Match ends, Rangers 1, Hibernian 0.
Rangers 1-0 Hibernian: Jermain Defoe seals fifth straight win
Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor was red-carded late on as Jermain Defoe's goal handed Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom a first Scottish Premiership defeat.
McGregor was dismissed for raking his studs into the back of Marc McNulty in the closing stages.
Rangers, having used all three substitutes, played out the game with midfielder Ross McCrorie in goal.
The result was the Ibrox side's fifth straight win.
Rangers goalkeeper McGregor now misses next weekend's Old Firm match through suspension.
Fifth-place Hibs needed victory to keep their European hopes alive, but offered little until a late chance for Florian Kamberi forced a fine save from McGregor.
Heckingbottom's 10-game unbeaten run as Hibs boss ended with a whimper as his side paid for a woeful first-half performance.
Second-top Rangers are nine points behind Celtic, who clinched their eighth straight title on Saturday, with two games left.
Lethal Defoe and late drama
All three previous meetings this season had ended in stalemates and Hibs were bidding to go unbeaten in a campaign against Rangers for the first time since 1974-75.
They were pinned back from the outset, though, with Defoe and James Tavernier causing havoc. With just a minute on the clock, Scott Arfield rose unchallenged to glance a header narrowly wide from Tavernier's free-kick.
Connor Goldson then nodded another Tavernier dead ball just too high and Ryan Kent and Ryan Jack both had first-half shots saved by Ofir Marciano.
Defoe should have made Rangers' dominance pay in the 20th minute when a Tavernier pass sent him scampering clear, only to screw wide with just Marciano to beat.
Hibs were finally breached five minutes from the break. Ryan Jack cut the visitors open with an incisive chipped ball through to Steven Davis, who squared for Defoe to fire home his eighth goal of the season.
Daniel Candeias, on for Kent at the break, missed a glaring chance to double the lead when he slashed a shot into the side-netting after good build-up play from Arfield.
It took until 64 minutes for Hibs to create a clear-cut opportunity as Thomas Agyepong blasted wide from 10 yards.
But Rangers, with Alfredo Morelos making a late appearance from the bench after his four-match ban, eased off in the second half and were almost punished.
A Fraser Murray cross was deflected into Kamberi's path six yards out, only for McGregor to superbly save. The keeper let his side down, though, when he followed through on a kick upfield to needlessly lash out at McNulty on the edge of the box and receive a straight red card.
However, Hibs failed to put McCrorie under any pressure as Heckingbottom's unbeaten league record slipped away.
- 1McGregorBooked at 89mins
- 18KamaraSubstituted forMcCrorieat 80'minutes
- 9DefoeSubstituted forMorelosat 74'minutes
- 14KentSubstituted forCandeiasat 45'minutes
- 5MilliganBooked at 71minsSubstituted forMurrayat 79'minutes
- 14MallanBooked at 40mins
- 7HorganSubstituted forAgyepongat 62'minutes
- 13GauldSubstituted forKamberiat 62'minutes
- 9McNultyBooked at 89mins
- Bobby Madden
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Rangers 1, Hibernian 0.
Attempt saved. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt saved. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Jon Flanagan (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Fraser Murray (Hibernian).
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by James Tavernier.
(Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Marc McNulty (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Marc McNulty (Hibernian).
Allan McGregor (Rangers) is shown the red card for violent conduct.
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Allan McGregor.
Attempt saved. Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Foul by Ryan Jack (Rangers).
Stephen Mallan (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Daniel Candeias (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt missed. Fraser Murray (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.
Attempt missed. Darren McGregor (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Ross McCrorie.
Foul by Jon Flanagan (Rangers).
Fraser Murray (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Rangers. Ross McCrorie replaces Glen Kamara.
Nikola Katic (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Marc McNulty (Hibernian).
Attempt missed. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a set piece situation.
Substitution, Hibernian. Fraser Murray replaces Mark Milligan.
James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Stephane Omeonga (Hibernian).
Attempt blocked. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Florian Kamberi (Hibernian).
Foul by Connor Goldson (Rangers).
Stephane Omeonga (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Rangers. Alfredo Morelos replaces Jermain Defoe.
Steven Davis (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Mark Milligan (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Mark Milligan (Hibernian).
Glen Kamara (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Thomas Agyepong (Hibernian).
Attempt missed. Thomas Agyepong (Hibernian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.