Scottish Premiership
Hearts1Rangers2

Hearts 1-2 Rangers: Goals from Goldson & Morelos send Steven Gerrard's side top

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Heart of Midlothian 1-2 Rangers

Ten-man Rangers moved top of the Premiership for the first time under Steven Gerrard after a fiery comeback victory over Hearts at Tynecastle.

Following Scott Arfield's red card for a rash challenge on goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal, the visitors held on for the final 20 minutes to move a point clear.

Hearts were rewarded for a strong start by a Gareth McAuley own goal but Connor Goldson quickly levelled.

Alfredo Morelos then added the decisive touch from an offside position.

The striker's goal, equalling the Premiership era record of scoring in seven successive games, was one of many contentious moments in a tempestuous game.

It was a fourth league loss in a row for Hearts, who were top of the table in early November, leaving them in fourth place.

The hosts were much improved from their limp loss at St Mirren and headers from Steven MacLean and Arnaud Djoum forced good early saves from Allan McGregor.

A neat move on 29 minutes culminated with Marcus Godinho delivering a low cross from the right and a sliding McAuley could only divert the ball into his own net.

Rangers responded with a ferocious onslaught, with Djoum diving to nod clear from a Ovie Ejaria header, moments before the leveller arrived.

Zlamal saved well at the feet of Goldson from a corner but the central defender was able to bundle the rebound high into the net.

A James Tavernier free-kick brushed the side-netting and Zlamal blocked bravely from McAuley as Rangers kept up the pressure and what proved to be the winner arrived before the interval.

Morelos, who missed a good chance on the volley before Hearts scored, raced away too early from a free-kick and was clearly offside when he applied a deft touch to Tavernier's terrific delivery. But the goal stood and took the Colombian's tally for the season to 17.

Morelos was involved in a running battle with returning Hearts captain Christophe Berra all afternoon, with both men frequently wrestling off the ball.

The frantic pace continued in the second half, with both sets of players, both dugouts and the fans inside a packed stadium screaming for every decision.

Goalmouth chances dried up though, as Rangers took a hold of midfield and looked menacing on the counter-attack.

Morelos went close, stretching to send Ejaria's cross just wide before Rangers picked up their seventh red card of the season.

Zlamal produced two good stops to deny Daniel Candeias and Morelos, and had the ball in both hands on the goalline as Arfield came clattering in to ram it over the line, smashing into the keeper's head with his knee.

Referee Bobby Madden, who had produced just one yellow card in a stormy contest, immediately sent Arfield packing but Gerrard's depleted side had few problems holding out.

Scott Arfield was sent off for a late, sliding challenge on goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal
Scott Arfield was sent off for a late, sliding challenge on goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal

'Rangers hit back quickly and decisively' - Analysis

BBC Scotland's Brian McLauchlin at Tynecastle

Credit must go to Gerrard and his players. They fought back quickly and decisively and deserved their victory. They also had more than a slice of fortune for what proved to be the winner.

Morelos escaped punishment after jumping into Hearts captain Berra and was then one of three Rangers men in an offside position when he flicked the ball into the far corner.

There is no doubting the talents of Morelos but not for the first time his temperament can be called into question. And Gerrard will surely be asking questions of Arfield, who needlessly went in with both feet on Zlamal giving the referee no option but to issue a straight red card.

Rangers now sit proudly at the top of the top flight for the first time in seven years. The task that lies ahead is to stay there and keep Celtic, who have played a game fewer, at bay.

For Hearts this was their sixth match without a win in all competitions but it was a spirited performance and, with the busy December period now under way, may not have to wait too long before they get back to winning ways.

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1Zlamal
  • 26GodinhoSubstituted forDikamonaat 64'minutes
  • 2Smith
  • 6Berra
  • 11Mitchell
  • 9ClareSubstituted forMorrisonat 77'minutes
  • 20CochraneSubstituted forLeeat 70'minutes
  • 7Bozanic
  • 5Haring
  • 10Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 18MacLean

Substitutes

  • 8Lee
  • 13Doyle
  • 15Wighton
  • 16Hughes
  • 23Mulraney
  • 28Dikamona
  • 38Morrison

Rangers

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 36McAuley
  • 16Halliday
  • 10Ejaria
  • 23CoulibalySubstituted forMcCrorieat 81'minutes
  • 37ArfieldBooked at 71mins
  • 21CandeiasSubstituted forLaffertyat 86'minutes
  • 20Morelos
  • 35GrezdaBooked at 63minsSubstituted forJackat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Worrall
  • 8Jack
  • 11Lafferty
  • 13Foderingham
  • 15Flanagan
  • 17McCrorie
  • 40Middleton
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
19,429

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home5
Away17
Shots on Target
Home2
Away8
Corners
Home5
Away10
Fouls
Home17
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Rangers 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Rangers 2.

Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Clévid Dikamona (Heart of Midlothian).

Ovie Ejaria (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Andy Halliday (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Steven MacLean (Heart of Midlothian).

Attempt missed. Olly Lee (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Foul by Kyle Lafferty (Rangers).

Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kyle Lafferty (Rangers).

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

Attempt blocked. Ryan Jack (Rangers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Kyle Lafferty replaces Daniel Candeias.

Attempt blocked. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Clévid Dikamona.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Ross McCrorie replaces Lassana Coulibaly.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Callumn Morrison replaces Sean Clare.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Christophe Berra.

Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Clévid Dikamona (Heart of Midlothian).

Lassana Coulibaly (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Dismissal

Scott Arfield (Rangers) is shown the red card.

Attempt saved. Lassana Coulibaly (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Daniel Candeias (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Olly Lee replaces Harry Cochrane.

Gareth McAuley (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Steven MacLean (Heart of Midlothian).

Attempt missed. Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left following a fast break.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Clévid Dikamona replaces Marcus Godinho.

Substitution

Substitution, Rangers. Ryan Jack replaces Eros Grezda.

Booking

Eros Grezda (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Eros Grezda (Rangers).

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

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Marcus Godinho.

Attempt blocked. Eros Grezda (Rangers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Eros Grezda (Rangers) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Alfredo Morelos (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers1493237122530
2Celtic139223062429
3Kilmarnock1584322121028
4Hearts158252017326
5St Johnstone147341618-224
6Livingston146441410422
7Aberdeen136341613321
8Hibernian145452317619
9Motherwell144281524-914
10Hamilton1541101232-2013
11St Mirren152211929-208
12Dundee141211832-245
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories