Rangers 1-3 Hibernian: Martin Boyle nets stunning hat-trick to put Hibs in Scottish League Cup final as Gers lose first game after Steven Gerrard's exit

Match report as Martin Boyle's first-half hat-trick sends Hibernian into the Scottish League Cup final as Rangers start life after Steven Gerrard with defeat in front of incoming manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst

Hibs' Martin Boyle (right) celebrates with Jake Doyle-Hayes after he makes it 1-0 against Rangers
Image: Martin Boyle took only 31 minutes to score his hat-trick against Rangers

Martin Boyle's sensational first-half hat-trick sent Hibs through to the Scottish League Cup final with a 3-1 win over a Rangers side playing their first match since Steven Gerrard's departure.

In front of Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who will take over at Ibrox on Monday, Rangers were shellshocked by a Hibs side coming into the game on a run of four straight defeats, and left themselves too much to do to come back from Boyle's solo heroics.

The Australian international was handed a gift by Rangers captain James Tavernier for the opener, receiving a deflection practically on the goal-line to net.

One became two, and then three soon after as Boyle first took Kevin Nisbet's pass in his stride and fired across Allan McGregor, before sealing his hat-trick from the spot after Steven Davis barged into him inside the box.

Scott Arfield struck for the league leaders before half-time to give them a sliver of hope, but none more would materialise after the break as Hibs withstood an onslaught to emerge unscathed and set up a date with Rangers' city rivals Celtic in next month's final at Hampden Park.

Hibs return to form to leave Rangers reeling

It was quite a start as Paul Hanlon and Hibs midfielder Joe Newell picked up bookings from referee Kevin Clancy for fouls on Gers playmaker Joe Aribo.

Boyle then started the scoring in the ninth minute when he knocked the ball past Gers keeper McGregor from a yard out after it appeared that Rangers skipper Tavernier had tried to chest Newell's corner back to his keeper and came up short.

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Four minutes later Alfredo Morelos drove straight at Hibs keeper Matt Macey after getting away from Hanlon.

In the 20th minute Hanlon's timely tackle inside the box prevented Macey from being tested by Aribo's goalbound shot.

At the other end seconds later, there was no such protection when Nisbet took a pass from Newell and played in Boyle, who lashed the ball low past McGregor for number two.

New Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst watched on from the stands at Hampden Park
Image: New Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst watched on from the stands at Hampden Park

Arfield tested Macey with a long-range drive and then came close with a powerful effort on the turn while in between Aribo fired over the bar on the angle, but things got worse for Rangers in the 38th minute when midfielder Davis bumped Boyle inside the box.

Referee Clancy pointed to the spot and the forward hammered his penalty past McGregor to send the Hibs fans into raptures.

They were still celebrating when Hibs defender Ryan Porteous miscued a clearance straight to Arfield, who curled the ball past Macey to reduce the deficit.

An inevitable Rangers surge at the start of the second half saw Porteous brilliantly block a drive from Glen Kamara, and a series of crosses and corners into the penalty area followed.

Veteran Hibs defender Lewis Stevenson replaced Josh Doig before Fashion Sakala came on for Ryan Kent and got in a header from a Tavernier cross which threatened.

Ianis Hagi and Ryan Jack took over from Arfield and Aribo in the 69th minute as the Ibrox men tried another route.

In the 77th minute Jack's deflected shot forced a corner from which Leon Balogun missed the target with a header, and when the ball was recycled fellow Gers centre-back Connor Goldson headed into Macey's arms.

In the 87th minute Goldson fired over the bar from 10 yards following a corner and with that chance went any slim hopes of a comeback, leaving Hibs to celebrate at the final whistle and posing plenty of questions for Van Bronckhorst.

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