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Lennon: Beating Rangers was like Celtic shocking Barcelona

The Hibs boss said his makeshift side gave him one of the proudest moments of his career.

Plan: Lennon had to adjust for injuries.
Plan: Lennon had to adjust for injuries. SNS Group

Neil Lennon has said that seeing his re-organised Hibs side win against Rangers at Ibrox was as proud a moment for him as leading Celtic to a win over Barcelona.

Goals from John McGinn and Jamie Maclaren gave Hibs their 2-1 win and saw them narrow the gap on third-placed Rangers to just two points.

With key first team players missing, Lennon had to reshuffle his side and he said the players had given him one of his most memorable moments, on a par with a famous Champions League night as Celtic boss.

"I have to pay tribute to my players," said the Northern Irishman. "That's right up there for me in my managerial career, next to Barcelona under the circumstances with the injuries.

"I had Paul Hanlon, Darren McGregor, Steven Whittaker and David Gray all out then we lose Brandon Barker after five minutes so I have got Lewis Stevenson, who is a left-back playing at centre-half. I have John McGinn playing left wing-back, Martin Boyle playing right wing-back.

"I've got two strikers who haven't played together before and I have Scott Allan making his second debut. It's an incredible performance and all the plaudits should go to the players.

"They were amazing today, especially first half. They played some unbelievably good football."

Rangers had thought they had given themselves a chance to win when Sean Goss scored from a free-kick to cancel out McGinn's opener but were undone when James Tavernier was judged to have fouled Scott Allan in the box. McLaren scored the resultant penalty and Rangers boss Graeme Murty said Tavernier was protesting his innocence after the final whistle.

"Regardless of whether it's a penalty or not we've put ourselves in a situation where a poor press at the wrong time has allowed them into our final third," he said. "James said it was the softest thing he's ever seen.

"I asked him, 'Have you put your hands on him'. He said, 'No'.

"There's nothing you can do about it now but it's a lesson to us all that if you get into that area, the last thing you want to do is let the referee be a factor in the game and we've managed to make that happen.

"Of course it feels like an opportunity missed. I said to the players we can't worry about what's happened (at Rugby Park). We have to take care of business.

"We should be walking out of here with a minimum of a point but we're going away with nothing."

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