Michael Beale got off to a winning start as Rangers produced one of the high-scoring football results of the weekend in the Scottish Premiership. Beale, who took over for Giovanni van Bronckhorst last month, had a difficult time as Hibs took the lead twice in the first 16 minutes, first through Ryan Porteous and then Kevin Nisbet following Fashion Sakala’s equalizer. After the break, the Rangers came out stronger, and Ryan Jack tied the score at 2-2 before James Tavernier and Malik Tillman worked together to bring up Morelos for the game-winning goal.
Both teams wanted the victory on this very cold Govan night for different reasons—Rangers to put pressure on Celtic and Hibs to get back on track—but it was the Easter Road team that took the lead early. Elie Youan’s strong shot was deflected for a corner by Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor, who reacted well. However, Porteous rose highest barely six yards away to head in Joe Newell’s inswinging pass. Porteous then had another chance six minutes later, this time with a drive from 16 yards that went over the bar as Tillman disputed. Ryan Kent squared to Sakala inside the Hibs box, and he took a touch before scoring to tie the score for Rangers shortly after.
Nisbet, on a Marijan Cabraja pass, sprinted past the Gers defense seconds later while the home crowd was still in party mode, and he slammed the ball high beyond McGregor to give Hibs the lead once again. While Hibs resolutely guarded their advantage, Gers’ improvised central defense of James Sands and John Lundstram appeared unstable. Just before halftime, Josh Campbell sent Youan through, but McGregor came out to block with his legs, sparing the home team further harm. After the break, Rangers needed a significant improvement and quickly had Hibs forced back into their own box.
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