3 talking points as Christian Doidge and Hibs dent Rangers’ title charge

The hosts saw both Ryan Porteous and Paul Hanlon booked as the match wound its way to half-time, with both guilty of rough treatment of Ianis Hagi and Alfredo Morelos respectively.
It looked for all the world like the Hibees would be going into the break ahead, but their defending just before the half-time whistle would have had Ross tearing up his team talk.
Kent and Davis combined nicely down the right, and the Englishman sent a pinpoint cross to the back post.
Despite the quality of the build-up though the hosts should never have allowed Morelos the freedom of Easter Road to convert, with the striker even having time to take a touch before poking past Marciano from six yards out.
It had been a hard-fought first half, and even at the break the substitutes from both sides could be seen having a full and frank exchange of views.
After the break Rangers began to dominate possession, and they took the lead with a sumptuous piece of play.
James Tavernier played one in for Arfield, who spotted Ianis Hagi peeling off toward the far post.
The Canadian laid it off to his team-mate, who had the presence of mind to return it straight away.
Arfield took it into his stride and finished confidently beyond Marciano.
Hibs had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping them in it, with the Israeli standing tall to block a Ryan Kent effort with his arm.
That proved to be a crucial moment, as Hibs found an equaliser with 20 minutes to play.
Connor Goldson was far too casual in possession, giving it away on the edge of his own box with a lazy pass.
That allowed Allan to seize on it and play in Boyle, though the assistant referee missed a fairly blatant offside in the process.
Rangers still should have dealt with the situation though, and the winger was once again allowed far too much time to pick out a cross.
He stood it up to the back post and Doidge got above Helander to make it 2-2 and set up a frantic finish.
Arfield thought he had grabbed a winner with 10 to play, only to be denied by some fantastic goalkeeping.
The midfielder’s first shot may have been too close to Marciano, but there wasn’t too much wrong with the follow-up which was nonetheless parried to safety by the outstretched Israeli.
Gerrard threw on Jermain Defoe and Cedric Itten in a desperate search for a goal, but Hibs held firm to take a deserved point from a ding-dong battle at Easter Road.
Hagi at his best – and worst
There’s no question that Ianis Hagi is a lovely technical footballer.
The Romanian youngster has two great feet, an eye for a pass and the kind of composure on the ball you rarely see in Scotland.
However, it’s also inarguable that he can be frustrating, often flattering to deceive rather than dominating games the way he can.
At Easter Road we saw both sides of Hagi’s game.
The 21-year-old was anonymous in the first half, with his only real involvement coming as he was flattened by Ryan Porteous.
After the break though he started to demand the ball in dangerous areas, and it was a moment of quality from Hagi that brought the Rangers second goal.
After receiving the ball from Arfield in the box, the youngster shaped his body as though to shift it forward and shoot.
Instead he laid the ball back into the path of his Rangers team-mate first time, leaving Porteous in no man’s land as he looked to scramble across and block a shot that never came.
The Canadian still had to finish, but the quick-thinking of Hagi made the goal.
When Gerrard turned to his bench though it was the playmaker who made way for Jermain Defoe – a stark reminder that he needs to perform for 90 minutes if he’s to fulfil his undoubted potential.
Positivity pays off
Rangers hadn’t conceded a goal until this encounter at Easter Road, but it must be said the opposition up to this point hadn’t really taken a swing at Steven Gerrard’s side, far less landed a punch.
That’s not to condemn the likes of Livingston and Kilmarnock, who have far fewer resources and have had success in a low block against the Ibrox outfit before.
At Easter Road though Hibs went toe-to-toe with the visitors, and in doing so exposed …
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