Durie does the trick

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The Independent Online
Rangers 7

Miller 30, Durie 40, 52,77,86, Gascoigne 76, Salenko 83

Hibernian 0

Attendance: 44,692

THERE are many old Scottish traditions concerned with seeing out the old year and bringing in the new. Most of these involve lumps of coal or killing pigs but Rangers have developed their own form of celebration, more entertaining but equally nasty.

As they prepare for Wednesday's new year Derby with Celtic they now have a cushion of eight points over their rivals. Celtic do have two games in hand but the boost Rangers take from this display will make them even more formidable opponents.

There were performances to commend in all areas of the team. But, inevitably, Paul Gascoigne must walk away with the highest praise. Thirty minutes into the second half he scored a solo goal of such breathtaking quality that it will hold a fearful place in Scottish hearts when they face him at Wembley on 15 June.

Rangers started with a vigour which warmed the bitter chill and it came as no surprise when, on the half-hour, Charlie Miller escaped Hibs' offside trap to collect Gordon Durie's pass and calmly finish past Jim Leighton. Ten minutes later, Brian Laudrup's left-foot cross was forced home by a Durie diving header.

Seven minutes after the break Hibernian's misery heightened. As the ball fell to Durie at the edge of the box he scored his second with an impudent chip which floated over the defenders' heads and underneath the bar.

For Hibs it was a case of grin and bear it as Gascoigne and Laudrup threaded passes together searching for openings to exploit. When they found them they came in fantastic fashion.

First came Gascoigne's wonder goal as he picked the ball up on the half- way line and ran through what seemed to be the entire Hibs team before scoring. Straight from the restart Rangers regained the ball and Durie found himself free to complete his hat-trick. Salenko seemed almost bored as he popped up to score seven minutes from time, and Durie was just plain selfish when he grabbed the seventh.