London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Wed 02 Feb 2011 Rangers 1 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type BBC ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies 2nd <-auth None auth-> Brian Winter
[K Lafferty 4]
2 of 009 -----L SPL A

Rangers 1-0 Hearts

Rangers won to put some distance between themselves and opponents Hearts and also keep up the pressure on Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic.

Kyle Lafferty's impressive volley gave the home side a fourth-minute lead.

Marius Zaliukas was denied a leveller for Hearts when his header was well saved by Allan McGregor.

Madjid Bougherra had an effort blocked by Hearts keeper Marian Kello after the break and Rangers' Steven Davis had a goal ruled out for offside late on.

Rangers move five points clear of third-place Hearts and the Ibrox side, who have two games in hand, are now five points off Celtic.

Walter Smith's men, who started with new signings El Hadji Diouf and David Healy on the bench, took the lead in the fourth minute via a move started and finished by Lafferty.

The Northern Ireland forward, deployed as a lone striker, set Rangers on their way and, after releasing the ball, made his way into the box to meet Steven Whittaker's diagonal cross with a volley into the net.

The Hearts defence, with Adrian Mrowiec playing in a sweeper role, had been posted missing in that attack but Ismael Bouzid was well positioned to put Lee McCulloch off when the Rangers midfielder met Bougherra's cross with a header off target.

Diouf was brought into the action earlier than planned when he replaced McCulloch, who failed to recover from an earlier knock.

Hearts, victors the last time these two met, came close to a leveller when Craig Thomson's free-kick found Zaliukas and Rangers goalkeeper McGregor tipped the defender's dipping header over the bar.

The hosts' early substitution and a series of bookings for the visitors interrupted the flow of the game as the first half cantered towards a halt.

Ian Black was one of those players to be booked and the midfielder did not reappear at the start of the second half with Ryan Stevenson sent on from the bench.

The Ibrox side started the second period on the front foot and Lafferty and Vladimir Weiss both had headed efforts off target.

Bougherra sauntered forward and played a one-two with Davis before belting in a shot that was met by an excellent save by Kello in the Hearts goal.

Diouf carved out a chance for Maurice Edu to get in a shot but the American's intentions were snuffed out by the Hearts defence.

Slackness by Zaliukas let Diouf in but the substitute did not make anything of the chance as Hearts recovered.

Both managers elected for changes with Steven Naismith replacing Vladimir Weiss for Rangers and Hearts withdrawing Suso Santana in favour of Andrew Driver.

But neither substitute was able to make a big impact on the game as chances became ever more sparse.

Rangers thought they had a second in injury time when Davis netted following Kello's save from Diouf but the offside flag had been raised against the midfielder and the reigning champions had to settle for a 1-0 win.

Taken from the BBC

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