Hibs debrief: No Euro hangover as Hibs hunt down Staggies
Hibs showed no signs of a European hangover despite their exertions on Thursday night against Rijeka with a systematic dismantling of Ross County.
During one spell in the first half it seemed that the hosts would score with every attack. For one 11-minute period, they did. Eighteen attempts on goal to County’s eight tells its own story, as does the near 60/40 split in terms of possession.
If Hibs play like this on Thursday night they should canter through to the Europa Conference League play-off round. The biggest difference from Thursday night was that they took their chances.
Some passages of play against the Staggies were scintillating. One-touch, fast-paced, attacking football – exactly the way the fans would want.
There has been a feeling for some time that Jack Ross is building something special at Easter Road and on Sunday’s evidence, the project is progressing very nicely indeed.
Player of the match
Take your pick from just about any of the players wearing a green shirt. Jake Doyle-Hayes continues to impress, Kyle Magennis is like a new signing, Josh Doig was immense, some of Christian Doidge’s hold-up play was excellent, Boyle was a constant threat as was Jamie Murphy. This was a polished team performance.
Probably the second goal. It was such a sucker-punch for County so soon after conceding the opener and the manner of the goal – Doig’s cross, Magennis timing his header just right – suggested Hibs could score with every attack.
Grant Irvine was making his Scottish Premiership debut and he can be pretty pleased with how he handled the game – but both sets of players made it straightforward for the whistler. Ross Callachan got a talking to for a late challenge on Doig but apart from yellows for County pair Harry Clarke and David Cancola he kept his cards in his pocket and tried to let the game flow – although Clarke can perhaps count himself lucky he wasn’t shown red for a wild challenge on Murphy.
Moment you may have missed
This was Doig’s first time playing in front of Hibs fans. Still only 19 and dealing with ongoing speculation about his future, he put in a complete performance on the left, teeing up Magennis for the second and playing his part in a clean sheet. A joy to watch.