Match Report: Rangers 1-0 Hearts12 September 2022
Despite a valiant effort from the men in maroon, Rangers emerged with the win in an enthralling contest in Glasgow
The Hearts team that walked out in Govan was boosted by the sight of Kye Rowles, with the Aussie centre-back making his first start for the Jambos since breaking his toe back in August. Cammy Devlin and Robert Snodgrass kept their places in midfield, whilst Lawrence Shankland led the line up front.
Both sets of supporters observed an impeccable minute’s silence, as both clubs paid tribute to the brave men and women who gave their lives for their country in conflicts around the globe. With that completed, the home side started the match.
Rangers quickly threatened; Mallik Tillman picked Cammy Devlin’s pocket 25-yards out and made a march on goal. The ball was worked out to Ryan Kent on the left, but the Rangers man ran out of ideas – allowing Atkinson and Michael Smith to nip in and boot the ball to safety.
A Snodgrass ball over the top saw Gino force a stop from Allan McGregor with Hearts claiming a corner after five minutes. Snodgrass’s resulting delivery sent the Rangers defence into a panic. After a few swipes at it from the men in maroon, Leon King soon hoovered the ball up to clear.
Much of Rangers’ play in the opening stanza had a disjointed feel to it, with Hearts enjoying some success in opening the home side up – particularly down the right side as Ginnelly drove at Ben Davies. With 20 minutes played, the wait for a goal continued.
In truth, neither side had quite been able to find the breakthrough, with chances at a premium. All to play for in the second 45.
HALF-TIME: RANGERS 0-0 HEARTS
Early into proceedings, Craig Gordon was called into action to tip Tillman’s close-range effort around the post. From the resulting corner, Alex Cochrane cannoned away the loose ball with his head.
Moments later, Hearts hit back. Michael Smith was like a marauder making his way up the right side. With a waiting Halliday available at the back post, the quick ball flashed across the face of goal, but Halliday couldn’t quite apply the finishing touch despite going agonisingly close.
The chances were tumbling from the Glasgow sky now. Tillman, again causing issues for Hearts out wide, send a cross flying into the maroon area. Rangers’ Croatian striker, Antonio Colak, attempted an audacious overhead kick, but his effort was well wide of goal.
Tillman was, predictably, the architect of the next big opportunity for Rangers. Showing some nice footwork to weave through a sea of maroon shirts – he had a pop at goal from inside the area, rippling the side netting for his trouble.
The opening goal arrived after 65 minutes, with Rangers making the breakthrough. After some dogged work from Rangers down the left side, Tillman collected the squared ball and stroked a good finish past Gordon to open the scoring.
Hearts responded quickly. Robert Snodgrass rained a series of corners down on the Rangers box, causing havoc among the Gers’ defence. After a strong of shaky defending, Rangers eventually got an out when Cammy Devlin dragged an effort from inside the area wide.
Gordon was called into action once again with a remarkable save. Tillman slid the ball across to Tavernier in the middle – with the Rangers captain hitting a first-time effort that sprung a cat-like reaction stop from his Hearts counterpart.
There was to be no further action though, as Rangers took the points.
Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, King, Davies, Barisic, Sands (Arfield 45’), Lundstram, Tillman (Kamara 84’), Matondo (Wright 60’), Kent, Colak (Morelos 65’)
Subs: McLaughlin, Davis, Kamara, Morelos, Wright, McCann, Arfield, Devine, Yfeko
Hearts: Gordon, Atkinson (Forrest 65’), M. Smith, Rowles, Sibbick, Cochrane, Devlin (Kiomourtzoglou 77’), Halliday (McKay 54’), Snodgrass, Ginnelly (Henderson 77’), Shankland
Subs: Stewart, Clark, Kiomourtzoglou, Forrest, McKay, Neilson, Henderson, C. Smith, Pollock