Ridvan Yilmaz’s first Scottish Premiership goal set Rangers on their way to another win over Hibernian
Rangers eased to within five points of leaders Celtic on their return to Scottish Premiership action with a fifth straight victory over Hibernian.
In their first league game since the winter break, Ridvan Yilmaz’s maiden Premiership goal fired the visitors into the lead at Easter Road when a delightful ball from John Lundstram was drilled in by the left-back.
And the Ibrox side were two up in first-half stoppage time when Todd Cantwell rocketed a fine strike from the edge of the area past goalkeeper David Marshall.
Although Hibs did threaten, with Elie Youan heading a glorious chance wide before debutant Myziane Maolida was denied by Jack Butland, they failed to find a moment to shift the game’s momentum.
Instead, Rangers netted a third to kill the contest, as Cyriel Dessers reversed in a clever finish just a minute after replacing Fabio Silva.
Fellow substitute Tom Lawrence thought he had poked in a late fourth, but the midfielder was denied by the tightest of offside calls.
Hibs, who are now without a league win over Rangers in 21 meetings, remain sixth having won just one of their last six Premiership matches, while Philippe Clement’s side have one more game in hand over leaders Celtic.
Player of the match – John Lundstram
The Rangers midfielder (left) dictated the majority of the contest by registering 100 touches – one of which provided a stunning assist for the opener
Questions for Montgomery as Rangers cruise it – analysis
No Connor Goldson, no problem for Rangers.
The integral centre-back was suspended for the trip to Easter Road, which might have had some of the away support sweating as Nick Montgomery named another bold Hibs XI, but the visiting backline shut out the home side with a 13th clean sheet in 21 league games.
While Goldson was a noticeable omission, Silva was a noticeable inclusion.
The 21-year-old Wolves loanee, who diverted a decent chance wide in the first half, will need time to get up to full sharpness, but showed his quality on the ball in brief spells with neat composure.
Hibs eyes were on their Premiership debutant, but Maolida also looked rusty at times and ought to have burst the net when he struck straight at Butland from close range.
Emiliano Marcondes looked bright, though, and showed signs he can be an asset for Hibs going forward, but Montgomery still has plenty of fans to win over.
His side continue to struggle to control games for sustained periods with their bold 4-4-2 formation, one of a few reasons why many are still far from convinced.
What they said
Rangers manager Philippe Clement: “It’s a well deserved victory and what I wanted to see. This is a difficult place to come to. It’s not easy against a team like Hibs.
“With the ball we did the right things and scored three good goals. We had total domination [in the second half]. It’s pleasing and what I want to see more and more.”
Both sides are on the road on Saturday as Rangers go to St Mirren (12:30 GMT) before Hibs travel to Kilmarnock (15:00).
More to follow.
7Youan6Levitt11Newell29da Veiga Vieira Tavares
1Marshall42MegwaSubstituted forWhittakerat 78’minutes5Fish21Obita16Stevenson7YouanBooked at 10mins6LevittSubstituted forAmosat 70’minutes11NewellSubstituted forJeggoat 58’minutes29da Veiga Vieira Tavares9VenteSubstituted forDoidgeat 70’minutes17MaolidaSubstituted forMarcondesat 58’minutesSubstitutes14Jeggo15Amos20Marcondes22McKirdy23Doidge31Johnson35Molotnikov41Blaney49Whittaker
1Butland2Tavernier5Souttar27Balogun3Yilmaz43RaskinSubstituted forSterlingat 45’minutes4Lundstram45McCauslandSubstituted forWrightat 70’minutes13CantwellSubstituted forLawrenceat 45’minutes17MatondoSubstituted forJackat 78’minutes7Fábio SilvaSubstituted forDessersat 73’minutesSubstitutes8Jack9Dessers11Lawrence21Sterling23Wright28McCrorie31Barisic38King44Devine
Match ends, Hibernian 0, Rangers 3.
Second Half ends, Hibernian 0, Rangers 3.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match because of an injury Leon Balogun (Rangers).
Attempt saved. Scott Wright (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by David Marshall.
Attempt saved. Scott Wright (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ryan Jack.
Attempt missed. Christian Doidge (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jordan Obita with a headed pass following a corner.
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by John Souttar.
Attempt blocked. Emiliano Marcondes (Hibernian) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jair Tavares.
Attempt saved. Cyriel Dessers (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Jack with a through ball.
Attempt blocked. John Lundstram (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cyriel Dessers with a headed pass.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Emiliano Marcondes.
Offside, Rangers. Tom Lawrence is caught offside.
Substitution, Rangers. Ryan Jack replaces Rabbi Matondo.
Substitution, Hibernian. Rory Whittaker replaces Kanayo Megwa.
Attempt blocked. Rabbi Matondo (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cyriel Dessers.
Offside, Hibernian. Jair Tavares is caught offside.
Goal! Hibernian 0, Rangers 3. Cyriel Dessers (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Rabbi Matondo.
Substitution, Rangers. Cyriel Dessers replaces Fábio Silva.
Player of the match
Squad number16Player nameStevenson
Squad number42Player nameMegwa
Squad number6Player nameLevitt
Squad number5Player nameFish
Squad number7Player nameYouan
Squad number21Player nameObita
Squad number1Player nameMarshall
Squad number9Player nameVente
Squad number29Player nameJair Tavares
Squad number17Player nameMaolida
Squad number20Player nameEmiliano Marcondes
Squad number11Player nameNewell
Squad number23Player nameDoidge
Squad number14Player nameJeggo
Squad number49Player nameWhittaker
Squad number15Player nameAmos
Squad number1Player nameButland
Squad number4Player nameLundstram
Squad number3Player nameYilmaz
Squad number9Player nameDessers
Squad number21Player nameSterling
Squad number5Player nameSouttar
Squad number2Player nameTavernier
Squad number11Player nameLawrence
Squad number27Player nameBalogun
Squad number45Player nameMcCausland
Squad number13Player nameCantwell
Squad number7Player nameFábio Silva
Squad number43Player nameRaskin
Squad number17Player nameMatondo
Squad number23Player nameWright
Squad number8Player nameJack