Three things we learned as Hibs were thumped 6-1 by Rangers at Ibrox

Analysis from Ibrox as Hibs were well beaten by Steven Gerrard's Rangers.

Sunday, 11th August 2019, 5:10 pm
Paul Hanlon coming up against difficult opposition in Sheyi Ojo. Picture: SNS

Resistance was absent

Early on it was clear that it was going to take a strong, robust and energetic performance from Hibs to get a result at Ibrox. With Jermain Defoe leading the line, Rangers had their tails up from the start. For too long there were too many performers who appeared unaware that they were involved in a football match, let alone one at the home of a team who will be looking to challenge Celtic for the league. And one with a player in attack who has more than 160 Premier League goals to his name. The balance in midfield of Josh Vela and Stevie Mallan didn't seem right at all. They didn't get on the ball and try and get a foothold, nor did they get in the faces of the home side and make it difficult for them. They were not the only guilty parties as Steven Gerrard's men dragged the visitors out of position and out of shape. The most concerning element of the performance was the lack of resistance.

Centre-back options

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A pair of Hibs players' stock rose after each goal. Adam Jackson and Ryan Porteous were not involved in the defeat, the former on the bench and the latter not in the squad. They are probably both relieved and should also be confident that they could be getting paired together sooner rather than later. Darren McGregor and Paul Hanlon have been an excellent partnership for Hibs but they had a torrid afternoon at Ibrox. First it was Jermain Defoe and then it was Alfredo Morelos. Both strikers found themselves the victor against the away side's centre-back duo. Not only did they get easy goals, get to run in behind, but they proved themselves smarter and stronger. Hanlon and McGregor are experienced enough to recover from such a shellacking but with the competition at centre-back they will also know they are not assured of a place in the starting XI.

Allan's pass

For a brief period either side of the half Hibs looked threatening despite it appearing that it was going to be the longest of afternoons. One of the key turning points was Scott Allan's sumptuous through ball for Daryl Horgan to make the score 2-1. It was a stunning assist which isn't unfamiliar for Hibs fans; the reverse pass which dissects a defence. Him and Horgan, on the same wavelength, were the only players who seemed to know it was on, with it taking out around five Rangers players. It changed the momentum and reinvigorated the away side. That was until Sean Mackie was sent off and Rangers turned the screw. However, it is comforting for Hibs to know they have such a player in the ranks who can turn a game.