RANGERS' youth policy paid dividends as a side including three teenagers, and inspired by the 19- year-old David Hagen, overcame Hibs and comfortably set Rangers up for their midweek European Champions' Cup tie with Bruges. The only black spot for the home side was a hamstring injury to David Robertson, making him one of four Rangers players very doubtful for Wednesday's match.
It took an explosive final few minutes of the first half to breathe life into the game. An inspired Hagen, starting for the first time this season, cut in from the right, chipped Joe Tortolano, chested the ball down and fired past John Burridge. One minute later, the veteran Hibs goalkeeper was again nowhere as Stuart McCall and Ian Durrant worked a clever one-two on the edge of the box, the latter's cross leaving Mark Hateley the easy task of heading into an unguarded goal.
On the hour Rangers' keeper, Ally Maxwell, only received a yellow card for coming out of his area to bring down Gareth Evans, but Hibs' Gordon Hunter was less lucky in the referee's choice of cards, when five minutes later he was ordered off for a challenge on Hateley as the Englishman ran in on goal. A defender short, Hibs could only hold out until six minutes from time when Ally McCoist notched his 46th goal of the season.
Rangers: A Maxwell; S McCall, D Robertson (D Gordon, 60 min), N Murray, D McPherson, J Brown, S Pressley, I Durrant, A McCoist, M Hateley, D Hagen. Sub not used: A Mikhailichenko. Manager: W Smith.
Hibernian: J Burridge; D Farrell, G Mitchell, G Hunter, S Tweed, J Tortolano (G Evans, 54 min), D Lennon (D Fellenger 60 min), B Hamilton, K Wright, D Jackson, P McGinlay. Manager: A Miller.
Referee: D Syme (Rutherglen).
Goals: Hagen (1-0, 40 min); Hateley (2-0, 41 min); McCoist (3-0, 84 min).