First team

Match Report: Rangers 5-0 Hearts

24 February 2024

Hearts fell to a 5-0 defeat at Ibrox on Saturday afternoon.


Steven Naismith made three changes for the trip to Govan. Nathaniel Atkinson replaced Dexter Lembikisa at right wing-back, Jorge Grant replaced Scott Fraser in midfield and Kenneth Vargas partnered Lawrence Shankland up front, as Alan Forrest dropped to the bench.


Following Rangers’ victory over St Johnstone last weekend, which sent the Gers top of the cinch Premiership, Ibrox was a cauldron of noise before kick-off.


The message before the match would’ve been to keep it tight early doors, but it was the worst possible start for the men in maroon, as they found themselves behind inside the opening two minutes.


It was a goal out of nothing, as the ball was fired into the path of Mohamed Diomande on the edge of the Hearts box, he chopped the ball on to his left foot and fired low into the bottom corner past Zander Clark.


The Jambos were under the cosh at this point and Clark was keeping Hearts in the game with two further saves before the clock reached the 15-minute mark.


Firstly, denying Cyriel Dessers on a Rangers break, before tipping round a vicious drive from Gers’ skipper James Tavernier.


Clark was again called into action on 17 minutes and after saving Dujon Sterling’s effort from distance, the stopper made three point-blank saves to deny Dessers before the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.


The Jambos were starting to enjoy a little more possession around the half-hour mark, without necessarily creating many opportunities, but they found themselves two down on 36 minutes.


Hearts lost possession in their own half, Tom Lawrence slipped the ball wide left, and Oscar Cortes fired low into the bottom corner.


Dessers added a third goal a minute before the break, peeling away to the back post to turn home a cross from the left.


Half-time: Rangers 3-0 Hearts


The Jambos switched to a back four at half-time as they looked for a route back into the game as Alan Forrest replaced Kye Rowles.


Dessers bagged his second of the afternoon after a cross from the right caused a bit of a scramble in the Hearts box, the ball dropped to the number nine, who slammed home from close-range.


Rangers substitute Fabio Silva added a fifth after 66 minutes and after latching on to a ball down the left-hand side of the penalty box, he finished across goal and into the far corner.


Shankland almost pulled one back from an Atkinson cross, but his header bounced off the post to cap off an afternoon forget for the men in maroon, who will now look to respond in Wednesday’s Edinburgh derby.


Rangers: Butland, Tavernier ©, Yilmaz, Lundstram, Souttar, Goldson, Dessers, Lawrence (Silva, 55), Cortes (Wright, 69), Sterling (McCausland, 55), Diomande (Raskin, 69)


Subs: McRorie, Silva, Wright, Roofe, Davies, Balogun, Barisic, Raskin, McCausland


Hearts: Clark, Kent, Kingsley, Baningime (Devlin, 62), Grant, Nieuwenhof (Tait, 82), Shankland © (Fraser, 79), Atkinson, Rowles (Forrest, 56), Cochrane, Vargas (Tagawa, 61)


Subs: Gordon, Devlin, Forrest, Sibbick, Denholm, Tait, Fraser, Tagawa, Lembikisa