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HONOURS EVEN: GERRARD FRUSTRATED, ROSS PLEASED

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RANGERS were held to a 2-2 stalemate by Hibs at Easter Road this afternoon – but moved a point ahead of Celtic at the top of the Premiership.

The Hoops, though, have a game in hand after beating Livingston 3-2 at Parkhead yesterday to reach the summit for 24 hours.

The Ibrox side also lost their 100 per cent defensive record when Drey Wright put the Edinburgh side ahead, but Alfredo Morelos, with a strike in first-half stoppage time, and Scott Arfield had the Ibrox side heading for another win before Christian Doidge powered in the equaliser.

Gers boss Steven Gerrard, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “We see it as two points dropped. We know it’s a difficult place to come and Hibs played well, but we created enough to win the game.

“Their keeper made fantastic saves, Scotty [Arfield] missed a big chance and we had a free header in the six-yard box. Going forward, I liked a lot of what we did. But to concede two goals in the manner we did is frustrating, especially after the praise from how we have done in previous games.

“I’m sure Jack [Ross] will be pleased with their goals, but we need to defend the goals better – especially the second one. Disappointed in the manner we conceded two goals. We feel we had enough chances to win the game.

“You always have to react and try to learn and grow and look where we went wrong. We certainly need to look at why we conceded two goals today, so we’ll speak to individuals and the group. It’s no time to get overly frustrated and react too much. We have a big game on Thursday so we debrief and move on.”

Hibs gaffer Jack Ross added: “Got to be pleased with a lot of what the players did today. We wanted to win the game, so we’re not celebrating a draw, but to produce that sort of performance – because Rangers are difficult to play against and a very good side. We were incredibly disciplined, worked incredibly hard and still carried a threat.

“Then we showed character to get back in the game. To score twice given Rangers’ record of not conceding, I’m proud of the players.

“Either side of half-time, we lost our way a little bit and Rangers changed their shape playing more with width in forward areas. We had to show lots of different sides to our game today and I thought the players did that.

“We spoke before the game about this game being an opportunity to go joint top of the league if we won. That’s after eight games, not one or two games of the season when the table is taking shape. They’re there on merit and our players need to know that. We went toe to toe with a very good side and one who will be at the top all season.”

Morelos cancelled out Wright’s smart strike as the interval edged closer. Ryan Kent worked a one-two with Steven Davis and his cross found Morelos, who had time to control the ball and find the left corner.

Arfield got the second after a neat one-two with Ianis Hagi that gave him the opportunity to fire past Ofir Marciano.

With 20 minutes to go, Martin Boyle sent over an inviting cross from the left and Christian Doidge rose above Filip Helander to thump a header beyond the stranded John McLaughlin.

Rangers had gone nearly 13 hours without conceding a goal before kick-off.

They were also left frustrated from a superb performance from goalkeeper Marciano, who made a string of spectacular saves, most notably keeping out a long-range effort from Ryan Kent and preventing Arfield from restoring the visitors’ advantage with two successive blocks.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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