Scottish Premiership
Rangers2Hearts0

Rangers 2-0 Heart of Midlothian

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Highlights: Rangers 2-0 Heart of Midlothian

Rangers narrowed the gap on Premiership leaders Celtic to six points with a victory over Hearts at Ibrox.

Jamie Murphy opened the scoring in the first half, with a jinking run into the area and composed finish.

The home side created a series of chances throughout the game, but Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin was equal to them all.

He was eventually beaten again, though, when Russell Martin converted from close range.

Celtic play Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday and, while Brendan Rodgers' side still have a healthy lead, Rangers will hope to capitalise on any slip-ups during the run-in.

Hearts midfielder Joaquim Adao and referee John Beaton
Hearts midfielder Joaquim Adao confronted referee John Beaton before being booked

It was a measure of the dynamic of play at Ibrox that Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin was the busiest player of the afternoon.

In the seventh minute, and with the home side spraying the ball around with confidence, McLaughlin stretched to tip a long-distance drive from midfielder Sean Goss over the bar.

Moments later, the Hearts goalkeeper produced a fine double save, first parrying midfielder Greg Docherty's left-footed drive from 20 yards then blocking an attempt by striker Alfredo Morelos, who had followed in.

Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin saves from Rangers' Josh Windass
Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin made a series of saves to keep Rangers at bay

Hearts responded positively as the play raced from end to end. In the 18th minute, Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham flew to his left to push Kyle Lafferty's curled shot wide and the former Rangers striker had two attempts from the subsequent corner before the home side cleared.

Foderingham then made a fine save from a Ross Callachan drive and at the other end Morelos headed a Declan John cross over the bar before Murphy, on loan from Brighton, fired a shot wide of the far post.

Four minutes before the break, however, it was Murphy who broke the deadlock in style. When right-back James Tavernier passed to Docherty outside the box, he quickly played in the former Motherwell player who rounded Aaron Hughes, John Souttar and keeper McLaughlin before slipping the ball into the net.

Rangers defender Russell Martin scores against Hearts
Rangers defender Russell Martin secured the win with his first goal for the club

Rangers then made a storming start to the second half. Attacker Josh Windass scooped a Morelos pass over the bar from 12 yards, with McLaughlin making another save from Docherty minutes later before denying Windass following a swift Rangers break.

In the 65th minute, as Rangers dominated, McLaughlin made yet another save, this time from a Morelos drive.

The home side's wastefulness in front of goal continued as defender David Bates headed a Tavernier cross over the bar from 10 yards before McLaughlin tipped a Windass free-kick past the post.

Rangers kept pressing and in the 88th minute, when wide-man Daniel Candeias flashed the ball across the Hearts goal, Martin was there to knock in from a couple of yards to score his first goal for the club.

Scotland manager Alex McLeish at Ibrox
Scotland manager Alex McLeish was in attendance at Ibrox

Line-ups

Rangers

  • 1Foderingham
  • 2Tavernier
  • 24Bates
  • 33Martin
  • 3John
  • 48DochertySubstituted forHoltat 82'minutes
  • 27Goss
  • 21Candeias
  • 11Windass
  • 28Murphy
  • 20MorelosSubstituted forCummingsat 75'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 9Miller
  • 15Herrera
  • 16Halliday
  • 22Bruno Alves
  • 23Holt
  • 25Alnwick
  • 26Cummings

Hearts

  • 1McLaughlin
  • 2Smith
  • 4SouttarBooked at 87mins
  • 5Hughes
  • 6BerraBooked at 76mins
  • 24Mitchell
  • 20Callachan
  • 66AdaoBooked at 19minsSubstituted forBuabenat 45'minutes
  • 47CochraneSubstituted forNaismithat 73'minutes
  • 43HendersonSubstituted forMcDonaldat 60'minutesBooked at 67mins
  • 9Lafferty

Substitutes

  • 8Buaben
  • 13Hamilton
  • 14Naismith
  • 16Randall
  • 28Godinho
  • 41Irving
  • 46McDonald
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
49,927

Match Stats

Home TeamRangersAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home24
Away5
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home12
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 2, Heart of Midlothian 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Rangers 2, Heart of Midlothian 0.

Attempt saved. Sean Goss (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Booking

Jason Cummings (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jason Cummings (Rangers).

John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Rangers 2, Heart of Midlothian 0. Russell Martin (Rangers) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Candeias.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Jon McLaughlin.

Booking

John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Declan John (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian).

Russell Martin (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kyle Lafferty (Heart of Midlothian).

Attempt saved. Jamie Murphy (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Foul by Jason Cummings (Rangers).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Jason Holt replaces Greg Docherty.

Foul by Josh Windass (Rangers).

Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Daniel Candeias (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian).

Attempt blocked. Daniel Candeias (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Ross Callachan (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Jason Cummings replaces Alfredo Morelos.

Attempt missed. David Bates (Rangers) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Daniel Candeias (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Steven Naismith replaces Harry Cochrane because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Harry Cochrane (Heart of Midlothian) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Josh Windass (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Hand ball by Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian).

Booking

Anthony McDonald (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card.

James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Demetri Mitchell (Heart of Midlothian).

Attempt saved. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Declan John (Rangers).

John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Daniel Candeias (Rangers).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic27187254183661
2Rangers28174755312455
3Aberdeen27164743311252
4Hibernian2813964032848
5Hearts2891182826238
6Kilmarnock269983335-236
7Motherwell28105133437-335
8St Johnstone2686122436-1230
9Dundee2884163043-1328
10Hamilton2675143648-1226
11Partick Thistle2866162647-2124
12Ross County2856172948-1921
View full Scottish Premiership table

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