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Summary

  1. Nicky Clark opens scoring for Rangers
  2. Kenny Miller adds second
  3. Second leg at Easter Road on Saturday
  4. Motherwell face winners in final

Live Reporting

By Colin Moffat

All times stated are UK

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I'll sign off now on what has been a very good night for Rangers. It wasn't a rip-roaring classic at Ibrox. However, the tension made it a compelling occasion and Rangers knocked in two very good goals to give them a commanding lead.

Hibernian blew at 2-0 lead at home in the play-off final last season; can they reverse the situation this time? We'll find out on Saturday when the teams meet for a high noon showdown at Easter Road.

Make sure you join us for that one. Good night.

Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

John Grant: "@RangersFC @BBCSportsound Super Rangers. A nice lead to take to Easter Road. One foot in the play-offs final? #bbcscotfootball"

tom and 20 others: "You just have to keep reminding yourself that supporting hibs is, if nothing else, character building. #bbcscotfootball"

Robbie Devenney: "Repeat of the 4-0 home win from earlier on the season is on the cards, can feel it #bbcscotfootball"

bringthemonjpn: "#bbcscotfootball Super result for Rangers. The home advantage was huge. The second leg should be a cracker. Hibs won't lie down"

Never mind his players, Stuart McCall sounds absolutely cream-crackered... He's the kind of manager that prowls on the touchline, kicking every ball, the whole time roaring instructions, which almost certainly can't be heard.

Rangers manager Stuart McCall on BBC Radio Scotland

"I think the scoreline flattered us. You could tell Hibs were the fresher side. Our energy levels dropped late on and full credit to our lads who defended ever so well. When questions have been asked in big games since we came, the lads have stood up. There is a real steely determination there.

"It was a tough slog but we got two quality goals. That's two clean sheets against Hibs back-to-back now and we'll need to be ready again on Saturday."

BBC Sportsound pundit Craig Paterson

"Motherwell will be laughing because these teams will go at it hammer and tongs again on Saturday. Whoever gets through will need to pick themselves up and go again for two more tough matches."

That's six meetings between these sides now and it's honours even, with three wins apiece. BBC Sportsound pundit Craig Paterson points out that the team scoring first has prevailed on each occasion.

Alan Stubbs has to sound positive in these interviews but he must be disappointed with his team's performance. They didn't create much, despite having a lot of the ball, and lost all composure when they were chasing the game.

Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs on BBC Radio Scotland

"The tie is far from over. We'd like to score first on Saturday and then we'll see. It will be an entertaining game, I'm sure of it.

"I thought we played some decent stuff but we were a little bit rushed in the final third. For the chances we had, we didn't work the keeper enough. But overall, I can't fault the way we played. The reason were are 2-0 down is because we should have done better at defending those situations."

BBC Sportsound pundit Derek Ferguson

"I couldn't believe Hibs kept doing the same thing from all of those corners. Rangers coped easily. What Rangers did well was to deny Hibs space and they didn't have a clue how to break them down. I enjoyed watching Hibs in the first half but I don't think they handled the second half well at all. On Saturday it will be the same, Rangers can sit back and hit on the break."

The Rangers defence was highlighted as a potential weak link before kick-off but they protected goalkeeper Cammy Bell with a determined focus tonight and Marius Zaliukas must have headed away 10 of the 13 corners Scott Allan fired in for Hibs.

Well, it's not quite over since we have a second leg to come on Saturday but Rangers are in a very, very strong position now. The work-rate and concentration from the home side was impressive and they conjured up two excellent goals in a game of few chances.

FULL-TIME

Rangers 2-0 Hibernian

The ball is held up in the corner for a while then referee Calum Murray brings the match to a close. Advantage Rangers; big time.

It's a first corner of the night for Rangers as Richard Forster's fizzing shot is tipped over by Mark Oxley.

Paul Hanlon and Haris Vuckic collide, with the Rangers man wiping out the visiting defender.

YELLOW CARD

We're getting four minutes of stoppage-time as Hibs get yet another corner. Same old story, as the home side clear. Liam Craig is then cautioned for hauling down a counter-attacking opponent.

