Scottish Premiership
HibernianHibernian0RangersRangers1

Hibernian 0-1 Rangers: Kemar Roofe penalty gives leaders crucial win

By Thomas DuncanBBC Scotland
Kemar Roofe scores the winning penalty at Easter Road
Kemar Roofe slotted the winning penalty after Ryan Porteous fouled Ryan Kent

Kemar Roofe's penalty with five minutes left gave sluggish Rangers an important victory against Hibernian and extended their Scottish Premiership lead.

Ryan Kent jinked into the box and drew a foul from Ryan Porteous, giving Roofe the chance to convert and earn the champions a dramatic win.

It followed a laboured first hour as Hibs looked good for at least a draw, though it was Alfredo Morelos who squandered the best chance in a closely-fought game.

The win moves Rangers seven points clear of Celtic and crucially puts the pressure back onto their Glasgow rivals, who face Hearts on Thursday.

Hibs stay sixth despite defeat, but have now lost six of their last seven league matches.

The Easter Road side dismantled their opponents in the League Cup semi-final 10 days previously as new Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst watched from the stands.

Pre-match, the Dutchman said he had learned a lot from that game and it showed in a defensive sense as they kept a first clean sheet in eight league matches.

However, the leaders failed to sparkle going forward with Hibs goalkeeper Matt Macey only forced to make a few routine saves, although an excellent one to tip Ianis Hagi's low shot past a post.

He didn't have to stop Morelos' first-half header as the Colombian inexplicably headed wide despite moving brilliantly between Hibernian's centre-backs to get on the end of Joe Aribo's clever cross.

Hibs went man-for-man to press Rangers in midfield and effectively stifled the visitors' build-up play, but lacked a killer instinct themselves in the final third.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor was also never severely tested, with Chris Cadden's low shot and Martin Boyle's blocked effort the home side's best chances.

And, as time wore on and legs tired, the game became stretched and Kent showed his potency.

The Englishman did brilliantly to stand up Porteous and cut inside, enticing the Hibs defender to leave a leg in and give referee John Beaton a decision to make. Hibs may claim Kent went down easily, but there was contact.

Roofe - who came on for Morelos in the second half after missing three games with an ankle problem - calmly sent Macey the wrong way.

Man of the match - Josh Campbell

Hibs' Josh Campbell
Fresh from signing a new deal, Campbell was excellent for Hibernian, working relentlessly off the ball. An honourable mention for Rangers defender Connor Goldson, who made some strong interventions in his own box.

What did we learn?

Pragmatism seems to be the short-term approach for Van Bronckhorst.

Usually forward-thinking, full-backs James Tavernier and Borna Barisic were clearly asked to retreat slightly to try to plug a leaky defence. This was particularly after what Boyle did to them at Hampden three weeks ago by running into the channels.

It worked well and, though they struggled to play past Hibernian's press on the deck, they looked more of a threat when going direct and on the break.

Getting the ball forward quicker may be a string the new manager will want to add to Rangers' bow. Aribo looks like he's enjoying some more freedom too.

Hibernian were largely excellent until the final third, where things broke down. Campbell put in a good shift, as did Joe Newell and Jake Doyle-Hayes in midfield. Their man-for-man approach halted Rangers coming through the middle effectively.

Porteous also put in a solid performance until conceding the crucial penalty. Kent arguably went down easily, but the Hibs defender probably should have kept his leg out.

After six league defeats in seven games, Hibs need wins quickly and must take advantage of a more favourable, if very busy, run of games this month.

What they said

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross: "I think [the penalty] is one I would want in the opposition box. But that doesn't mean it's a penalty. At the time I had no idea; now I've watched it back and Ryan [Porteous] pulls his foot away. There's minimal contact.

"It's a 50/50, sometimes they're given, sometimes they're not and we would argue the case for it not to be given, naturally. I don't think we deserved that or Ryan deserved that from his performance as well."

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Sky Sports: "Very big win. It was a tough game as we expected. It was really close, a lot of physical play from both sides and not many chances.

"Fortunately we'll take the win and three more points for us."

What's next?

Hibernian have another home league game in a congested schedule as they host Motherwell on Saturday (15:00 GMT), while Rangers face Dundee at Ibrox at the same time.

