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Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Sunday, 27 December 2009

Hibernian   1 - 4   Rangers

Kenny Miller scores for Rangers against Hibernian
Miller registered his third consecutive brace as he took his season's tally to 12

By Andy Campbell

Rangers restored their four-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League after recovering from an early setback at Hibernian.

Hibs had the ball in the net within 13 seconds through Anthony Stokes.

Kenny Miller restored parity with a composed effort and a poacher's strike by Kris Boyd put Rangers ahead before the half-time interval.

Nacho Novo grabbed a fortunate third for the visitors and Miller's second completed the scoring on 66 minutes.

The win means Rangers will finish 2009 as league leaders, regardless of what happens in Wednesday's home clash with Dundee United, while third-place Hibs remain four points behind Celtic.

Merouanne Zemmama was the architect of Hibs' quick-fire opener, receiving the ball from the kick-off and weaving his way to the edge of the box before slipping the ball through to Stokes, who fired into the far corner via the post.

Shell-shocked by the loss of such an early goal, Rangers looked to level matters with Miller heading wide from Kyle Lafferty's cross.

Novo then drew a save from Hibs keeper Yves Ma-Kalambay and, as Miller tried to convert the rebound, Paul Hanlon made a crucial clearance.

The pace and trickery of the Hibs attack continued to cause the visitors problems and a sequence of intricate passing almost put Zemmama in on goal only for Sasa Papac to step in and clear the danger.

Hibs surrendered possession in the run up to Rangers' equaliser as Novo intercepted and found Boyd, who sent an intelligent reverse pass through to strike partner Miller and the former Hibs striker curled a low shot beyond Ma-Kalambay from 20 yards.

Miller then claimed unsuccessfully for a penalty following a challenge by Hibs captain Chris Hogg.

David Wotherspoon's pinpoint cross found Stokes in space but the Republic of Ireland striker headed well off-target before Rangers went in front eight minutes before the break.

Carelessness in possession cost Hibs again as Derek Riordan was dispossessed by Madjid Bougherra and the Algerian's low cross was turned into the net by Boyd at the near post.

Stokes' cross-cum-shot stung the palms of Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor six minutes into the second half as Hibs looked for an equaliser.

Ma-Kalambay had appeared to be struggling with a leg knock before the break and the keeper was culpable for Rangers' third as Novo's mis-hit cross squeezed in at the near post on 53 minutes.

Boyd was again the provider for Miller's second with a searching pass in behind Sol Bamba and the Scotland striker beat the offside trap before shooting into the far corner, with Ma-Kalambay unable to get more than a hand to the strike.

A raft of substitutions ensued with Danny Galbraith, Darren McCormack and Abdesallam Benjelloun replacing Zemmama, Riordan and Colin Nish for Hibs, while Rangers' Lafferty and Miller made way for Maurice Edu, who made his first appearance of the campaign, and Steven Whittaker.

John Rankin's long-range shot went straight into the arms of Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor and Boyd had a goal disallowed for offside late on as the match fizzled out.


Hibernian manager John Hughes:
"We got a great start, straight from the kick-off. For 20 minutes, we were giving as good as we got and then we got scared.

"Although Rangers beat us 4-1, I didn't think they had to work too hard to do it. I felt we beat ourselves. We shot ourselves in the foot so many times.

"There were a lot mistakes that happened in front of Yves Ma-Kalambay, in terms of decision-making.

"In the second half, it just ran away from us a wee bit and I saw one or two heads go down.

"All we need to do is dust ourselves down and get ourselves ready to go again."

Rangers manager Walter Smith:
"Obviously, it's a very pleasing result for us today.

"I felt we played very well after the first 20 minutes or so. I don't think we started the game well but, after that, we played very well and I'm obviously delighted by the result.

"It wasn't just the goal that we lost in the first seconds of the game, in the first 20 minutes of the game we never got the ball down at all and we never imposed ourselves on the game. It took us a while to get going.

"Kris Boyd's been doing exceptionally well for us team-wise. For himself, he's had the realisation that he has to pick himself up a bit and he's doing that and has done for the last three or four months. He's trying far harder team-wise but he's still getting his goals as well, which is obviously the important thing.

"There was a lot of expectation placed on Hibs going in to today's game. We had to work very hard to get our goals today.

"If you look at the game overall, until we got our fourth goal, it was an extremely tough game for us and we had to do exceptionally well to get ourselves in that position."