YELLOW CARD

Darren McGregor is booked for hack at Lewis Stevenson. A chance for Hibs to fling a free-kick into the danger zone. As they've done all night, Rangers head it clear.

Jason Cummings tumbles under the challenge of Marius Zaliuks right on the 18 yard line but the Rangers defender got a couple of studs on the ball at full stretch.

Rangers pack men behind the ball and make a couple of solid blocks inside the penalty area before Hibs captain Liam Craig hammers a speculative long-ranger high over the crossbar.

More volleyball from the Rangers fans and they're not giving it back this time. Cammy Bell takes his sweet time to take a goal kick with the new one.

Rangers fans indulge in a bit of volleyball with the match ball as Scott Allan waits to take corner number 12 for the visitors. Kris Boyd heads this one away...

BBC Sportsound pundit Derek Ferguson

"Hibs are fizzling out at the moment. Their cohesion has gone and they're hurrying everything."

Worth the booking?

Kenny Miller picks up a yellow card for his troubles as he celebrates his goal with the Rangers support
SNS

Kenny Miller picks up a yellow card for his troubles as he celebrates his goal with the Rangers support.

SUBSTITUTION

Rangers add another defensive buffer to their midfield, with Ian Black replacing Dean Shiels. Kenny Miller then gets an early rest, with forgotten man Kris Boyd getting a rare outing.

Hibs' Lewis Stevenson pulls a cross back from the left and Jason Cummings is there first but can only balloon a terrible shot high into the stand behind the goal.

SUBSTITUTION

Nicky Clark, who opened the scoring, gets a warm round of applause as he makes way for Stevie Smith. Is that Operation Shore-up starting from Rangers?

Join the debate at #bbcscotfootball

Daniel Kelly: "#bbcscotfootball The dream continues, the return could just be on in three successive seasons! Come on Rangers!

Keith McAdam: "Hibs need to get back to there passing game. They have been dragged down to Rangers level of scrappy play. #bbcscotfootball"

Corner number nine is followed by number 10 for Hibs, with Dominique Malonga doing well to control Scott Allan's driven delivery only to shoot over on the turn.

With the volume inside Ibrox cranked right up, Rangers have their tails up and Hibs' early composure on the ball has completely evaporated. The men in white look rattled right now. If they lose another, the tie is over, surely?

SUBSTITUTION

Hibs make a change in midfield, with Dylan McGeouch on for Scott Robertson.

YELLOW CARD

The cheers briefly turn to jeers as Kenny Miller is booked for his wild celebration.

GOAL

Rangers 2-0 Hibernian (Miller)

Ibrox erupts! Dean Shiels has a shot charged down and the ball spins to Lee Wallace who nods it back into the mix and Kenny Miller is there to steer in a composed finish from an angle with the outside of his boot.

Rangers break and Nicky Law stands up a nice cross to the back post, with Fraser Fyvie saving a certain goal by out-muscling Haris Vuckic in the six yard box.

Corner number eight for Hibs is repelled - Rangers are yet to have one - the ball is worked back in and keeper Cammy Bell has a wee flap at it but the home side clear again.

Dominique Malonga bustles his way into the box and picks out Liam Craig but the move is halted when the Hibs skipper's lay-off to Lewis Stevenson is not weighted properly, allowing Haris Vuckic to clear for a corner.

BBC Sportsound pundit Derek Ferguson

"When it's scrappy like this, I think it suits Rangers."

Fraser Fyvie must have heard me say he'd been quiet so far as he lashes a shot in from 25 yards but the midfielder's effort is well wide of the target. It's all a bit disjointed at the moment.

CLOSE!

From the second corner, Dominique Malonga is all alone but slightly off-balance and can only head narrowly over from eight yards or so. Big chance...

Scott Allan, being bombarded by paper missiles, swings in a corner for Paul Hanlon to attack at the back post but the ball is deflected wide.

More trickery as Haris Vuckic creates some room for a shot on the edge of the box and his fierce, low effort is well stopped by Mark Oxley.

Fraser Fyvie gets a spot of treatment after a knock to his ankle. The former Aberdeen man has been the quietest of Hibs' midfield quartet.