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Europa League: Rangers beat Maribor, Hibs draw with Molde

Rangers won 3-1 at Ibrox, while Hibs played out a goalless draw at Easter Road.

On the spot: James Tavernier celebrates after putting Rangers in-front from the penalty spot.
On the spot: James Tavernier celebrates after putting Rangers in-front from the penalty spot. SNS

Rangers 3-1 Maribor

Rangers beat Maribor 3-1 at Ibrox to take control of their Europa League third round qualifier.

Alfredo Morelos struck early from close range to put Steven Gerrard's side in front, but the Slovenian visitors equalised when Mitja Viler scored a stunning volley.

Rangers would grab the advantage in the tie after the break, though, when James Tavernier scored from the spot before Lassana Coulibaly bundled the ball home.

Steven Gerrard's side got off to a perfect start when Morelos struck on 6 minutes. The Colombian pounced on a rebound to tap home from close range after Ryan Kent was denied.

Maribor recovered impressively from the early set back, however, and set about testing Light Blues goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Aleks Pihler found space on the edge of the box to fire the ball goalwards. McGregor spilled the popshot but the ball was scrambled away to safety.

Amir Dervisevic, Maribor's main attacking threat, was next to go close but McGregor pulled off a terrific low save to deny the snapshot.

Rangers had a great opportunity to double their lead when Daniel Candeias capitalised on slack defending to square the ball to Morelos but Colombian had wandered offside.

Within a minute, Maribor drew level when playmaker Dervisevic switched the play for Viler to arrow a stunning volley into the far corner.

After the interval, Rangers came out the stronger of the two teams and found reward when the referee pointed to the spot after Morelos was hauled back whilst charging into the box.

Tavernier stepped up to send the goalkeeper the wrong way and put the Light Blues back in front.

Rangers' skipper almost grabbed his second soon after but the full-back's long-range effort curled wide of the far post.

Coulibaly ensured Gerrard's side will travel to Slovenia with breathing space after the French midfielder diverted Morelos' header into the net late on off what looked to be his upper arm.

Hibs 0-0 Molde

Close: David Gray saw his header tipped onto the post.
Close: David Gray saw his header tipped onto the post. SNS

Hibs played out a goalless draw with Molde at Easter Road to leave the third round qualifier in the balance.

Chances came and went at both ends in an end-to-end encounter but neither side could convert and a nervy second leg now lies ahead in Norway.

Molde threatened to open the scoring early on when Petter Strand arrived unmarked at the back post but the Dane chose to pass instead of shoot and Hibs managed to scramble the ball to safety.

Efe Ambrose's clearance then set up a Hibs counter attack which resulted in Florian Kamberi firing a shot across the face of the Molde goal.

John McGinn's move to Aston Villa has left a void in the middle of the park for Hibs to fill but Stevie Mallan's showing will have filled Neil Lennon with hope he's a ready-made replacement.

The former St Mirren midfielder went close on three occasions during the opening 45 minutes, with one of his driven efforts from range striking the Molde crossbar.

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side started strongly after the interval, it was Hibs who carried the greater attacking threat.

First Martin Boyle poked the ball just wide, before Andreas Linde tipped David Gray's header onto the post.

Molde squandered another chance to edge ahead when Babacar Sarr found room in the box but the Senegalese midfielder got his header all wrong.

Hibs almost stole victory at the death when Gray found debutant Emerson Hyndman with a header but the on-loan Bournemouth midfielder's driven effort was bundled wide of the post.

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