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BBC Sport's David Begg
reports from Ibrox
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Rangers boss Dick Advocaat
"Everything's a little bit tighter now"
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Hibs boss Alex McLeish
"I still see the right ingredients"
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Saturday, 23 December, 2000, 17:41 GMT
Rangers win battle with Hibs
Amoruso and Paatelainen fought a hard battle
Amoruso and Paatelainen fought a hard battle
Rangers 1-0 Hibernian

Ronald de Boer scored the only goal of the game as Rangers emerged from a fascinating battle with second-placed Hibs with all three points.

With pretty football at a premium, the match was nonetheless never less than enthralling.

Both sides were reduced to 10 men as the final whistle approached.

Jorg Albertz saw red for Rangers and John O'Neil followed him down the tunnel shortly afterwards.

David Zitelli holds off Barry Ferguson
David Zitelli holds off Barry Ferguson
The breakthrough came in 49 minutes when Neil McCann found space on the left and his cross was met by de Boer at the front post, with Nick Colgan left helpless.

Rangers had started the second half at a furious pace with Albertz testing Nick Colgan at his near post.

Hibs refused to lie down, though, and they began to force Rangers onto the back foot.

The ever-dangerous Franck Sauzee had a typically powerful drive blocked on the hour-mark.

Red cards

Clear-cut scoring chances had been hard to come by throughout the match and the majority of the match was played out in midfield.

A nasty under-current to the match spilled over with ten minutes remaining when Albertz and Gary Smith clashed.

Referee Kenny Clark split the players up and issued a straight red card to the German, with Smith only booked.

But before Hibs could benefit, they too were reduced to 10 men when John O'Neil lashed out having been challenged from behind.

Both sides had approached the game wholeheartedly from the off, with challenges flying in and Hibs looking far from over-awed on their first visit of the season to Ibrox.

Claudio Reyna chases Russel Latapy
Claudio Reyna chases Russel Latapy
Albertz pulled a couple of efforts wide early on but it was Ulrik Laursen who almost opened the scoring after 12 minutes.

A quick free kick was nodded into the Danes' path and a dipping volley had Klos flying across his goal to push the ball wide.

Reyna had a long-range effort comfortably saved before de Boer missed a glorious opportunity to put Rangers ahead.

A six-man moved culminated in Ricksen delivering a perfect ball from the right, but with the goal at his mercy, de Boer contrived to put the ball wide of the far post.

The match descended into a rather scrappy period for 15 minutes, with either side picking up two bookings.

Neither keeper was particularly threatened, though Reyna forced Colgan to gather a long-range left-foot effort as half-time approached.

Rangers: Klos, Konterman, Porrini, Amoruso, Ricksen, Reyna, de Boer, Ferguson, Albertz, Mols, McCann.

Subs: Christensen, Dodds, Tugay, Miller, Ross.

Hibernian: Colgan, Gary Smith, Fenwick, Sauzee, Laursen, O'Neil, Jack, Latapy, Lovell, Zitelli, Paatelainen.

Subs: Franks, Andrews, Lehmann, Murray, McManus.

Referee: Kenny Clark

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23 Dec 00 |  Scot Prem
Celtic march on against Saints
23 Dec 00 |  Scot Prem
Ten-men Well hold on
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