Scottish Premiership
Hearts4Rangers1

Heart of Midlothian 4-1 Rangers

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Hearts 4-1 Rangers

Hearts humbled Rangers to move closer to their opponents and third-placed Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.

Krystian Nowak headed in Andraz Struna's cross to put the hosts ahead but Emerson Hyndman's strike levelled before the break.

Rangers' defence was caught out when Jamie Walker stole possession and hammered home from long range before Don Cowie tapped in Hearts' third.

And Walker punished more slackness from the visitors with his second.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Hearts' most complete display - Cathro

Rangers stay second as closest challengers Aberdeen lost at Celtic. However, the Dons are only two points behind Mark Warburton's side and have a game in hand.

Hearts, in fourth, are six points behind Aberdeen and eight adrift of Rangers, with runaway leaders Celtic extending their lead to 25 points.

Fast, furious and quick-thinking

Every aspect of Hearts' play was delivered with intensity. The pace of their attacking and closing down was relentless, and it left Rangers minds rattled.

Much of the aggressive tone of their game was set by new forward signing Esmael Goncalves, who charged into challenges, into runs at the visitors' defence, even into questioning every decision made by the officials.

Krystian Nowak scores
Krystian Nowak's header looped up and into the net for Hearts' opener

The victory needed refined thinking, though, and it came first from Cowie, who slipped a quick free-kick down the right to Struna, whose cross was headed firmly into the net by Nowak.

The third goal came from a similar move with Malaury Martin having the presence of mind to take another quick set piece to Bjorn Johnsen, whose ball across the six-yard box was turned in at the back post by Cowie.

There was such a surge of self-belief to Hearts that they played as though anything might be possible. Lennard Sowah hit a first-time 35-yard shot that needed to be tipped over by Wes Foderingham.

Walker masterclass

While Goncalves was strong and assertive, Martin capable of deft touches, Perry Kitchen a source of endless energy and prompting, and Aaron Hughes calm at the back, the standout player was Walker.

Jamie Walker celebrates
Walker scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season

He was alert to every opening, clever on the ball, with quick feet that kept the ball away from his opponents. The second goal came after he robbed Andy Halliday - the Rangers midfielder having received it from an ill-judged Foderingham throw - and he then rifled a low shot into the corner.

The fourth goal too was a reward for his resourcefulness after the ball dropped inside the area following Johnsen's challenge on Foderingham in the air. Walker converted with aplomb into an empty net.

He is a player who might thrive under Ian Cathro. The Hearts head coach was animated on the touchline throughout the game, urging his players and the fans. The Hearts' shape was testament to his desire for versatility and passing angles to allow an element of control but this was also an emotional display following recent defeats in the league.

Clear thinking was still applied, though, when he brought on experienced midfielder Alexandra's Tziolis at 3-1 to manage the game out.

Rangers rueful

There was a familiar feeling of despair for Rangers. They lost on their last visit to Tynecastle and under Warburton have failed to win away at Celtic Park and Pittodrie this season, as well as on both visits to Hibernian's Easter Road and the Falkirk Stadium last season.

Clint Hill and Rob Kiernan
Rangers suffered their fifth league defeat of the season and their second at Tynecastle

The only response came from Hyndman, who lashed the ball into the net from inside the area after Hearts goalkeeper Jack Hamilton failed to clear a James Tavernier corner.

The longer the game went on, though, the more lost Rangers looked.

Warburton had no answers.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton: "We've just lost 4-1. We're Rangers Football Club, we don't lose 4-1. We did tonight and I feel frustrated, absolutely.

"We weren't good enough second half. On Saturday against Motherwell, I thought it was as good as we've played in 18 months.

"Tonight, second half was as bad as we've played in 18 months if not the worst."

"To give away four minutes into the second half is just ludicrous. We win together and we lose together but that was way below the levels of Rangers Football Club.

"I didn't see it coming. Nobody did, the players or staff. We all have bad days at the office, like last time we were here, but we thought we had learned from the first visit not to give the crowd anything.

"But we gave away schoolboys errors at the start of each half. We have to be better than that.

"To give away those type of goals was unacceptable."

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro: "We for sure had the intensity. Tonight we managed the game well. Hearts are worth watching.

"Across the 90 minutes, it was the most complete we've been.

"It's important that right throughout the difficult moments that we've had, I've always known where we were going and I've always known what the football would be like and I'm just pleased tonight that the 17,000 inside Tynecastle were able to see some of that as well.

"The results will determine the narrative. That's not particularly important for me. We've had some difficult times, we've had to suffer. We've had results that we've not liked. Tonight was all of us getting our frustrations out and I'm really, really pleased that everyone's had that opportunity.

"I love the way [Jamie Walker] plays, simple as that. Massive talent."

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1Hamilton
  • 27StrunaBooked at 42mins
  • 19NowakBooked at 68minsSubstituted forAvlonitisat 71'minutes
  • 5Hughes
  • 46Sowah
  • 7Walker
  • 15Cowie
  • 6Kitchen
  • 88MartinSubstituted forTziolisat 55'minutes
  • 20JohnsenSubstituted forNicholsonat 64'minutes
  • 77Esmael Gonçalves

Substitutes

  • 4Tziolis
  • 11Nicholson
  • 12Avlonitis
  • 13Noring
  • 16El Ouriachi
  • 22Beith
  • 24Smith

Rangers

  • 1Foderingham
  • 2Tavernier
  • 4Kiernan
  • 3HillBooked at 57mins
  • 5Wallace
  • 8ToralSubstituted forHoltat 71'minutes
  • 16Halliday
  • 20HyndmanSubstituted forWindassat 61'minutes
  • 33WaghornSubstituted forForresterat 60'minutes
  • 9Miller
  • 10McKay

Substitutes

  • 11Windass
  • 14Dodoo
  • 15Forrester
  • 17Hodson
  • 23Holt
  • 24Senderos
  • 25Alnwick
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
16,570

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home16
Away7
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home13
Away5
Fouls
Home11
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 4, Rangers 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 4, Rangers 1.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Harry Forrester.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Clint Hill.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by James Tavernier.

Foul by Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian).

Rob Kiernan (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian).

Jason Holt (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Tasos Avlonitis (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Harry Forrester.

Foul by Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian).

Josh Windass (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Andraz Struna (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andy Halliday (Rangers).

Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Josh Windass (Rangers).

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Wes Foderingham.

Attempt saved. Lennard Sowah (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Wes Foderingham.

Attempt saved. Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Josh Windass (Rangers).

Don Cowie (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Rob Kiernan (Rangers).

Foul by Lennard Sowah (Heart of Midlothian).

Barrie McKay (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Andraz Struna (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Clint Hill (Rangers).

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Jason Holt.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Jason Holt replaces Jon Toral.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Tasos Avlonitis replaces Krystian Nowak.

Booking

Krystian Nowak (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card.

Krystian Nowak (Heart of Midlothian) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by James Tavernier.

Attempt blocked. Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Sam Nicholson replaces Bjorn Johnsen.

Goal!

Goal! Heart of Midlothian 4, Rangers 1. Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Attempt missed. Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic23221060144667
2Rangers2312653125642
3Aberdeen22124638201840
4Hearts2397742311134
5St Johnstone239772925434
6Motherwell2266102736-924
7Partick Thistle2358102430-623
8Ross County2358102641-1523
9Kilmarnock225891937-1823
10Dundee2264122131-1022
11Hamilton2331192434-1020
12Inverness CT2338122643-1717
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you: