Rangers conceded their first Scottish Premiership goals of the season but move top despite being held to a gripping draw by Hibernian in Leith.
Drey Wright stabbed Hibs ahead after 22 minutes as Rangers conceded their first domestic goal since 4 March.
But Alfredo Morelos poked the visitors level on the stroke of half-time and Scott Arfield fired them in front.
Christian Doidge nodded in for Hibs then Ofir Marciano brilliantly denied Arfield late on with a double save.
The Israeli goalkeeper twice stopped the Canada midfielder from point-blank range after the Rangers player was sent scurrying through on goal amid a late onslaught from the visitors.
Steven Gerrard’s side move a point clear of second-placed Celtic having played a game more, while Hibs remain a place further back.
Rangers bossed a tumultuous opening quarter, Morelos spurning a fine chance to break the deadlock 10 minutes in when he skewed a free header wide from Ianis Hagi’s corner five yards out.
It took a while for Hibs to awaken as an attacking force, but when they did, it was telling. Kevin Nisbet chested down Wright’s searching ball on the edge of the Rangers box, swivelled and powered a volley across Jon McLaughlin, drawing a fine save from the goalkeeper.
Then came their opener, Nisbet flicking on down the right flank to Boyle, whose square ball was stabbed between the legs of McLaughlin by the arriving Wright. It was the midfielder’s first goal in 764 days and it was a huge moment for Jack Ross’ men.
Rangers rallied, but chances to level were fleeting. It was down to Morelos, as it so often is, to deliver. The Colombia striker was inconspicuous for much of the first half, but he eventually came alive inside the Hibs box.
Left unmarked at the back post by Martin Boyle, he cushioned an immaculate Ryan Kent cross before prodding past Marciano. The goal was the first Hibs had conceded in open play this season.
Rangers surged ahead 12 minutes into the new half. Wonderful interplay between Arfield and Hagi, the latter’s return ball to Arfield particularly special, put the midfielder in to slot home.
Marciano turned a powerful shot from Kent away on the hour as Rangers tore into Hibs on the break, but the hosts were far from dead and buried, still capable of wounding raids downfield.
McLaughlin saved from Ryan Porteous at the near post and the rebound fell agonisingly behind Nisbet.
There was no stopping Doidge, though, the Welshman galloping towards the far post to meet a sumptuous Boyle cross. Replays showed the Hibs winger was offside when he picked up possession on the edge of the area.
Rangers laid siege to the home box at the end, Gerrard sending for Jermain Defoe and Cedric Itten in a desperate quest for more firepower and a telling goal.
Hibs rocked at times, defending with passion and steel if not perfect technique. Marciano’s fabulous intervention and a series of headers, hoofs and blocks sealed an impressive point.
Man of the match – Ianis Hagi
What did we learn?
All too often, Hibs have been overrun in midfield by the more proficient attacking units in the top flight. They showed far greater bite and stamina this time, with Joe Newell especially industrious and tidy on the ball, but Ross could still use more dynamism in the central area.
For the first time this season, Rangers were asked serious questions, challenged with coming from behind against one of the Premiership’s form teams. They responded well, seizing control of the contest after falling behind, but their failure to convert dominance into goals and points was a crucial flaw last season. In the context of the title race, Gerrard will view this as a missed opportunity.
What they said
Hibernian head coach Jack Ross: “To show so many sides of our game and take something from it is really pleasing.
“I’ve got a group of players who are satisfied but they wanted to win the match. They are recognising that they are a good side. Belief is growing all the time.”
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard on Sky Sports: “It’s two points dropped. Going forward, I liked a lot about our play today. But to concede two goals is poor from us. I’m disappointed in the manner we’ve conceded the two goals but we’ve done enough going forward to win the game.
“We always have to react. Win, lose or draw. So we’ll go away and debrief this game. Speak to the individuals who have made the errors. But there’s no time to overreact or get too frustrated. We’ve got a big game on Thursday to prepare for.”
- 6McGinnBooked at 60mins
- 5PorteousBooked at 35mins
- 4HanlonBooked at 37mins
- 10BoyleBooked at 80mins
- 8WrightSubstituted forHallbergat 90′minutes
- 25DoigSubstituted forStevensonat 63′minutes
- 18KamaraSubstituted forIttenat 85′minutes
- 20MorelosBooked at 90mins
- 7HagiSubstituted forDefoeat 75′minutes
- Don Robertson
Match ends, Hibernian 2, Rangers 2.
Second Half ends, Hibernian 2, Rangers 2.
Foul by Jermain Defoe (Rangers).
Martin Boyle (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) is shown the yellow card.
Substitution, Hibernian. Melker Hallberg replaces Drey Wright.
Foul by Cedric Itten (Rangers).
Paul Hanlon (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Alexander Gogic (Hibernian).
Foul by Connor Goldson (Rangers).
Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Rangers. Cedric Itten replaces Glen Kamara.
Foul by Scott Arfield (Rangers).
Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by James Tavernier (Rangers).
Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Scott Arfield (Rangers) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Martin Boyle (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Ofir Marciano.