Football

Gerrard hails Hagi for winner on first Rangers start

Rangers midfielder Ianis Hagi, the son of Romania great Gheorghe, celebrated his first start for the club by scoring a late winner against Hibernian on Wednesday (Feb 5) to seal a 2-1 Scottish Premiership victory.

Hagi’s 84th-minute strike, which helped Rangers remain seven points behind leaders Celtic with a game in hand, also came as the prefect birthday gift for his father, who turned 55.

The elder Hagi is regarded as one of the best players of his generation, winning more than 120 caps for Romania and playing for both Real Madrid and Barcelona in a stellar club career.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard was full of praise for the 21-year-old Ianis, who arrived at the club on a six-month loan from Belgian club Genk on transfer deadline day last month.

“His second-half performance deserved to win the match,” Gerrard said.

“Ianis is a top talent...  in the first half, he was getting used to the game in Scotland, people knocking him about. In the second half, he was much stronger.”

Paul Hanlon put Hibernian in front in the first half before fellow defender George Edmundson equalised with his first goal for Rangers before Hagi stole the show.

“It was an exquisite finish... him having the character, the personality and the guts to receive the ball in any situation... he makes the game look really easy,” Gerrard said.

“He’ll deserve all the headlines.”  –  REUTERS

scottish premiershipScotlandRANGERShibernianianis hagiSteven GerrardFootball