Hibs debrief: The few solid performers in poor showing, lack of intensity, diminishing expectations

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A look back at Sunday’s match at Easter Road as Hibs limp to a 3-1 defeat against Rangers.

Player of the match

Lewis Stevenson was decent enough on the left side of defence. The visitors didn’t really get much joy attacking down that flank, while he was involved in some of the better things Hibs did going forward.

Will Fish was good for the majority of the game but was a little weak in the aerial battle with Fashion Sakala which led to the second goal.

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Paul Hanlon scores for Hibs with a header in injury time. Picture: SNSPaul Hanlon scores for Hibs with a header in injury time. Picture: SNS
Paul Hanlon scores for Hibs with a header in injury time. Picture: SNS

So let’s go for Fish’s centre-back partner Paul Hanlon. He got the home side’s only goal and was the strongest defender in the team. He made a number of clearances and was aggressive in stepping out to challenge Rangers’ attackers.

Defining moment

The second goal killed the game off and was indicative of how easy it was for Rangers to collect the three points. John Lundstram flighted a hopeful pass forward looking for the run of Sakala in behind. Instead, the ball hung up in the air and was there to be won. Fish wasn’t dominant enough, allowing Sakala to knock it back for Hagi, who was able to drift on to the loose ball before not being challenged again when Hanlon blocked his initial effort as he managed to net at the second attempt.

Hibs lost this game because they didn’t come with the required intensity needed to beat a more talented side. Rangers very much had the look of a team on holiday, but then so did Hibs. They needed to set the tempo and let the visitors know they were in for a rough ride, and they didn’t do it.

Ref watch

The foul from CJ Egan-Riley on Todd Cantwell which led to James Tavernier’s opener looked a little soft from referee Alan Muir, but he’s certainly not the biggest villain for that goal as David Marshall should’ve done better at his near post.

What next?

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After the performance against Aberdeen, the hope was Hibs could have a strong end to the season and potentially make a late run at third if they got a win here. Instead, with Celtic coming to town in midweek, it’s looking increasingly like the more realistic goal is avoiding three straight defeats and holding on to fifth.

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