Glasgow (AFP) – Martin Boyle scored a hat-trick as Hibernian beat Rangers 3-1 on Sunday to book a place in next month’s Scottish League Cup final against Celtic.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst, recently appointed as Rangers’ new manager after Steven Gerrard left the Scottish champions to take charge of English Premier League club Aston Villa, looked on from the stands at Hampden Park as he awaited a work permit.
With the prospect of an ‘Old Firm’ final against arch Glasgow rivals Celtic in sight, Rangers were undone by Australia international Boyle’s treble inside the opening 38 minutes before Scott Arfield pulled a goal back before half-time.
But the Edinburgh club held firm from then on against a Rangers side led by B-team manager David McCallum and his assistant Brian Gilmour, helped by player-coach Jermain Defoe and goalkeeping coach Colin Stewart.
A poor defensive display is sure to concern the 46-year-old van Bronckhorst, himself a former Rangers midfielder, with Hibs back at Hampden to face Celtic on December 19.
“Hibs beat us fair and squad, we didn’t deserve to win the game, but as Rangers Football Club our standards need to be higher,” Gers defender Connor Goldson told Premier Sports.
“We know the new man (van Bronckhorst) was here today. We need a change, we need a spark.
“I feel like we’ve lost a bit of hunger. All of a sudden we’re champions and we don’t want to work as hard, and I feel that’s crept in.
“We’ve not been good enough all season,” he added with Rangers still four points clear of Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.
Goldson’s mood was in stark contrast to the elation felt by Boyle, with the 28-year-old saying: “It’s unbelievable, I can’t put into words.
“Moments like these don’t come around often, you’ve got to cherish them. We came here today and showed what we’re capable of.”