Hibs fall short against Rangers - ratings from eventful Ibrox clash

Trio of Monty's men get 7/10 despite another loss to Light Blues

Hibs are arguably getting closer to Rangers. And they’ll hope to get another crack at Philippe Clement’s men come the post-split fixtures, despite dropping out of the top six. But their attempts to match the Light Blues fell short, only just, on an eventful afternoon at Ibrox.

Nick Montgomery’s men scored at the first time in four contests with Rangers and, on a day when David Marshall saved another penalty, the fact that they were still in with a puncher’s chance heading into the closing stages of the game said plenty about the progress made in recent weeks. With two games before the split, they retain some hope of overtaking Dundee, although that’s now not entirely within their control.

In an absorbing game here, James Tavernier’s first half screamer was cancelled out by Myziane Maolida’s seventh goal for Hibs in first-half injury time. Into the final of seven minutes added on to an eventful first 45, however, Cyriel Dessers rose to head home a Todd Cantwell cross to restore the home side’s lead. And Rabbi Matondo’s sweet strike after 84 minutes secured three points for the home side.

They had been the better team. Might end up champions of Scotland, in due course. But they didn’t have it all their own way here.

It looked as if Rangers had taken the lead after 20 minutes, Scott Wright burying the rebound after Tavernier’s penalty had been saved by Marshall. But VAR giveth … and VAR taketh away.

Having awarded the spot kick after watching a replay on the small screen at pitch side, referee David Dickinson clearly picking up on an infringement missed by everyone at a corner kick, video assistant referee Andrew Dallas ruled out Wright’s strike for infringement. Marshall gets credit for the save. Wright was just a bit too keen.

Hibs did not make the most of their reprieve, however, as Tavernier made amends for his miss from 12 yards with an absolute rocket of a strike, caught full on the volley from a good 20 yards out, that went in off a helpless Will Fish. Rangers had their lead, with 26 minutes on the clock. Everything suggested they would now pull away from the visitors.

Yet Monty’s men managed to hang around. Without much conviction in attack, at times, and with the odd wobbly moment in defence. And they were rewarded with an equaliser from Maolida, who started and finished the move – almost stumbling as he finally poked the ball beyond Jack Butland – in tandem with Elie Youan, whose cutback from the right was undoubtedly his best moment of the afternoon.

Inevitably, Rangers found a response. Dessers, who had already seen one goal-bound header tipped over the bar, made no mistake as he rose to power home a cross from the right with just moments of the first half remaining.

Clement’s men had chances to kill this contest stone dead before the hour mark, Dessers forcing a fine one-handed save from Marshall with a header, then somehow missing with a low shot from all of six yards. If Hibs were hardly without threat themselves, they were conceding more clean-cut chances than they created.

The introduction of Martin Boyle, back from the concussion he suffered in the last meeting of these teams, 20 minutes from time was intended to give the visitors a shot of pace and swagger. He certainly added a vertical threat to the attack.

But it was the hosts who got the goal that settled this contest, Matondo cutting in from the left and sending a curling right-footed effort beyond a helpless Marshall with six minutes of the game remaining.