London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2011-12--> All for 20120421
<-Page <-Team Sat 21 Apr 2012 Hearts 0 Rangers 3 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Guardian ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Paulo Sergio <-auth Ewan Murray auth-> Calum Murray
[S Aluko 29] ;[A Little 35] ;[A Little 88]
12 of 016 -----L SPL H

Andy Little's goals inspire Rangers to 3-0 victory at Hearts

Ewan Murray at Tynecastle

Football matches seem to provide a decent release for Rangers. As off-field carnage continues to engulf the Ibrox club, Ally McCoist and his players have progressed to the position where there is no race for second in the Scottish Premier League. That in itself does not constitute success for either half of the Old Firm, but not so long ago there was a legitimate debate over whether or not Rangers could see off the challenge of those clubs looking to capitalise on their 10-point penalty for entering administration.

Since then, Rangers have claimed victory at Dundee United, Motherwell and in a Glasgow derby. Their latest success, at Tynecastle, was fully merited, albeit Rangers' performance must be placed in the context of what meek opposition they faced for all but a brief second period spell. Next up comes the season's final Old Firm contest, at Celtic Park next Sunday. Rangers can claim to be heading across the city in their finest fettle of the campaign, with the focus of McCoist's team entirely admirable given there is no positive end in sight to their present, administration‑hit state.

Hearts, meanwhile, must ensure their league season does not simply fizzle out to the extent that raising their game for a cup final does not become problematic. Hearts at least had a partial excuse for their lame showing, which in spells really was so bad it had to be seen to be believed.

The Edinburgh club's win over Celtic in a Scottish Cup semi-final six days earlier was the cause of wild celebration amongst the Hearts support and, one suspects, their players. Certain squad members looked to have left the party in body only for this encounter. So many of Hearts' key performers from the Celtic win were completely anonymous – or visible for all the wrong reasons – here.

Rangers displayed no such maladies. Right from the first whistle, the visitors were the sharper side, Lee McCulloch and Kyle Bartley wasting decent chances to send Rangers in front within the first 15 minutes.

It was a Sone Aluko free-kick that did precisely that. Hearts hotly contested the decision to penalise Andy Webster for an infringement on Maurice Edu just outside their penalty area; Calum Murray, the referee, certainly took long enough before signalling for a foul.

Aluko's finish, curled to the left of Jamie MacDonald, was merely the latest illustration of how he will be missed if he departs Ibrox as a free agent this summer. Already, Aluko is being courted by clubs in both Spain and England.

There was a rather large chunk of defensive farce associated with Rangers' second. The Hearts back line were reduced to an almighty mess in seeking to deal with a cross from their former team-mate, Lee Wallace. Andy Little was on hand to profit, with the young forward clipping a shot over MacDonald.

Hearts at least improved marginally after the interval, apparently boosted by three attacking substitutions. Craig Beattie blazed over the Rangers crossbar before Rudi Skacel tested Allan McGregor with a fine long-range effort.

A penalty offered the hosts the chance of salvation which, unsurprisingly, they wasted. Aluko could have no complaints about the award after he tripped one of the Hearts replacements, winger David Templeton.

Beattie's last-minute spot-kick had seen off Celtic at Hampden Park; the forward only served to boost his status with the Rangers support even further by sending his next penalty opportunity against the bar. It rather summed up Hearts' day, as did the wasting of an excellent chance by Gary Glen with 14 minutes to play.

Rangers were more ruthless. After Wallace was allowed to cavort down the left flank without challenge, his cross-cum-shot landed right at the feet of Little. The Northern Irishman could not fail with an empty net gaping and duly did not.

Taken from the Guardian/Observer

<-Page <-Team Sat 21 Apr 2012 Hearts 0 Rangers 3 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |