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Live - Scottish Premier League



SPL FIXTURE

Hibernian 2-3 Rangers Match report


GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

MY SPORT: DEBATE

To get involved use My Sport or text us your views on 80295 . (Not all contributions can be used)

By Martin Conaghan

1602: That's all from me for today folks. Who says the SPL isn't exciting? That was a great game today, with some quality goals from both sides. Thanks for all your comments, texts and messages. Until next time, it's adios!

1601: Craig Paterson gives his Sportsound man of the match to Hibs' Steven Fletcher.

1600: "I've seen Rangers play better, but they've shown the desire to stay in the title race. That's the best I've seen Hibs pass the ball in a long time."
BBC Radio Scotland pundit Craig Paterson

1559: Some headlines from the post-split fixtures: Celtic are at home to to Hearts on the last day of the season, Rangers travel to Tannadice to face Dundee United on the same day. Celtic have three away matches, Rangers have three home games, there will be an Edinburgh derby at Easter Road on Thursday 7 May and the Old Firm match at Ibrox will be on Saturday 9 May.

1554: Full-time at Easter Road: Hibernian 2-3 Rangers.

1551: The regulation 90 minutes have come and gone. Is there a goal left in this match yet?

1550: The ref adds on two minutes of extra time at the end of the match.

1548: Rangers make another change as Nacho Novo comes on and Kris Boyd goes off. No 100th goal for Boyd today.

1547: Remember folks, stay tuned here at the BBC Sport Scotland website or on Radio Scotland and we'll give you the post-split SPL fixtures at 1600 BST.

1545: If there ever was a squeaky-bum time, this is it. Rangers have got five minutes of regulation time to hold on and close the gap at the top to one point. Can they do it?

1544: GOAL! Hibernian 2-3 Rangers. John Rankin fires in what could be a candidate for goal of the season from 35 yards out.

1543: "About time Velicka got the chance to prove his worth. Two goals in two games prove this." From Craigee1873 on My Sport .

1540: There's just 10 minutes of regulation time to play. Hibs need a goal now if they have any chance of salvaging a point from this match.

1538: Kenny Miller looks on fire - he just blasted through on goal again and almost found the net, but it gets cleared in the nick of time for a corner.

1536: Despite the comfortable lead for Rangers, Hibs are putting a brave face on it and keeping up the pressure.

1534: Christian Dailly prepares to come on for Sasa Papac, who looks like he's struggling with an ankle injury.

1533: GOAL! Hibernian 1-3 Rangers. Maurice Edu gives Rangers a comfortable lead following a good old-fashioned goalmouth stramash. The big American stabs home from close range after Szamotulski does his best to clear the danger from a corner.

1532: Kenny Miller makes an impact almost immediately with a superb diagonal run that ends with a blistering shot which Szamotulski parries out for a corner.

1531: "If Kenny Miller can time his runs then he's got the speed and the ability to get one-on-one with the goalkeeper."
BBC Radio Scotland pundit Craig Paterson

1530: Kenny Miller takes to the field with Andrius Velicka making way. Velicka hasn't had the best of days, despite his fine strike to give Rangers the lead.

1529: Derek Riordan breaks free inside the Rangers penalty area, but fires his shot straight at Alexander and the ball is parried out for a corner.

1528: "Hibs to equalise with Fletcher, 2-2 as the final score." From Stuart Dutton in Newcastle via SMS on 80295 .

1526: The Nottingham Forrest manager Billy Davies is spotted in the crowd at Easter Road. I wonder who he has his eye on for the City Ground? Or maybe he has his eye on the Hibs job?

1525: "Rangers are looking edgy - they know the longer the game goes on, Hibs are going to get a chance at some point."
BBC Scotland pundit Billy Dodds.

1524: Kris Boyd crumples to the ground under a challenge from Rob Jones and looks like he's struggling to walk. We could see a change for the former Killie man at some point soon.

1522: Derek Riordan is lucky to escape a booking after taking a fresh-air swipe at the ball and hitting Pedro Mendes instead.

1521: Rob Jones gives the Hibs fans a dose of heart failure when he heads a clearance back towards goal and Velicka pounces - but Szamotulski manages to reach it and saves the big Englishman's blushes.

