Motherwell 3-0 Hearts

Third-placed Motherwell romped to victory over Hearts in the Scottish Premier League and moved closer to administration-hit Rangers.

Keith Lasley's shot deflected off Andy Webster into the net to give Motherwell the lead on 37 minutes.

And Lasley soon set up Jamie Murphy to head the Steelmen's second.

A second booking brought Lasley's participation to an abrupt end, but the 10 men continued to dominate and Nicky Law fired a third goal on 65 minutes.

With second-placed Rangers having been docked 10 points and also losing to Kilmarnock, Motherwell are now just six points behind last season's champions with a game in hand.

Hearts, in fourth, slip nine points behind the victors and could be overtaken by St Johnstone, who take on Aberdeen on Sunday.

Motherwell striker Jamie Murphy
Murphy headed Motherwell's second goal

Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald spilled a Tom Hateley cross but then blocked shots from Henrik Ojamaa and Law as Motherwell tried to make an early dent on the scoresheet.

Chances became scarce until Hearts full-back Ryan McGowan burst into the hosts' box and fired a shot across the face of Darren Randolph's goal.

Motherwell re-asserted themselves and Hateley's corner was pushed away by MacDonald, but Hearts could not clear their lines and Lasley fired in a shot that cannoned off Webster into the net.

And the home side were soon two ahead as Lasley crossed for Murphy to head past MacDonald via the underside of the crossbar.

MacDonald averted further damage to the Hearts cause by saving bravely at the feet of Ojamaa after another incisive Motherwell break.

In between the first-half goals, Hearts withdrew the injured David Templeton and sent on Rudi Skacel, with manager Paulo Sergio making a further change at the break with Scott Robinson replacing Andrew Driver.

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Interview - Motherwell manager Stuart McCall

The match could have been finished as a contest in the opening minutes of the second half as Webster failed to clear at a Motherwell free-kick and Ojamaa's shot was saved before Law's rebound sailed over the bar.

Lasley had earlier been booked for a challenge on Ian Black and another foul committed against the same player meant a second caution and a red card for the Motherwell man.

Undeterred by the reduction in numbers, Well continued to press and Law's inventive chip just cleared the crossbar.

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Interview - Hearts manager Paulo Sergio

The midfielder then struck the frame of the goal with an effort from 25 yards.

But Law did get his name on the scoresheet, fizzing a shot past MacDonald following good work by Ojamaa and Murphy.

Hearts continued to offer little in attack and Robinson's shot high over the crossbar epitomised their afternoon.

Motherwell could have added to their lead with Ojamaa drilling the ball across and Michael Higdon unable to convert.

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