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BBC Scotland's David Begg and Murdo MacLeod
report from Easter Road.
 real 14k

Hibs Manager, Alex McLeish
"Great victory, fantastic victory."
 real 14k

Rangers manager, Dick Advocaat
"We deserved at least one point."
 real 14k

Saturday, 14 October, 2000, 18:11 GMT
Zitelli is Hibees' hero
Mark Brown is helpless to stop Zitelli's shot
Mark Brown is helpless to stop Zitelli's shot
Hibernian 1-0 Rangers

Frenchman David Zitelli returned to haunt Rangers, scoring the only goal as Hibs defeated the champions at Easter Road.

Zitelli ended Rangers' Uefa Cup hopes a few seasons ago while playing with Strasbourg, and he proved that his goalscoring touch has not deserted him with the winning goal.

Hibs deserved their victory as a result of a more organised display and Rangers made few clear-cut chances.

The victory underlines that Hibs' title challenge will take a fair bit of derailing.

Russell Latapy takes on Barry Ferguson
Russell Latapy takes on Barry Ferguson
The first attack of the match was by Rangers, Billy Dodds releasing Allan Johnston down the right, and the striker only just failed to connect properly with Johnston's cross.

But Hibs soon had the champions on the back-foot.

David Zitelli brought out a good save from young Mark Brown after an atrocious piece of defending by Lorenzo Amoruso.

The Italian completely misjudged a header, allowing Zitelli to fire in a powerful rising shot which Brown tipped over the bar.

Zitelli and then Stuart Lovell watched further efforts go wide as Hibs took the upper hand early on.

Muted claims

Tony Vidmar was booked in the 12th minute for clattering Zitelli from behind, before Johnston had a good chance to put Rangers ahead.

Peter Lovenkrands' pace took him to the edge of the Hibs penalty area where he squared to the Scotland winger, but his shot was weak and taken easily by Nick Colgan.

Lovenkrands looked Rangers' most dangerous player and another pacy run ended with him tumbling in the area, but the penalty claims were muted.

Rangers appeared to have weathered Hibs' early storm but a careless pass in midfield by Tugay allowed John O'Neil to pick out Zitelli down the right flank.

Zitelli celebrates his match winner
Zitelli celebrates his match winner
The Frenchman cut inside and drove the ball past Mark Brown into the far corner of the net before Vidmar could make a recovery.

That goal seemed to take the life out of Rangers, the Hibs midfield completely over-running their more illustrious opponents.

Tony Vidmar had a header blocked on the line and Jorg Albertz struck a free kick well over the bar as half-time approached, but Hibs continued to look comfortable.

Billy Dodds had an opportunity to bring Rangers level right on half-time, but he snatched at the ball as it arrived at his feet and the ball drifted safely wide.

Rangers made a double substitution at the start of the second half, with Kenny Miller and Andrei Kanchelskis replacing Sergio Porrini and Allan Johnston.

Miller was singled out for particular attention by the Hibs fans following his summer departure from Easter Road.

Kanchelskis dive

The man who had made the difference between the sides, Zitelli, also remained indoors for the second period, with Dirk Lehmann on to replace him.

Miller won a free kick 35 yards from goal and Tugay eventually fired a left-foot shot just wide of Nick Colgan's goal.

Dirk Lehmann had the home side's first effort of the half - he controlled a long ball expertly on his chest before lobbing the ball over Brown but also over the crossbar.

Rangers should have equalised on the hour mark when an excellent passing move put Andrei Kanchelskis through on the right.

But as he bore down on Nick Colgan he threw himself to the ground under the slightest of challenges when he could easily have shot or squared the ball to one of the waiting Rangers players.

The Ukranian was booked for his dive to add to his embarrassment.

Offside flag

Gary Smith brought the Hibs fans to their feet shortly afterwards when the ball fell to him 25 yards from goal.

His chip left Brown stranded but agonisingly for the defender, the ball struck the bar.

With 25 minutes left, Barry Ferguson thought he had equalised when Albertz' disguised pass put him clear and he swept the ball past Colgan into the net.

But the flag had been raised for offside against the Rangers midfielder and the score remained 1-0 to Hibs.

Hibs were denied the opportunity of a second goal when a long ball to the back post was taken off the foot of Lovell by Mixu Paatelainen.

As the ball dropped outside the box, Dirk Lehmann almost made amends, hitting a fierce volley wide.

Andrei Kanchelskis gets his marching orders
Andrei Kanchelskis gets his marching orders
With nine minutes remaining, Kanchelskis' earlier folly came back to haunt him as a despairing lunge on Laursen left referee Kenny Clark with little choice but to show him a second yellow card.

With the game slipping further from Rangers' grasp, Amoruso wasted a free kick in a good position.

In 85 minutes the Ibrox side missed their best chance of the afternoon following a mix-up between Paul Fenwick and Colgan.

The ball fell to Lovenkrands who faced an empty net, but he was unable to keep his volley below the crossbar.

Rangers had the ball in the net again with a minute remaining, but Albertz had clearly taken the ball down with his hand and the goal was rightly chopped off.

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

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

Rangers: Brown, Amoruso, Konterman, Porrini, Vidmar, Ferguson, Albertz, Tugay, Johnston, Dodds, Lovenkrands.

Subs: Smith, Kanchelskis, Reyna, Wilson, Miller.

Referee: Kenny Clark

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See also:

14 Oct 00 |  Scot Prem
Well finally hit form
14 Oct 00 |  Scot Prem
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14 Oct 00 |  Scot Prem
Caniggia settles win for Dundee
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