Match Report: Hearts 0-4 Rangers10 January 2022
A first-half double from Antonio Colak set the visitors on their way with Cammy Devlin seeing red before the half was out, and Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent rounding off the scoring late on.
Robbie Neilson made one change from the side that defeated Motherwell before the international break, with Stephen Humphrys is handed a first start in Gorgie, coming in for Andy Halliday.
Despite a bright start for the boys in maroon it was Craig Gordon who was called into action first when Ben Davies connected with a fourth-minute corner, but the Jambos skipper flung himself to his left to claw the ball away.
That warning was not heeded and two minutes later the visitors took the lead. Ryan Kent’s cross found Colak, and he guided a header beyond Gordon and in off the post.
The Jam Tarts went in search of the equaliser. Alex Cochrane’s magnificent tenth-minute switch of play found Humprhys, who took the ball down and cut inside before slamming a low effort on target that Allan McGregor got down to smother.
Rangers came close to doubling their lead on 20 minutes. Cochrane’s clearance bounced back into the Hearts box and Scott Arfield was quickest to react, taking the ball away from his man before curling an effort wide of Gordon’s right-hand post.
The second goal did come on the half hour mark, and it was for Rangers. Rabbi Matondo weaved his way to the edge of the box before slipping in Colak, and he lifted the ball over the outrushing Gordon and into the far corner of the net.
Things went from bad to worse before the first half was out when Cammy Devlin was shown a straight red card after a challenge on Matondo on the touch line.
The visitors did have the ball in the back of the net during first half stoppage time courtesy of Arfield but play was brought back for a foul on Gordon, who was nudged when coming to collect a cross and the subsequent spill allowing the Rangers man to tap into the empty net.
Half time: Hearts 0-2 Rangers
Robert Snodgrass and Andy Halliday were introduced at the break, in the place of Barrie McKay and Stephen Kingsley, and they combined at the start of the second half to nearly give Hearts a lifeline. Snodgrass swung in a corner for the unmarked Halliday but he couldn’t steer his header on target.
Rangers were afforded the luxury of slowing the tempo down, given they were playing against ten men, but Hearts kept on battling to keep things competitive.
Substitute Josh Ginnelly went close on 74 minutes, darting through the Rangers half before pulling the trigger from distance but swerving his effort wide.
Two minutes later it was 3-0. James Tavernier held the ball up inside the box before teeing up substitute Morelos and he fired beyond Gordon at close range.
Morelos would go close again with two minutes remaining, slamming wide from Fashion Sakala's cut back before Kent jinked into the box and curled an effort around Gordon and into the back of the net to make it 4-0.
Hearts: Gordon, M. Smith, Kingsley (Halliday, 46’), Kiomourtzogloiu (Grant, 61’), Shankland (Ginnelly, 61’), Devlin, Forrest (Haring, 44’), McKay (Snodgrass, 46’), Cochrane, Neilson, Humphrys. Subs: Stewart, Mackay-Steven, Atkinson, Sibbick.
Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Lundstram, Goldson, Jack (Davis, 46’), Colak (Morelos, 63’), Kent, Matondo (Sakala, 78’), Davies (Sands, 46’), Barisic, Arfield (Tillman, 63’). Subs: McLaughlin, Yilmaz, Wright, King.
Referee: Steven McLean