Hibs punished for poor defending in Molde – Michael Stewart


Hibs shipped three goals in Norway to crash out Europa League qualifying

Hibernian “only have themselves to blame” after a 3-0 loss in Molde ended their Europa League hopes, says former Easter Road midfielder Michael Stewart.

Hibs boss Neil Lennon said the score “certainly flatters Molde”, while home manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described it as a “50-50 game”.

However, all three goals in Norway were the result of slack Hibs defending.

Stewart said: “If you defend poorly and don’t take your chances, you get what you deserve.”

Teenager Erling Braut Haland scored twice after missing last week’s 0-0 draw at Easter Road to have talks about a proposed 9m euro (£8.5m) move to RB Salzburg.

The 18-year-old nodded in on 35 minutes as Hibs were caught out at a free-kick.

Haland set up the second goal for Fredrik Aursnes after a surging run from Eirik Hestad, and the teenager knocked in the third after more uncertainty at the back from the visitors.

Jamie Maclaren struck a post with a header at 2-0, while Martin Boyle also squandered an opening for Lennon’s side.

“It was never a 3-0 game if you look at the balance of play,” said Stewart, who spent two years at Easter Road from 2005. “Hibs have been punished for not taking their chances and defensively it is very poor.

“Neil will be very frustrated. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is making the players aware that was a really good opportunity to progress and they only have themselves to blame.

“You can’t have a go at them for their endeavour and desire to get the result; they were just lacking the moments of quality we have come to expect of Hibs of late.”

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