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Scottish Premier

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Hibernian 1-4 Rangers FT
(HT 1-2)
  • Stokes 1
  • Miller 21
  • Boyd 37
  • Novo 53
  • Miller 66

Hibernian

  • 50 Ma-Kalambay
  • 04 Hogg
  • 20 Hanlon
  • 26 Bamba yellow card
  • 07 Zemmama (Galbraith 68)
  • 11 Rankin
  • 24 Wotherspoon
  • 33 Miller
  • 09 Nish (Benjelloun 76)
  • 10 Riordan (McCormack 68)
  • 18 Stokes

Substitutes

  • 30 Flynn,
  • 15 Thicot,
  • 25 McCormack,
  • 08 Cregg,
  • 16 Stevenson,
  • 22 Galbraith,
  • 19 Benjelloun

Rangers

  • 01 McGregor
  • 03 Weir
  • 05 Papac
  • 21 Broadfoot
  • 24 Bougherra
  • 06 McCulloch
  • 07 Davis
  • 09 Boyd
  • 10 Novo
  • 18 Miller (Whittaker 80)
  • 27 Lafferty (Edu 74)

Substitutes

  • 25 Alexander,
  • 16 Whittaker,
  • 26 Smith,
  • 66 Wilson,
  • 02 Edu,
  • 29 Fleck,
  • 48 Little
Ref: BrinesAtt: 16,894
HIBERNIAN
RANGERS

