Rangers bounce back to beat Hibs in Beale's first competitive game

Hibernian took the lead twice at Ibrox but Rangers took three points.

Rangers bounce back to beat Hibs in Michael Beale’s first competitive game SNS Group

Michael Beale enjoyed a dramatic start to his time as Rangers manager as his side came from behind to beat Hibernian 3-2 at Ibrox.

Ryan Porteous had given the visitors an early lead and, after Fashion Sakala equaliseed, Kevin Nisbet had Hibs 2-1 ahead at half time.

Ryan Jack netted an equaliser as Rangers fought back before Alfredo Morelos netted the winner and ensured three points for Beale in his first competitive game.

Beale replaced Giovanni van Bronckhorst during the World Cup break and Steven Gerrard’s former assistant had seen his team beat Bayer Leverkusen in a friendly as he got to grips with his new squad.

But with the team trailing Celtic by nine points in the Premiership, the new manager was aware that he needed a winning start in the league.

Rangers fans were hoping for a thrilling start to the new era but it was Hibs who enjoyed early success when they took the lead in the eighth minute.

Elie Youan tried his luck with a smart shot from distance but Allan McGregor tipped it over the bar. From the resulting corner, Porteous found space to leap and plant a firm header into the back of the net.

The goalscorer nearly doubled the scoreline minutes later but put his snap shot over the bar before unsuccessfully claiming for a penalty.

Rangers drew level on 15 minutes with their first serious attack of the match. Sakala took possession in the box and cut left before slamming a low shot through two defenders and past the helpless David Marshall.

The celebrations had barely died down when Hibs retook the lead. Straight from kick-off the visitors held possession and played a direct ball for Nisbet to run on to . The striker found space between James Sands and John Lundstram and hit a high finish past McGregor.

Morelos and then Chris Cadden both had shots but failed to add to the scoring in a frenetic, end-to-end spell.

Rangers were pressing forward in search of a leveller as half-time approached but a Hibs counter could have seen them extend their lead. Youan sprinted on to receive a pass from Josh Campbell but McGregor was alert to block a low shot.

After the break, Rangers went close when Sakala rose to meet a cross from Adam Devine but Marshall made a point-blank save. The hosts weren’t to be denied moments later when they got their goal.

A James Tavernier corner was nodded on by Malik Tillman and Ryan Jack was the man front and centre, prodding the ball past Marshall while holding off Paul Hanlon.

The equaliser lifted Rangers and then drove on to score again . Tavernier picked out Tillman again and this time the midfielder carried the ball in the box before slipping a low ball into the centre that Morelos pounced on, sliding a shot low into the net.

With half an hour still to play there was plenty of time for Hibs to get back into the game but Ranegrs had settle into a spell of control they never really lost. Both sides made multiple changes and pushed to add to the scoreline but there was no late drama and Beale saw his side take three points at the first time of asking.

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