Hibernian 2-1 Rangers
A goal fit to win any game from Jason Cummings and a blunder from Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham, which allowed Paul Hanlon to score the winner, settled this game in Hibernian’s favour.
This match, once again, lived up to the hype with tackles flying in, chances aplenty and a result that keeps the Championship race nicely in the melting pot.
Alan Stubbs has continually preached to anyone who would listen that Hibernian were not out of the title race, and on this evidence, who could argue.
The Easter road boss took great delight in making his point again. “If we hadn’t won today it was finished, or so I am told.”
“We’ve managed to keep it going a little bit longer. I’ve never seen a team win a title in November in any league in the world.”
“If I was Rangers, I’d prefer to be eleven points clear, but they are not.”
“We’ve managed to narrow the gap to five and I have said all along, we have a really talented bunch of lads and we are gong to give it a right go.”
Hibs victory, in my view, was down to the tenacity and quality of John McGinn.
If there is a better player in this division, I’ve yet to see him.
He was everywhere and made sure the rest of the team were inspired by his display.
Alan Stubbs couldn’t suppress the superlatives for one of the signings of the season in green and white.
“There is one word to describe McGinn, outstanding.”
“He was head and shoulders the best player on the pitch. “
“He is a throwback to an old midfield player; his range of passing was outstanding, his workmate for the team was unbelievable, his desire to win tackles and not be beaten was ridiculous at times.”
“He’s got a fantastic opportunity to be a very, very good player.”
McGinn was the star man but the supporting cast played their part.
Cummings easily turned Danny Wilson in the 11th minute and from 20 yards smashed a left foot shot low past Foderingham to set this game alight.
Prior to that Rangers thought they should have had a penalty for a foul on Jason Holt but, the referee John Beaton waved away the claims.
Hibs wide midfielders McGinn and Henderson had kept Tavernier and Wallace quiet in the first half but, ninety seconds into the second half, Lee Wallace’s shot deflected off former Rangers defender Darren McGregor past Oxley into the Hibs goal to make it 1-1.
There were other great chances, Wallace hit the bar and Oduwa hit the post for Rangers. Jason Cummings should’ve scored his second of the afternoon for the home side, when he was delightfully put through by McGinn, only for his shot to be saved by Foderingham.
However, the deciding moment arrived from a John McGinn corner in 73 minutes. The Rangers goalkeeper had made a good save from the Hibs midfielder seconds before but, from the resultant corner, he was found wanting as he misjudged the flight of the ball to allow Hanlon to head home the winner.
The gap is now five points after Hibs ended Rangers 100% league record and it is almost certainly ‘game on’ in the title race, with both camps claiming they have what it takes to win the race.
That argument will continue all the way to May, when titles are usually handed out but, today’s battle was won by Hibernian.
The last word goes to Jason Cummings, who rightly praised the quality performance of his team-mate John McGinn.
“Every week he chucks his weight about, he’s a bit of a huddy, but he’s been our main asset this season.”
“A top signing, I love playing with him, he always slips me in and he is different class.”
I always thought a huddy was a Scottish carthorse, but the Scottish dictionary translation is
“A term of abuse applied to a short squat person with a waddling.”
I’m sure John McGinn will be delighted with the compliment!