Report: Rangers Claim Three Points At Tynecastle

RANGERS claimed all three points in the Capital this afternoon, running out 2-0 winners against Hearts at Tynecastle.

Goals early in the first-half from Alfredo Morelos and Joe Aribo handed the Light Blues a cushion, and while Hearts had chances, the defence and Allan McGregor were superb to keep the clean sheet.

Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst named six changes to his team for this afternoon’s Scottish Premiership match.

From the side which earned a point in Lyon on Thursday night, in came McGregor, James Tavernier, Scott Arfield, Aribo, Fashion Jr and Morelos.

They took the places of Jon McLaughlin, Nathan Patterson, John Lundstram, Ianis Hagi, Scott Wright and Kemar Roofe.

That meant it was a back five of McGregor in goal with Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Calvin Bassey and Borna Barisic in front of him.

Aribo and Arfield came into midfield to join Glen Kamara, while Fashion Jr and Ryan Kent played in support of Morelos.

So often, matches at Tynecastle are a battle, and the tone was set inside 10 seconds with Josh Ginelly giving a free-kick away for clattering Barisic unnecessarily.

Gers were then nearly undone by a straight ball through the middle for Liam Boyce, with McGregor making a fine stop to tip the Ulsterman’s effort over the bar.

There then followed the usual early storm from the home side of a high-press and corner after corner which Gers did well to weather before grabbing a super lead on nine minutes.

Ryan Kent showed brilliant skill on the left to leave Taylor Moore for dead and crossed into the area. While Alfredo Morelos couldn’t get anything on the ball first time around, Fashion Jr arrived at the back post to set the Colombian up to sweep the ball home from six-yards out.

Fashion Jr ought to have made it 2-0 two minutes later when Kent again skinned Moore to cross for the Zambian, before Morelos saw a header on the end of a Tavernier corner deflected wide when it looked netbound.

Rangers were rampant, and the second sensationally arrived on the 13th minute. Connor Goldson spotted the defence-splitting run of Joe Aribo, and he picked him out wonderfully with a lofted, 70-yard pass that Aribo so gracefully took out of the air with his left foot before smashing the ball into the back of the net beyond Craig Gordon’s reach.

This was fabulous from the visitors, and the small band of Gers supporters were lapping it up in their corner of the Roseburn Stand at a sold-out Tynecastle.

From there, Gers were happy to let Hearts have the ball, and they seldom threatened, while a counter attack was always a possibility with the speed of Fashion Jr and Kent on the wings for van Bronckhorst’s men.

Boyce saw an effort hit the side netting on 33 minutes while Ginnelly skewed an effort from distance wide, before McGregor saved well at his near post again from Boyce.

Gordon held on well to a Fashion Jr cross as Arfield went in sniffing about for the third, but 2-0 is how it was to remain at the end of the first-half.

Fashion Jr had an early shot blocked at the start of the second half, while McGregor tipped a dipping Gary Mackay-Steven effort over the bar.

There was then a bizarre moment with a Ginnelly cross-come-shot hitting McGregor and then the crossbar before being hooked away by Arfield off the line.

Arfield could then have made it 3-0 on 59 minutes when put in by a smart Morelos flick, but Gordon did well to narrow the angle and give the midfielder very little to hit.

Gordon then saved well from Fashion Jr when he burrowed a path into the area, and then from Morelos before the Colombian got the ball back for Arfield to skew wide from close-range.

Boyce then missed a similarly gilt-edged opportunity for Hearts at the other end, blasting over a Mackay-Steven cutback from six-yards out.

Mackay-Steven then saw a super free-kick effort from 25-yards come back off the crossbar before on 81 minutes, Hearts were reduced to 10 men.

The simmering tension between Barisic and Ginnelly that had been brewing since the late tackle inside the opening seconds came to a head, with the pair facing up to each other. Barisic was booked for his part, while Ginnelly was shown a second yellow.

Ben Woodburn tested McGregor with an effort on 85 minutes, and he was lively to deny Boyce from the rebound before Gers used their man advantage to keep the ball well inside the Hearts half.

Bassey turned into Madjid Bougherra in injury-time with a frightening run from penalty box to penalty box, but unfortunately, he blasted his eventual effort from an acute angle over.

Kent then tested Gordon with a free-kick, but 2-0 is how it remained and a fantastic three points head back along the M8 for Rangers.

RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic, Kamara, Aribo, Arfield, Fashion Jr (Lundstram, 81), Kent, Morelos (Wright, 72).

SUBS NOT USED: McLaughlin, Patterson, Hagi, Davis, Bacuna.

HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN: Gordon, Kinsley, Souttar, Haring, Boyce, Mackay-Steven (Woodburn, 74), Devlin (Gnanduillet 86), Moore, McKay, Halkett, Ginnelly.

SUBS NOT USED: Stewart, Walker, McEneff, Cochrane,.

REFEREE: Nick Walsh


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