1520: We've got 30 minutes left to play, minus injury time. How do you folks think this one is going to end? Send us your views on My Sport or via text message on80295.

1519: Kris Boyd tries to latch on to a free-kick from six yards out for his 100th goal in a Rangers jersey, but fails to connect and Szamotulski gathers.

1517: "Hibs might look at a substitution in the next 15-20 minutes. The first goal was out of the blue, and the second goal was out of the blue too, but they're just got to keep doing what they've been doing."
BBC Scotland pundit Billy Dodds.

1516: "Hibs just need to stick with it and pick themselves up."
BBC Radio Scotland pundit Craig Paterson

1514: Kenny Miller was all stripped and ready to take to the pitch, but he's now got his tracksuit back on and has re-taken his seat in the visitors' dugout. It seems certain he was ready to replace Velicka.

1513:GOAL! Hibernian 1-2 Rangers. Andrius Velicka, about to be hooked, fires in a fine strike with two Hibs players bearing down on him.

1512: "Hibernian to win 2-1. Fletcher to get his 2nd." Andrew in Forres via SMS on 80295 .

1510: Kenny Miller is getting ready to take to the field. Our man on the scene, Chick Young reckons Andrius Velicka could be the one to make way for the former Celtic man who was once a former Rangers man.

1508: "Is it just me or have Hibs been looking more comfortable with the ball on the deck than the Old Firm for a number of seasons now?" BraveheartJags on My Sport .

1507: A pacy start to the second half for Rangers, but Hibs look just as eager to take this match to the visitors.

1505: And we're back off at Easter Road!

1504: The players are back out on the pitch and we're getting ready for the second half.

1459: "I know Velicka is an ex-Hearts player, but does that give the Hibs players carte blanche to kick him at every opportunity? The ref's a disgrace." Gavin in Perth via SMS on 80295 .

1457: "I think the Hibees are set to win this as long as they come out strong in the second half." Flyingthecabbage on My Sport .

1450:Half-time at Easter Road. Hibernian 1-1 Rangers.

1449: "So how soon can we expect the Post Split Fixtures to be announced? The SPL had all of Yesterday Evening and this Morning to finalise plans, surely?" by matt on My Sport .

You're right matt - we'll have the fixtures at 1600 BST from the SPL, but they knew the teams involved yesterday, so we're not too sure why they've held out until today.

1448: The ref adds on two minutes of injury time at the end of the first half, undoubtedly as a result of Velicka and Whittaker spending some time on the deck getting their head wounds attended to.

1447: Rangers pick up a corner as half-time edges ever nearer, but fail to make anything from the advantage.

1443: The day is over for the injured Colin Nish as Jonatan Johansson takes his place in the Hibs side.

1442: Getting near to half-time. It's been a very open, end-to-end game so far. It's difficult to separate the two sides, but Hibs look slightly more advanced than Rangers in terms of their play - but you can never rule out the quality and pace of Walter Smith's men.

1439: Rangers look slightly shaken by that confidence-boosting equaliser. Hibs are mounting threatening attacks from Lewis Stevenson down the left hand side and look likely to score again if the Ibrox men don't get their act together at the back.

1438: "That goal just might've blown the title race wide open."
BBC Radio Scotland commentator David Begg

1437: "Hibs have looked brilliant from middle to front; without looking great defensively. But Rangers have had the best chances."
BBC Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

1435: GOAL! Hibernian 1-1 Rangers. Steven Fletcher gets Hibs back into the game with a cool header from 10 yards out and the home fans go wild.

1431: Hibs somehow scramble the ball off the line from a Rangers corner. Andrius Velicka had a chance to kill off the match there from close range, but the danger was cleared and the Hibees breathe easy.

1430: "Hibs are the better passing team at the moment with better movement, but they still trail Rangers by a goal to nil."
BBC Scotland commentator David Begg.

1427: Maurice Edu leaps on to a searching Steven Smith free-kick into the Hibs penalty area, but nods it past the post. Very close, that one - the big American really should have done better.

1424: "The game has slowed down a bit and one or two players are taking a breather. It's understandable!"
BBC Radio Scotland pundit Craig Paterson

1423: Maurice Edu is the latest Rangers player to hit the deck with a head injury as Hibs break down the left. The ref blows the whistle, much to the derision of the home support.

