Hibs clocked up their first home win over Rangers since 2006 and slashed the gap between them and the second-placed Ibrox side to four points as they took the troubled Glasgow outfit apart on an afternoon to remember at Easter Road.
Both teams were unchanged, Easter Road boss Alan Stubbs naming the same side for the third game running while interim Ibrox manager Kenny McDowall went with the team that defeated Livingston.
Hibs got off to a dream start with two goals in the opening 12 minutes, both coming from the players who had sunk Rangers at Ibrox in September, David Gray and Jason Cummings.
Their opener came in the eighth minute, Liam Craig’s cross from the left catching the head of Lee McCulloch before falling at the feet of Gray.
The right-back resisted the temptation to strike first time, steadying himself and then hammering home a rocket shot which exploded into the net high beyond the stranded Steve Simonsen.
Four minutes later and Hibs were two to the good, the home side working the ball from left to right for Scott Allan to deliver a deep cross which Craig, from beyond the back post, turned across the face of goal for Cummings to bundle home from no more than a yard out.
Three corners in quick succession offered Rangers some respite but they were unable to capitalise, the only support from their fans at the opposite end coming with a refrain of “sack the board.”
Not surprisingly, Rangers turned to Kris Boyd after the interval and the visitors immediately began putting themselves about. First-half substitute Kyle Hutton - who had replaced the booked Ian Black – was spoken to by referee Bobby Madden for a foul on Scott Allan and Boyd himself was warned for illegal challenges on the midfielder and Danny Handling in the space of seconds.
There was a definite edge to Rangers which had been missing in the opening 45 minutes and Liam Fontaine had to throw himself into the path of a Nicky Law shot with Gray doing likewise as the midfielder latched on to the rebound.
A deflected Law shot fell for Boyd but he scuffed it wide, much to the derision of the home support but Stubbs would have been well aware of allowing the Ibrox side to build up too much of a head of steam as they were threatening to do.
But Hibs took the wind out of Rangers sails with another great goal in the 63rd minute, Scott Robertson driving on to a loose ball before laying it inside to Allan.
The midfielder shaped to go right but played a perfect reverse pass into his team-mate’s path, leaving him to calmly place it beyond and prompt a mass exit from those in the away end.
Skipper Craig scored the fourth with a fantastic strike in the 70th minute.
Hibs: Oxley, Gray, Hanlon, Fontaine, Stevenson, S Allan, Robertson, Craig, Handling, Cummings, Malonga.