Hibs v Rangers reaction: Ibrox star's future, goalkeeper decision, crowd disappointment

Hibs lost to Rangers at Easter Road on Sunday afternoon. The 3-1 defeat now makes it very difficult for Lee Johnson's men to finish third, while they are four points behind Hearts in the battle for fourth. For Michael Beale, it was another fixture where players who have been injured or on the fringes gained first-team action.

Ianis Hagi future

This summer is going to be a fascinating one at Ibrox as Michael Beale rebuilds his squad. There are players who will definitely be leaving, Alfredo Morelos for example, and there will be players who will definitely be part of the squad going forward, such as Nico Raskin, John Souttar, who was magnificent against Hibs, Todd Cantwell and Ryan Jack. Then there are those whose futures could well be up in the air and are being debated by fans of the club. Ianis Hagi falls into that category. The 24-year-old, who is contracted until 2026, started just his third game of the season having been out injured for 12 months. His goal against Hibs was his first in 16 months and you could see what it meant to him and his team-mates. After the celebrations had died down he turned back to the travelling support, thumped the chest and let out a roar which was reciprocated by the Rangers fans. Yet, in a game where he was given a free role alongside Cantwell behind Fashion Sakala he was largely anonymous until his excellent strike past David Marshall. For a player of his talent in such a position with the possession the visitors enjoyed, he failed to create a chance and made just three passes into the final third. Would Hagi contribute when fit? Absolutely. But will he get the game time he wants? At the moment, there is a doubt around that. He is a player who will be attractive to a number of sides around Europe and Rangers could make a decent chunk of cash from which could be reinvested.

Easter Road goalkeeper decision

If you were to speak to Hibs fans about David Marshall there will be an element of frustration evident. The former Scotland star has put in some impressive performances, made some excellent saves but at the same time he has conceded too many easy goals, the latest being Rangers’ opener where he was caught out at his front post by James Tavernier. According to Opta Stats, only St Johnstone goalkeeper Remi Matthews and Ross Laidlaw of Ross County have prevented fewer goals in the Premiership this season. It makes you wonder what is in store for Hibs between the sticks during the summer. Kevin Dabrowski is set to leave after another excellent loan spell away from the club, while the highly-rated Murray Johnson will be spending next season with Queen of the South. Hibs will need to recruit a goalkeeper to challenge Marshall for the No.1 spot.

Crowd disappointment

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There was something quite flat about Sunday’s fixture. When the game kicked off there were a raft of empty seats with security checks outside the ground meaning many fans weren’t getting in their seats well after the game had started. When Easter Road did start to fill up there was not the kind of atmosphere you would expect when these two teams get together in Leith, especially with Hibs needing to win to keep the pressure on Aberdeen and Hearts above them. The fact former Hearts star John Souttar only got a half-hearted boo early on said plenty. Was it the really early kick-off, late in the season? Perhaps. And, of course and unfortunately, there were the tedious songs throughout, growing louder as the game progressed and Rangers sauntered to victory.



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