraySubstituted forBoothat 74'minutes
  • 4Hanlon
  • 5Fontaine
  • 16Stevenson
  • 20Allan
  • 8Robertson
  • 10Craig
  • 19HandlingSubstituted forKennedyat 87'minutes
  • 35CummingsSubstituted forStantonat 87'minutes
  • 24Malonga

Substitutes

  • 7Harris
  • 11Stanton
  • 14Heffernan
  • 18Sinclair
  • 22Booth
  • 30Kennedy
  • 31Perntreou

Rangers

Formation 4-4-2

  • 31Simonsen
  • 23Foster
  • 24McGregor
  • 6McCullochBooked at 86mins
  • 5Wallace
  • 4AirdSubstituted forBoydat 45'minutes
  • 8BlackBooked at 21minsSubstituted forHuttonat 34'minutes
  • 7Law
  • 2Smith
  • 14Clark
  • 18MillerSubstituted forShielsat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Mohsni
  • 9Daly
  • 15Boyd
  • 16Faure
  • 20Hutton
  • 22Shiels
  • 25Robinson
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
15,261

Match Stats

Home TeamHibernianAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home7
Away7
Shots on Target
Home5
Away0
Corners
Home0
Away8
Fouls
Home12
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hibernian 4, Rangers 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hibernian 4, Rangers 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Paul Hanlon.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Matthew Kennedy replaces Daniel Handling.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Samuel Stanton replaces Jason Cummings.

  6. Booking

    Lee McCulloch (Rangers) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Lee McCulloch (Rangers).

  8. Post update

    Dominique Malonga (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kris Boyd (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Dean Shiels replaces Kenny Miller.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Scott Allan (Hibernian).

  12. Post update

    Kenny Miller (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Kenny Miller (Rangers).

  14. Post update

    Liam Craig (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Kris Boyd (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Liam Fontaine (Hibernian).

  17. Post update

    Foul by Kris Boyd (Rangers).

  18. Post update

    Scott Robertson (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Callum Booth replaces David Gray.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Hibernian 4, Rangers 0. Liam Craig (Hibernian) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Scott Allan.