Mols prospers as Hibernian pay double penalty

Rangers 3 Hibernian 0
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The Independent Football

Rangers took advantage of two penalty awards to inflict partial revenge on Hibernian for their famous CIS Insurance Cup victory earlier in the month.

Shota Arveladze and substitute Steven Thompson were the men who converted them, either side of an excellent strike from another replacement, Michael Mols.

But within nine minutes, Hibernian's Swedish goalkeeper Daniel Andersson had been beaten after Arveladze had successfully converted a spot-kick given when Mathias Doumbe tripped him in the box. Mikel Arteta was back in the starting line-up today following a hamstring problem but it seems that Arveladze is now the bearer of his side's penalty duties.

The closest Rangers came to extending their lead before the break was from a Nuno Capucho downward header into the side netting after Arteta had picked him out at the back post with a free-kick.

Referee Hugh Dallas was called upon to blow his whistle far too regularly, and Frank de Boer was booked in the 36th minute for challenging O'Connor from behind, but the home fans were less than enamoured with Dallas for letting play continue after the striker had clearly barged the Dutchman to the ground the next time they clashed.

A great chance was presented to Capucho three minutes into the second half following a through ball from Arveladze but the former Portugal international ended up chipping the ball past both Andersson and the far post.

Alan Reid was booked just before the hour mark for hauling Arteta back by an arm to even up the yellow card count.

Rangers replaced Ronald de Boer with Mols but within seconds their one-goal lead had almost been wiped away. Rangers were saved by some over-excited finishing by Reid. The costliness of that miss was emphasised in the 66th minute when Mols made it 2-0, turning and flashing a fine finish past Andersson.

Rangers felt they could now afford to give a run out to Thompson, who had been missing since 13 September because of knee surgery.

He was immediately involved, galloping past challengers with the sort of appetite that had been only occasionally seen at Ibrox in his absence. The game was over in the 83rd minute when Dallas awarded Rangers their second penalty after Roland Edge tripped Fernando Ricksen. Thompson was the man who took it and although Andersson got a hand to his effort, he could not keep it out.

Rangers 3 Hibernian 0
Arveladze pen 9, Mols 66, Thompson pen 83

Half-time: 1-0 Attendance: 49,698