1420: It's been a fast-paced match so far, but the play isn't terribly slick - lots of loose balls and scrappy tackling. You can tell Rangers are keen to put this one beyond Hibs, while the home side need to rack up points if they want to have any hope of making a Europa League slot.

1418: Colin Nish looked likely to score there, but the Rangers goalscorer Steven Whittaker manages to track back and make the block. It remains 1-0 to Rangers.

1414: Andrius Velicka spends some time on the deck following a clash of heads with Rob Jones. Fortunately, he doesn't look to have damaged anything and gets back to his feet after a rub with the magic sponge.

1410: Derek Riordan latches on to a ball in the heart of the Rangers penalty area then blasts a volley past Alexander's right-hand post. Close, but no cigar for the spiky-haired one.

1408: Hibs are regrouping after the early opener. Some decent passing from the hosts, but Rangers look eager and are hassling the Easter Road boys for every ball.

1406: "Rangers are going to go for the jugular now. Hibs have got to keep it tight for the next five minutes."
BBC Radio Scotland pundit Craig Paterson

1405: The Hibs fans are absolutely stunned with that opener from Whittaker. What a goal it was. On a par with Dorman's superb strike for St Mirren yesterday against Motherwell.

1404:GOAL! Hibernian 0-1 Rangers. Steven Whittaker volleys in a stunner from 23 yards out and leaves Grzegorz Szamotulski standing. What a start for the visitors.

1402: And we're off at Easter Road! Slightly later than the scheduled 1400 BST kick-off.

1358: Here we go folks. Two minutes until kick-off. Exciting stuff, and very much squeaky-bum time for Rangers.

1357: Billy Dodds predicts a 2-1 win for Rangers with the first goal going to Andrius Velicka.

1350: "Does 4th place get a European place? What about the Scottish cup winners or even runners up." Helen in Lisburn via SMS on 80295 .

Yes indeed it does Helen. Fourth place gets a Europa League slot and the Scottish Cup winners get a Europa League slot too, unless they've already qualified for Europe - in which case, it reverts to the nearest runner-up that is not already in Europe.

1343: "Boyd deserves to be nominated for player of the year? It's like saying Guy Fawkes should be posthumously knighted for services to the fireworks industry!" from K19 on My Sport .

1334:Team news from Easter Road:

Hibernian: Szamotulski, van Zanten, Hogg, Jones, Stevenson, Rosa, Bamba, Rankin, Riordan, Nish, Fletcher. Subs: Ma-Kalambay, Murray, O'Brien, Chisholm, McCormack, Thicot, Johansson.

Rangers: Alexander, Whittaker, Weir, Bougherra, Papac, Davis, Edu, Mendes, Steven Smith, Boyd, Velicka. Subs: Graeme Smith, Novo, Miller, Dailly, Niguez, Fleck, Little.

Today's referee is Steve Conroy.

1327: "I think Boyd definitely merited a place in the Player of the Year nominations. His attitude has been totally different this year, he really has been leading from the front and banging in the goals, as well as improving other aspects of his game." From Sloop John B on My Sport .

1322: Looks like Allan McGregor will NOT be on the bench for Rangers today, according to the Ibrox assistant manager Ally McCoist, speaking exclusively to Chick Young on Sportsound.

1321: "I can see Rangers throwing the league away today, I hope not but Celtic beating Aberdeen has piled on the pressure. All games should start at the same time on the same day." From the_iceman on My Sport .

1316: A lot of talk on BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound about Kris Boyd being left out of the Player of Year award nominations. What do you think folks - if you score loads of goals, does it make you a candidate for Player of the Year? Let us know via My Sport or via text message on80295.

1302: Team news from Easter Road. Sasa Papac returns, Christian Dailly misses out. Steven Whittaker moves to right back. No place in the squad for Barry Ferguson, but our man at Ibrox Chick Young says there could be a place on the bench for Allan McGregor.

1300: Today sees the final SPL fixture before the split as Rangers travel to Easter Road to take on Hibernian.

With a place in the top six now secure for Mixu Paatelainen's men, can they secure victory to prevent Rangers from closing the gap on league leaders Celtic to a single point?

We want your views on the match as it unfolds, so send us your pearls of wisdom here or via text message on 80295.



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