First team

Match Report: Hearts 0-1 Rangers

06 December 2023

Hearts suffered their first defeat in four league games as Rangers narrowly claimed victory at Tynecastle this evening.


Abdallah Sima’s first half strike was enough to separate the sides, with the Jambos still in third place following St. Mirren’s defeat at McDiarmid Park.


There were two changes to the side that bested Kilmarnock in Ayrshire last weekend: with Kyosuke Tagawa and the returning Nathaniel Atkinson replacing Yutaro Oda and Liam Boyce. Meanwhile, there was more welcome sights as Craig Gordon, Craig Halkett and Barrie McKay all made the bench.


Both sides enjoyed spells with the ball in the opening stanza, but a huge chance fell the way of the Jambos after 24 minutes. Atkinson skipped past a series of blue shirts before squaring to Shankland. The skipper threaded across to an unmarked Alex Cochrane, whose vicious effort was blocked at the last gasp by James Tavernier.


Rangers had the ball in the net on the cusp of the half-hour mark: Danilo’s drive at goal cannoned off Kye Rowles and into the path of Todd Cantwell who tucked past Zander Clark. After a brief VAR check, the goal was soon chopped off for offside.


The visitors drew first blood after 33 minutes: a sweeping move up the park culminated in James Tavernier sending a splitting past towards Abdallah Sima, who timed his run to evade his markers and slide past Clark.


In the dying minutes of the opening 45, Zander Clark had to be quick to stick an instinctive leg out to block a low drive from Danilo – seemingly destined for the bottom corner.


Rangers kept knocking at the door in the second half with Clark again producing some fine goalkeeping, getting down well to his right to save Lundstram's long-range effort, before Yilmaz fired the rebound over the bar.


The best chance for a Hearts equaliser came on 70 minutes, with Jack Butland producing an excellent save to deny a stinging Kenneth Vargas effort from a wicked Alex Cochrane delivery.


Hearts couldn’t find a way through, with attention now turning to Saturday’s trip to Aberdeen.


Hearts: Clark, Atkinson (Oda 45’), Kingsley (McKay 84’), Kent, Rowles, Cochrane, Baningime, Grant (Vargas 45’), Nieuwenhof, Tagawa (Forrest 63’), Shankland


Subs: Gordon, Halkett, Haring, Oda, Forrest, McKay, Sibbick, Denholm, Vargas



Rangers: Butland, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Yilmaz (Sterling 69’), Lundstram, Lawrence (Cifuentes 18’), Cantwell (Lammers 86’), McCausland, Sima, Danilo (Roofe 69’)


Subs: McCrorie, Souttar, Dessers, Lammers, Cifuentes, Matondo, Sterling, Roofe, Davies