Rangers 2 Hibernian 0

Last updated : 18 February 2006 By Footymad Previewer

Rangers avoided a fourth successive defeat and reclaimed third place in the league after a deserved 2-0 win at home to Hibs.

The Edinburgh side had beaten Rangers three times already this season, twice by three goals at Ibrox, so Alex McLeish's side were well aware of the tough battle ahead.

Hibs survived a third minute penalty claim when Gary Caldwell appeared to handle the ball in the box before Thomas Buffel glanced his eighth minute header wide of the post.

Chris Boyd fired wide for Rangers after 12 minutes before Steven Glass missed a glorious opportunity for Hibs at the other end four minutes later, firing his weak effort straight at Ronald Waterreus when left completely on his own at the back post.

Boyd and Barry Fergusson continued to threaten for Rangers but still couldn't manage efforts on target.

In the 54th minute Hibs should have taken the lead when Ivan Sproule, who scored a hat-trick here in August, raced through on goal and beat Waterreus only for Sotirios Kyrgiakos to clear the ball off the line.

From the resultant corner, Caldwell's header was cleared off the line by Chris Burke.

However, Rangers responded and took the lead on 40 minutes. Burke broke brilliantly on the right and cut the ball back for Boyd to score with his outstretched left foot, firing the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

In the second half, Rangers were dominant. Dado Prso clipped the post with a low 20- yard effort within a minute of the restart, and Steven Smith should have done better with his attempt after a good run on the left. Simon Brown then did well to deny Boyd a second goal after 60 minutes.

Rangers doubled their lead after 74 minutes when the ball broke to Fergusson at the edge of the box, and he fired low into the bottom right-hand corner of Brown's net.

Kyrgiakos and Buffel almost added a third, but Rangers settled for two goals without reply and recaptured some form ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash against Villa Real.