Alfredo Morelos struck the only goal as Rangers maintained their 23-point lead in the Premiership with victory over Hibernian at Easter Road.
The striker was perhaps fortunate not to have been sent off when his stamp on Ryan Porteous went undetected early in a low quality first half.
But he finished off a slick move as Steven Gerrard’s side dominated after the interval.
Morelos also missed an open goal as Hibs struggled to make an impression.
The home side were guilty of too many basic errors and failed to put the visitors under any sustained pressure, although Jackson Irvine did squander two good openings.
Hibs stay fourth but have now suffered five defeats in seven in all competitions.
Both sides found it difficult on a badly rutted pitch, with several players losing their footing under the floodlights.
Joe Aribo tested Ofir Marciano as Rangers threatened first, while Christian Doidge and Josh Doig hit efforts straight at Allan McGregor.
The Rangers goalkeeper was guilty of a rare mistake when he spilled a cross at his near post and Doidge did well to nip in and work the ball to Irvine, only for the Australian to blaze over the top.
During a scrappy first 45 minutes, Morelos was rarely seen as an attacking threat, marshalled well by Porteous and Darren McGregor, the veteran defender making his first league start in more than a year.
But the striker was at the heart of a controversial moment when he seemed to deliberately bring his foot down on the thigh of the grounded Porteous after referee Kevin Clancy had blown for a foul.
He would go on to torment Porteous further when the defender was too slow coming out and played Morelos onside as he finished off a slick Rangers attack on 51 minutes.
Hibs were on the rack at the time, with Gerrard’s side surging forward with real menace from the first kick after the re-start.
Morelos had a golden chance to kill the game off but a slight deflection on Glen Kamara’s cross and a bobble resulted in him shooting wide from five yards.
He was then played in behind the home defence by a clever Ryan Kent pass but could only send a lazy lob into the arms of Marciano, who had to look much livelier to push away a thunderous shot from Kent.
Hibs could not retain any meaningful possession, with forwards Doidge and Nisbet marginal figures, although Irvine should have done better when knocking just wide from a good Melker Hallberg corner.
The home side rallied in the closing minutes but the Rangers defence seldom looked in trouble as they earned an impressive 20th clean sheet from 26 league outings.
Man of the match – Glen Kamara (Rangers)
What did we learn?
Rangers once again underlined their ability to dig out wins when not quite at their best as they rolled up their sleeves to slug it out with determined opponents before finding their rhythm for a key spell early in the second half. The clean sheet record is quite staggering, with only seven goals conceded all season.
Kamara stepped up after the break and was the game’s star turn. While Morelos will earn all the headlines for good and bad reasons, the Finnish international just oozes class when he is in the mood.
With McGregor leading by example, Hibs battled hard, which was important after a hugely disappointing League Cup semi-final loss to St Johnstone, but it was all grunt and no guile, with little in the way of creativity or imagination.
What did they say?
Hibernian head coach Jack Ross: [On the Morelos incident] “It’s a red card. It’s quite an easy one. We get the benefit of seeing it again but it’s one that looks relatively straightforward in real time as well. It should have been seen and I’ll just keep it at that. I don’t want to use that as an excuse for the goal because, in that moment, we should have defended it better.”
Hibernian take on Dundee United at Tannadice on Saturday looking to arrest a slump in from with Livingston now nipping at their heels, while Rangers have a rare weekend off, returning to action at home to St Johnstone next Wednesday.
- 24McGregorBooked at 62mins
- 5PorteousSubstituted forHanlonat 69′minutes
- 36IrvineBooked at 86mins
- 13GogicSubstituted forAllanat 79′minutes
- 20HallbergSubstituted forMagennisat 74′minutes
- 25DoigBooked at 12minsSubstituted forBoyleat 69′minutes
- 8JackSubstituted forZunguat 79′minutes
- 17AriboSubstituted forIttenat 83′minutes
- 20MorelosSubstituted forRoofeat 73′minutes
Match ends, Hibernian 0, Rangers 1.
Second Half ends, Hibernian 0, Rangers 1.
Attempt missed. Cedric Itten (Rangers) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Steven Davis.
Cedric Itten (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Kyle Magennis (Hibernian).
Attempt blocked. Martin Boyle (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Filip Helander.
Attempt missed. Connor Goldson (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by James Tavernier following a set piece situation.
Jackson Irvine (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Cedric Itten (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jackson Irvine (Hibernian).
Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Paul Hanlon.
Substitution, Rangers. Cedric Itten replaces Joe Aribo.
Offside, Rangers. Steven Davis tries a through ball, but Kemar Roofe is caught offside.
Kemar Roofe (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Darren McGregor (Hibernian).
Substitution, Hibernian. Scott Allan replaces Alexander Gogic.
Substitution, Rangers. Bongani Zungu replaces Ryan Jack.
Attempt saved. Ryan Kent (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kemar Roofe.
Attempt missed. Filip Helander (Rangers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Borna Barisic with a cross following a corner.