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Rangers hammer Hibs but ‘could have scored double’



Antonio Colak scored twice for his first league goals since 29 October

Michael Beale says Rangers could have scored eight goals as they produced their best attacking display of his tenure to blow away Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership.

Connor Goldson’s own goal put Hibs in front, but James Tavernier levelled from the spot and from there Rangers overwhelmed their in-form hosts.

Antonio Colak tapped in his first league goal since October, and added another after the outstanding Fashion Sakala had made it 3-1, and it could have been a lot more.

“I thought Hibs would come and take the game and they did,” Beale told BBC Scotland. “We were really poor for one moment tonight which was the set play.

“But the response was fantastic and we scored four and could have scored double that.

“You can see the two new signings [Todd Cantwell and Nicolas Raskin] looking excellent and getting up to match speed. The three games this week will help them. The squad’s looking quite strong.”

Despite a dominant performance and impressive league form by Rangers, the gap to leaders Celtic remains nine points with 10 games left to play.

Hibs – who were unbeaten in seven in the league – stay fourth, five points behind their Edinburgh rivals Hearts.

It looked like it could be a rousing night for Hibs at Easter Road, as fans sang an emotional rendition of club anthem ‘Sunshine on Leith’ when the players emerged as a tribute to owner Ron Gordon, who died a fortnight ago.

The players initially carried that energy into the game, as Matthew Hoppe went close himself before his cross was turned into the net by Goldson, past his own goalkeeper.

But that was as good as it got for Hibs, as Rangers hit back almost instantly when Ryan Kent drew a foul from CJ Egan-Riley in the box.

Tavernier converted the penalty – awarded after a VAR check – and after a series of missed chances and an outstanding save from David Marshall to deny Borna Barisic, Colak finished first-time from Sakala’s low cross.

Sakala, playing mostly on the left of a fluid front three, was outstanding and was duly rewarded with a goal after the break as he shimmied and blasted home after Ryan Jack cut out Marshall’s poor clearance.

And as Hibs faded badly, Kent and then Sakala found space in a congested box to tee up Colak, who squeezed the ball into the bottom corner for his 13th Premiership goal this season.

It should have been more for Beale’s men, but this was much more like the level he wants from his team as they registered 31 shots on goal.

Player of the match – Fashion Sakala

Rangers' Fashion Sakala celebrates making it 3-1 during a cinch Premiership match between Hibernian and Rangers at Easter Road
A goal, two assists, and seven chances created, Sakala was magnificent all night

Rangers front three terrorise Hibs – analysis

Rangers were fluid and exciting to watch at Tynecastle last month, but this was arguably even better.

Deploying Sakala on the left, with Kent shifting into the middle and Colak playing on the right worked brilliantly as Hibs had no idea how to handle the trio’s movement.

Sakala showed exactly how good he can be amid some inconsistent displays as he provided a constant threat, and would have come away with more than two assists if his team-mates’ finishing was more accurate.

Nicolas Raskin was industrious in midfield and always looked forward, giving another glimpse of what he can offer for the remainder of the season and next as he gets up to full fitness.

After a period of negativity following the chastening Viaplay Cup final loss to Celtic, this was a show of what Rangers can be. But they need to do it on a more consistent basis – even if league results have been near perfect under Beale.

Hibs, meanwhile, were disappointing. Having won four of their last five games and drawn the other, there was a sense they could put Rangers under pressure here.

But as soon as they conceded so quickly after going behind, their chances faded rapidly. Arguably – like others who sensed a vulnerability in Rangers at points this season – they were too open.

However, they need to move on, with third place still a realistic prospect.

What they said

Hibernian manager Lee Johnson: “I think we lacked a bit of composure. It’s a higher quality of team we played tonight than we have recently when we’ve been on a good run.

“I went into this game truly believing we could get a result. It was a really good start and charged with a lot of emotion and a brilliant tribute to Ron. But inevitably in the end their quality shone through on an individual and team level.

Rangers manager Michael Beale: “The defensive pressing and organisation to regain the ball set us up well. I thought Hibs would come and take the game and they did. We were really poor for one moment tonight, which was the set play.

“But the response was fantastic and we scored four and could have scored double that.”

What’s next?

It doesn’t get any easier for Hibs as they travel to leaders Celtic on 18 March after a week off, while Rangers play their Scottish Cup quarter-final against Raith Rovers at Ibrox this Sunday (13:00 GMT).



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Marshall
  • 12Cadden
  • 25Fish
  • 4HanlonBooked at 75mins
  • 16StevensonBooked at 60minsSubstituted forCabrajaat 70′minutes
  • 26Egan-Riley
  • 14Jeggo
  • 18HendersonSubstituted forMcKirdyat 84′minutes
  • 32Campbell
  • 23YouanSubstituted forKukharevychat 59′minutes
  • 13HoppeSubstituted forNisbetat 59′minutes


  • 2Miller
  • 3Cabraja
  • 10Vieira Tavares
  • 15Nisbet
  • 17Devlin
  • 22McKirdy
  • 31Johnson
  • 37MacIntyre
  • 99Kukharevych


Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 26Davies
  • 31Barisic
  • 13CantwellSubstituted forLundstramat 78′minutes
  • 8Jack
  • 14KentSubstituted forWrightat 77′minutes
  • 43RaskinSubstituted forArfieldat 78′minutes
  • 9ColakSubstituted forMorelosat 78′minutes
  • 30SakalaSubstituted forHagiat 77′minutes


  • 4Lundstram
  • 7Hagi
  • 17Matondo
  • 18Kamara
  • 20Morelos
  • 23Wright
  • 33McLaughlin
  • 37Arfield
  • 44Devine

Don Robertson


Live Text

Player of the match

SakalaFashion Sakala


  1. Squad number25Player nameFish

  2. Squad number1Player nameMarshall

  3. Squad number4Player nameHanlon

  4. Squad number26Player nameCJ Egan-Riley

  5. Squad number12Player nameCadden

  6. Squad number16Player nameStevenson

  7. Squad number23Player nameYouan

  8. Squad number32Player nameCampbell

  9. Squad number14Player nameJeggo

  10. Squad number13Player nameHoppe

  11. Squad number18Player nameHenderson

  12. Squad number15Player nameNisbet

  13. Squad number3Player nameCabraja

  14. Squad number99Player nameKukharevych

  15. Squad number22Player nameMcKirdy


  1. Squad number30Player nameSakala

  2. Squad number8Player nameJack

  3. Squad number9Player nameColak

  4. Squad number43Player nameRaskin

  5. Squad number14Player nameKent

  6. Squad number13Player nameCantwell

  7. Squad number31Player nameBarisic

  8. Squad number2Player nameTavernier

  9. Squad number26Player nameDavies

  10. Squad number6Player nameGoldson

  11. Squad number1Player nameMcGregor

  12. Squad number7Player nameHagi

  13. Squad number23Player nameWright

  14. Squad number37Player nameArfield

  15. Squad number4Player nameLundstram

  16. Squad number20Player nameMorelos

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