Ian Rutherford Jermain Defoe (centre) celebrates.
like a fine wine

Ireland's Daryl Horgan on target, but Rangers far too good for 10-man Hibs

36-year-old Jermain Defoe hit a hat-trick,

JERMAIN DEFOE HIT a hat-trick as Rangers crushed 10-man Hibernian 6-1 on Sunday to keep pace with Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic.

Steven Gerrard’s side ran riot at Ibrox to build on the momentum provided by their last-gasp win at Kilmarnock in their domestic opener last weekend. 

Rangers also enjoyed an impressive four-goal display against Midtjylland in the Europa League in midweek, setting the stage for former England striker Defoe to put Hibs to the sword.

Defoe was given the nod over Alfredo Morelos and the veteran poacher proved he deserved his place with a clinical performance.

Morelos made sure he got in on the act as he quickly added two after replacing his strike rival, with Sheyi Ojo’s late strike rounding off a dream seven days for Gerrard and company as they stayed level on points with champions Celtic.

Daryl Horgan had pulled one back for Hibs just before half-time but hopes of a comeback died as soon as Sean Mackie was dismissed 10 minutes into the second half.

Rangers were ahead inside nine minutes as Ojo’s shot was parried out to Defoe and he fired home.

Six minutes later, Rangers netted again when Jordan Jones played a precision ball in behind for Ojo, whose cut-back was laid on a plate for Defoe to tuck home as he darted across the front post.

Hibs responded when Scott Allan was given time and space to pick a pass to Horgan, who finished five minutes from half-time.

Referee John Beaton sent off Mackie earlier in the second half as the young defender used an arm to block James Tavernier’s chipped pass to Defoe.

Former Tottenham star Defoe put the game to bed with 16 minutes left.

Steven Davis surged into the box before standing up an inch-perfect cross to the back post, where Defoe did the business with his head.

Defoe was given a standing ovation as he was immediately replaced by Morelos.

The Colombian is not one to be outdone and added a fourth after 77 minutes.

The scoring was not finished and Greg Stewart rolled in Morelos to tuck home, before Ojo found the net with the last kick of the game.

In the day’s other match, St Mirren beat Aberdeen 1-0, securing their first league victory against the Dons for eight years thanks to Ilkay Durmus’s 13th minute goal.

- © AFP 2019

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