Player of the match

KentRyan Kent

with an average of 6.38

Hibernian

  1. Squad number1Player nameMacey
    Average rating

    5.53

  2. Squad number6Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating

    5.37

  3. Squad number10Player nameBoyle
    Average rating

    5.31

  4. Squad number27Player nameCadden
    Average rating

    5.28

  5. Squad number4Player nameHanlon
    Average rating

    5.28

  6. Squad number11Player nameNewell
    Average rating

    5.22

  7. Squad number32Player nameCampbell
    Average rating

    5.21

  8. Squad number3Player nameDoig
    Average rating

    5.16

  9. Squad number22Player nameDoyle-Hayes
    Average rating

    5.13

  10. Squad number15Player nameNisbet
    Average rating

    4.90

  11. Squad number5Player namePorteous
    Average rating

    4.83

  12. Squad number18Player nameMurphy
    Average rating

    4.60

  13. Squad number23Player nameAllan
    Average rating

    4.42

Rangers

  1. Squad number14Player nameKent
    Average rating

    6.38

  2. Squad number20Player nameMorelos
    Average rating

    6.35

  3. Squad number3Player nameBassey
    Average rating

    6.20

  4. Squad number37Player nameArfield
    Average rating

    6.20

  5. Squad number1Player nameMcGregor
    Average rating

    6.17

  6. Squad number7Player nameHagi
    Average rating

    6.15

  7. Squad number31Player nameBarisic
    Average rating

    5.95

  8. Squad number2Player nameTavernier
    Average rating

    5.86

  9. Squad number18Player nameKamara
    Average rating

    5.65

  10. Squad number17Player nameAribo
    Average rating

    5.59

  11. Squad number6Player nameGoldson
    Average rating

    5.56

  12. Squad number25Player nameRoofe
    Average rating

    5.38

  13. Squad number4Player nameLundstram
    Average rating

    5.34

  14. Squad number10Player nameDavis
    Average rating

    5.28

Line-ups

Hibernian

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Macey
  • 6McGinnBooked at 90mins
  • 5Porteous
  • 4Hanlon
  • 27CaddenSubstituted forMurphyat 86'minutes
  • 22Doyle-HayesBooked at 29mins
  • 11Newell
  • 3Doig
  • 32CampbellSubstituted forAllanat 87'minutes
  • 15Nisbet
  • 10Boyle

Substitutes

  • 8Wright
  • 13Gogic
  • 16Stevenson
  • 18Murphy
  • 21Dabrowski
  • 23Allan
  • 25Scott

Rangers

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1McGregor
  • 2TavernierBooked at 90mins
  • 6GoldsonBooked at 24mins
  • 3Bassey
  • 31Barisic
  • 10DavisSubstituted forArfieldat 66'minutes
  • 18Kamara
  • 7Hagi
  • 17Aribo
  • 14KentSubstituted forLundstramat 86'minutes
  • 20MorelosSubstituted forRoofeat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Lundstram
  • 16Patterson
  • 23Wright
  • 25Roofe
  • 30Sakala
  • 33McLaughlin
  • 37Arfield
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
17,209

Match Stats

Home TeamHibernianAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home4
Away14
Shots on Target
Home1
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home15
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hibernian 0, Rangers 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hibernian 0, Rangers 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Ianis Hagi (Rangers).

  4. Post update

    Joe Newell (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Booking

    James Tavernier (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Foul by James Tavernier (Rangers).

  7. Post update

    Jamie Murphy (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Booking

    Paul McGinn (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Porteous (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Joe Newell with a cross following a corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Glen Kamara.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Kemar Roofe (Rangers).

  12. Post update

    Paul McGinn (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Glen Kamara (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Martin Boyle (Hibernian).

  15. Post update

    Ianis Hagi (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Paul Hanlon (Hibernian).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Scott Allan replaces Josh Campbell.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Jamie Murphy replaces Chris Cadden.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. John Lundstram replaces Ryan Kent.

  20. Post update

    Goal! Hibernian 0, Rangers 1. Kemar Roofe (Rangers) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers15113133141936
2Celtic1492332102229
3Hearts1576225141127
4Dundee Utd167451515025
5Motherwell167362024-424
6Hibernian145361718-118
7Aberdeen165381821-318
8St Mirren163851624-817
9Dundee154471527-1216
10St Johnstone15357915-614
11Livingston153481222-1013
12Ross County152581927-811
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC

Around Scottish sport