23 August 2019 07:17
Florian Kamberi's goal cancelled out Daniel Candeias' opener as Hibernian held Rangers in a tempestuous Scottish Premiership contest at Easter Road. In a frenzied atmosphere, Rangers' James Tavernier was confronted by a fan as he attempted to collect the ball. That came just after Candeias' fine curling strike gave Rangers the lead, but Kamberi salvaged a point by converting Marc McNulty's cross. That draw keeps up Hibs' unbeaten record against Rangers, extending their run to five league games since December 2017. It also hampers Rangers' title chances, with Celtic able to extend their lead to 10 points should they beat Aberdeen on Saturday.
Steven Gerrard has led Rangers to victory over every Premiership side this season, except Hibernian. But Hibs could have jeopardised their chances before the 10-minute mark when McGregor elbowed Morelos. Ryan Kent, given the freedom of Easter Road on the left, skipped by a David Gray challenge, cut back to Scott Arfield, and only an intervention from Paul Hanlon diverted the shot over the bar. The assistant referee wrongly flagged McNulty offside and, as Rangers stopped, Hibs played on but Connor Goldson got in the way of Kamberi's goal-bound shot. Then Scottish football suffered yet more damage to its sullied reputation as a fan inexplicably jumped on to the pitch and kicked the ball away from Tavernier, before squaring up to the Rangers full-back.
A fan is led away by police after confronting Rangers' James Tavernier Tavernier was again at the forefront after the break as he went close to extending his side's lead, goalkeeper Marciano pushing away his effort. And the visitors were made to pay for that profligacy when Kamberi checked his run to stay onside, then met McNulty's ball at the back post to slide it past McGregor. McGregor saved McNulty's driven shot, then Kamberi's volley was kept out by the goalkeeper and Easter Road held its breath as Stevie Mallan's rebound reared over the bar after deflecting off Joe Worrall. Some terrific attacking moves from Rangers in the first half only countered by some last-ditch clearances by Hibs. Media playback is not supported on this device 'Hibs more than matched Rangers' work rate' - Heckingbottom Celtic face Aberdeen on Saturday in another difficult fixture, and former Rangers boss Warburton thinks Brendan Rodgers' exit leaves the club in a difficult position. "Celtic, obviously have Neil Lennon going in, he knows the club inside out but Celtic will have some sort of uncertainty and if they have a blip, well they've got Aberdeen which is a tough game. Rangers news: Steven Gerrard's side are currently eight points behind Celtic "I think that this season Celtic will have too much, but I've got no doubts that next season for Steven, for the Rangers squad and the Rangers fans - that's the year they will really push for the title. "Every game is important for every team right now, the gap is eight points but Steven will be looking at their fixtures knowing they have Celtic coming up." Warburton recent risked the wrath of Rangers fans for displaying a speculative banner after he led the Gers to Scottish Championship glory in 2016. Scottish football is in the spotlight for the wrong reason once again after ugly scenes marred Hibs' clash with Rangers in the Premiership. A fan from the home end at Easter Road jumped the hoardings and booted the ball away from James Tavernier as the Rangers captain was about to take a throw. Rangers defender James Tavernier was involved in an altercation with a fan on the touchline The supporter kicked the ball away before clashing with the defender in the shocking scenes The fan stuck his tongue out as he was dragged away by police officers at Easter Road A Police Scotland spokesman said: 'We can confirm a 21-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an incident at Easter Road. Dempster, who asked to speak to BT Sport after the match, wrote a letter apologising to Scott Sinclair after he had a bottle thrown at him at Easter Road last week and she will now be looking to speak to Tavernier. Rangers captain Tavernier is escorted back to the field of play by the referee It compounds last week's shocking scenes when a bottle of Buckfast was thrown at Celtic star Sinclair — from the same stand at the Edinburgh venue — during a Scottish Cup clash with Hibs. During the half-time break, Rangers legend Ally McCoist had some choice words for the supporter. We should be speaking about how well Rangers have played in this match and some of the last-ditch defending from Hibs.' After the game, Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom said: 'It can't happen and I should be stood here speaking about the players and the performance. Steven Gerrard added: 'To be really honest, I'm not aware of the fan running on at half-time. Last week's incident with Sinclair led to Heckingbottom pleading with his supporters to behave themselves when Rangers visited. 'Just behave,' Heckingbottom said ahead of the Rangers clash. Paul Heckingbottom, pictured on Friday, pleaded with fans to behave during Rangers' visit It comes a week after Celtic's Scott Sinclair had a Buckfast bottle thrown at him against Hibs READ MORE - Fan attacks James Tavernier during Hibs v Rangers clash Insipid as they were toppled out of the Scottish Cup by Celtic last weekend, at Easter Road, against a team they had taken all the way in the battle for second place in the Premiership last term, the home side spent most of the evening firefighting. But, having blown one of the Leith side's best opportunities in the first half, Florian Kamberi, a player who was badly burned by comments of his previous manager, side-footed a 76th minute effort past Allan McGregor to scorch Steven Gerrard's hopes of beating rivals Celtic to the title. In the build up to the match Hibs full-back Lewis Stevenson had revealed that he and his defensive colleagues were more wary of Alfredo Morelos than any other striker in the Scottish top flight and with 28 goals in 42 appearances ithe trepidation was understandable. The Premiership top scorer had signed a contract extension prior to the game and the stage was set for Morelos to grab the headlines but instead it was Hibs birthday boy, Kamberi, who ended the night with more to celebrate. In the opening period Rangers moved the ball about well and Hibs were chasing shadows. But the traffic was largely one way and Morelos nipped in ahead of Paul Hanlon and Marciano had to come out and make himself big to get his body between the Rangers frontman and the opener, At that stage Hibs were just hoofing the ball, as much to give themselves a moment of breathing space as it was to find any meaningful route upfield but it came back at them time and again and Marciano had to intervene to prevent Kent's left foot shot curling into the top corner. For a side looked to cement their place in the top six, Hibs were offering very little at that stage as Arfield, Ryan Jack and Glen Kamara pulled the strings in the middle of the park and allowed Andy Halliday and Daniel Candeias to push forward. It came in the 76th minute when Steven Mallan picked out McNulty and he squared it to Kamberi to bury at the back post. STEVEN GERRARD has made just the one change for this evening's match with Hibernian at Easter Road, with Andy Halliday coming in for Borna Barisic at left-back. That means it's a back five of Allan McGregor in goals with captain James Tavernier, Joe Worrall, Connor Goldson and Halliday in front of the 'keeper. Ryan Jack, Glen Kamara and Scott Arfield make up the midfield, with Daniel Candeias and Ryan Kent supporting Alfredo Morelos, the Colombian having put pen to paper on a new Ibrox deal this morning. RANGERS: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Worrall, Halliday; Jack, Kamara, Arfield; Candeias, Morelos, Kent.