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Rankin practised long 'squiggler'

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Rankin's 45-yarder stuns Celtic

Hibernian's John Rankin insisted that the 45-yard punt that deceived Artur Boruc in Celtic's 2-0 defeat was pre-designed to embarrass goalkeepers.

It was something he and team-mate Derek Riordan worked on in training.

"The boys were asking why I was shooting from the arc, but I've been practising with Deek 45-yard squigglers as we call them," said the midfielder.

"To be fair, it did squiggle. I don't know if that helped me or if it was a goalkeeping mistake."

Rankin's goal early in the second half - he also set up the second for Colin Nish - put Hibs on the road to a victory that prevented Celtic restoring their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League to seven points over Rangers.

"The ball broke to me, I took a touch and everyone backed off, so I thought, 'just hit it'," he explained.

It will be 10 years before the kid has another hit like that and something like that happens

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan

"I am just delighted that I did. There was maybe a wee bit of luck on my part, but I'm delighted and I'll take the goal."

Hibs manager Mixu Paatelainen could understand why Boruc failed to stop Rankin's effort.

"He was a fair bit out, but the ball was all over the place," said the manager.

"I felt sorry for Boruc as that makes it very difficult for the goalkeeper."

The normally impressive Boruc has been under scrutiny for recent on-field lapses and negative off-field publicity about his private life.

And Celtic manager Gordon Strachan was remaining diplomatic about his thoughts over the latest error.

"The goal is self-explanatory," he said. "It's there for the world to see.

"It will be 10 years before the kid has another hit like that and something like that happens."

Strachan refused to divulge what he said to Boruc after the game.

"I think, when you speak to players after the game, you keep that in the dressing-room. So we will do that," he said.

"There were a lot of pats on the back for a lot of the players.

"A lot of my players can get on the bus and say 'I gave it a good go today'."

Strachan was not about to panic about the defeat.

"I'm not, but everyone else will," he joked. "All I can do as a manager is ask them to go out there and compete and perform. They did that.

"We just couldn't finish off and they got a goal out of nothing. Hibs worked very hard and can be pleased with their victory."

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see also
Rankin's 45-yarder stuns Celtic
08 Dec 08 |  Football
Hibernian 2-0 Celtic
07 Dec 08 |  Scottish Premier
Hibernian v Celtic as it happened
07 Dec 08 |  Scottish Premier
SPL photos
07 Dec 08 |  Scottish Premier


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