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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 March 2007, 15:56 GMT
Hibernian 0-2 Rangers
By Thomas McGuigan

Charlie Adam is congratulated after opening the scoring
Charlie Adam gave Rangers the lead with a clever free-kick
Rangers earned a comfortable win at Easter Road in a game of contrasting fortunes for the two goalkeepers.

The Ibrox side took the lead after three minutes when Charlie Adam spotted Hibernian keeper Simon Brown off his line and fired his free-kick home.

Gers keeper Allan McGregor thwarted Abdessalam Benjelloun and Steven Whittaker in rare Hibs attacks.

Brown's calamitous day was complete when he spilled Adam's free-kick through his legs for Gers' second.

McGregor was given the nod ahead of Stefan Klos, despite the former's suspension for Thursday's UEFA Cup clash with Osasuna.

Ugo Ehiogu returned from injury in central defence, with Brahim Hemdani moving back to midfield and Gavin Rae dropping to the bench.

Former Hibs skipper Kevin Thomson made his first return to Easter Road since his 2m transfer in January.

Hibs handed a first start to Hungary striker Thomas Sowunmi, while Lewis Stevenson came in, with Michael Stewart and Benjelloun dropping to the bench.

Thomson, whose every touch was jeered by the home fans, looked threatening in the early stages as he drove Rangers forward.

The visitors took the lead inside three minutes in farcical circumstances.

Rob Jones was adjudged to have fouled Kris Boyd and the referee awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal on the right-hand side.

Adam stood over the ball as the players gathered in the box expecting a cross.

Hibs keeper Simon Brown
Hibs keeper Simon Brown had an afternoon to forget

But the midfielder spotted Brown off his line and arrowed a shot into the unguarded goal.

David Murphy came close to an equaliser for Hibs when his free-kick from 18 yards after 33 minutes narrowly missed McGregor's left-hand post.

Murphy played in a superb cross five minutes later but Sowunmi's header sailed over the bar.

Hibs looked sharper at the start of the second half, with substitute Benjelloun's shot going close from Steven Whittaker's cross.

Despite the Easter Road side looking likely to fashion an equaliser, it was Rangers who went further ahead in the 60th minute.

Lewis Stevenson was booked for a foul on Alan Hutton and, from 30 yards, Adam sent a free-kick towards goal, which Brown inexplicably allowed to trundle through his legs into the net.

Hibs were deflated by the second goal and Rangers ran out comfortable winners.

The win for Walter Smith's men means Celtic cannot clinch the title with victory in next Sunday's Old Firm game.


Hibernian: Brown, Whittaker, Hogg, Jones, Murphy, Sproule, Beuzelin, Brown, Stevenson, Sowunmi, Fletcher. Subs: McNeil, Martis, Zemmama, Stewart, Benjelloun, Lynch, McCann

Booked: Jones, Stevenson, Zemmama.

Rangers: McGregor, Hutton, Ehiogu, Weir, Murray, Burke, Hemdani, Ferguson, Thomson, Adam, Boyd. Subs: Klos, Papac, Prso, Novo, Rae, Lowing, McMillan.

Booked: Boyd, Thomson, Ferguson.

Goals: Adam 4, 60.

Referee: C Richmond



SEE ALSO
Collins rues keeper's mistakes
04 Mar 07 |  Hibernian
Sunday's football photos
04 Mar 07 |  Football


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