Possession

  • Hibernian 58%
  • Rangers 42%

Attempts on target

  • Hibernian 5
  • Rangers 5

Attempts off target

  • Hibernian 3
  • Rangers 4

Corners

  • Hibernian 3
  • Rangers 8

Fouls

  • Hibernian 7
  • Rangers 14
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+2:13 The referee blows for the end of the match.
  • 90:00+1:02 Liam Miller challenges Steven Whittaker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by David Weir.
  • 89:39 Steven Whittaker concedes a free kick for a foul on Darren McCormack. John Rankin restarts play with the free kick.
  • 89:18 Steven Davis is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Paul Hanlon takes the free kick.
  • 86:29 The official flags Kris Boyd offside. Chris Hogg restarts play with the free kick.
  • 83:21 Corner taken right-footed by Nacho Novo, Madjid Bougherra takes a shot. Save by Yves Ma-Kalambay.
  • 82:09 David Weir takes the direct free kick.
  • 82:09 Booking Souleymane Bamba shown a yellow card.
  • 81:52 Foul by Liam Miller on Nacho Novo, free kick awarded.
  • 80:21 John Rankin takes a shot from 30 yards. Save made by Allan McGregor.
  • 79:59 Kirk Broadfoot concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Galbraith. Free kick taken by John Rankin.
  • 79:08 Substitution (Rangers) makes a substitution, with Steven Whittaker coming on for Kenny Miller.
  • 78:28 Danny Galbraith takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Sasa Papac.
  • 77:52 Corner taken by David Wotherspoon played to the near post, clearance made by Steven Davis.
  • 77:10 Abdessalam Benjelloun takes a shot. Allan McGregor makes a save.
  • 75:19 Paul Hanlon takes the free kick.
  • 75:19 Substitution Abdessalam Benjelloun joins the action as a substitute, replacing Colin Nish.
  • 75:19 Madjid Bougherra gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Anthony Stokes.
  • 74:46 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Nacho Novo, Souleymane Bamba makes a clearance.
  • 74:14 Unfair challenge on Kirk Broadfoot by Paul Hanlon results in a free kick. Kirk Broadfoot takes the free kick.
  • 73:28 Substitution Kyle Lafferty leaves the field to be replaced by Maurice Edu.
  • 72:43 Kenny Miller is ruled offside. Chris Hogg takes the free kick.
  • 71:19 Steven Davis challenges David Wotherspoon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Liam Miller restarts play with the free kick.
  • 67:35 Substitution Darren McCormack is brought on as a substitute for Derek Riordan.
  • 67:35 Substitution Danny Galbraith is brought on as a substitute for Merouane Zemmama.
  • 66:59 Kris Boyd gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Wotherspoon. Merouane Zemmama takes the free kick.
  • 65:49 Assist by Kris Boyd.
  • 65:49 GOAL - Kenny MillerHibernian 1 - 4 Rangers Kenny Miller gets on the score sheet with a goal from just outside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Hibernian 1-4 Rangers.
  • 64:59 The official flags Kenny Miller offside. Souleymane Bamba takes the direct free kick.
  • 58:13 Colin Nish gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lee McCulloch. Free kick taken by Madjid Bougherra.
  • 57:15 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Nacho Novo, Headed effort from inside the area by Lee McCulloch misses to the right of the target.
  • 55:00 Effort from outside the area by Colin Nish goes wide right of the goal.
  • 54:11 Corner taken by Merouane Zemmama from the right by-line to the near post, Sasa Papac manages to make a clearance.
  • 52:01 Assist by Steven Davis.
  • 52:01 GOAL - Nacho NovoHibernian 1 - 3 Rangers Nacho Novo finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Hibernian 1-3 Rangers.
  • 50:19 Shot by Anthony Stokes from 18 yards. Comfortable save by Allan McGregor.
  • 47:57 Madjid Bougherra concedes a free kick for a foul on Merouane Zemmama. Direct free kick taken by Merouane Zemmama.
  • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+3:10 The ref blows to end the first period.
  • 45:00+1:41 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul Hanlon by Kris Boyd. John Rankin takes the direct free kick.
  • 42:36 Nacho Novo produces a cross.
  • 41:35 David Wotherspoon concedes a free kick for a foul on Kris Boyd. Steven Davis takes the free kick.
  • 39:38 Lee McCulloch gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on John Rankin. Merouane Zemmama takes the free kick.
  • 36:33 Assist on the goal came from Madjid Bougherra.
  • 36:33 GOAL - Kris BoydHibernian 1 - 2 Rangers Kris Boyd grabs a goal from inside the six-yard box high into the middle of the goal. Hibernian 1-2 Rangers.
  • 36:01 Corner taken by Nacho Novo.
  • 34:45 David Wotherspoon crosses the ball, Headed effort from inside the box by Anthony Stokes misses to the right of the target.
  • 33:43 Kris Boyd challenges Chris Hogg unfairly and gives away a free kick. Souleymane Bamba restarts play with the free kick.
  • 32:30 The assistant referee signals for offside against Kenny Miller. John Rankin takes the direct free kick.
  • 31:10 Liam Miller fouled by Lee McCulloch, the ref awards a free kick. Merouane Zemmama takes the free kick.
  • 29:51 Corner taken by Nacho Novo, Close range headed effort by Madjid Bougherra clears the crossbar.
  • 29:23 Colin Nish gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kyle Lafferty. Direct free kick taken by Steven Davis.
  • 25:43 Foul by Nacho Novo on Merouane Zemmama, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Merouane Zemmama.
  • 23:49 Foul by Derek Riordan on Kirk Broadfoot, free kick awarded. Allan McGregor takes the direct free kick.
  • 23:25 The offside flag is raised against Kenny Miller. Free kick taken by Chris Hogg.
  • 20:13 The assist for the goal came from Kris Boyd.
  • 20:13 GOAL - Kenny MillerHibernian 1 - 1 Rangers A goal is scored by Kenny Miller from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Hibernian 1-1 Rangers.
  • 18:53 The referee blows for offside against Anthony Stokes. Allan McGregor takes the indirect free kick.
  • 18:24 Foul by Sasa Papac on David Wotherspoon, free kick awarded. Merouane Zemmama restarts play with the free kick.
  • 12:14 Shot by Nacho Novo from a long way out goes over the net.
  • 10:34 Inswinging corner taken by Nacho Novo.
  • 10:11 Inswinging corner taken by Nacho Novo from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Liam Miller.
  • 8:24 Corner taken right-footed by Nacho Novo to the near post, John Rankin manages to make a clearance.
  • 7:52 Merouane Zemmama produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.
  • 6:58 Kenny Miller has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
  • 2:48 Colin Nish fouled by Kyle Lafferty, the ref awards a free kick. Strike comes in from Derek Riordan from the free kick.
  • 1:02 Kris Boyd concedes a free kick for a foul on Souleymane Bamba. Direct free kick taken by Souleymane Bamba.
  • 0:13 The assist for the goal came from Merouane Zemmama.
  • 0:13 GOAL - Anthony StokesHibernian 1 - 0 Rangers Anthony Stokes fires in a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Hibernian 1-0 Rangers.
  • 0:00 The match gets underway.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Scottish Premier results

27 Dec 2009 23:59 UK


Scottish Premier table

Sunday, 27 December 2009 14:06 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Scottish Premier table
1 Rangers 17 28 40
2 Celtic 17 18 36
3 Hibernian 17 11 32
4 Dundee Utd 16 6 28
5 Hearts 17 -3 20
6 Motherwell 17 -7 20
7 St Johnstone 17 -6 19
8 Aberdeen 16 -6 18
9 Hamilton 16 -11 16
10 St Mirren 16 -7 14
11 Kilmarnock 17 -10 14
12 Falkirk 17 -13 12

see also
SPL photo gallery
27 Dec 09 |  Scottish Premier
SPL as it happened
27 Dec 09 |  Football


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