Hearts 2-0 Rangers: Robbie Muirhead double secures dominant win
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 01/12/16 7:30am
Robbie Muirhead scored twice as Hearts beat Rangers 2-0 at Tynecastle in what is expected to be Robbie Neilson’s farewell match.
The Hearts head coach is expected to depart to take over the managerial vacancy at MK Dons but will do so leaving the Edinburgh side in second place in the Scottish Premiership after a dominant display over Mark Warburton's team.
Slack defending proved to be Rangers' undoing as Muirhead tapped in unmarked at the far post either side of half-time in similar circumstances to secure the three points.
Joe Dodoo thought he had equalised for the visitors with his side still 1-0 down but his effort was controversially ruled out as Harry Forrester, who was in an offside position, was adjudged to have been impeding the goalkeeper's view.
There was a minute's silence held before the match to mark the air crash in Colombia involving Brazilian club Chapecoense, with the tribute particularly poignant for Hearts defender Igor Rossi, who was a former Internacional team-mate of Josimar - one of the 71 victims.
The Brazilian defender left the pitch at the end of the match holding up his native flag which he had been given by a supporter in the crowd.
Muirhead and Jamie Walker squandered early free-kicks before James Tavernier went close for the visitors in the 14th minute from distance.
Rangers keeper Wes Foderingham was then called into action, parrying a Callum Paterson drive from 25 yards before he made two fine saves, both from headers by striker Bjorn Johnsen but it was not long before Hearts took the lead.
A minute before half-time Johnsen curled a pass to the back post which caught the Rangers defence napping and Muirhead steered the ball past Foderingham.
Dodoo had the ball in the net in the 52nd minute after Jack Hamilton had parried a Kenny Miller effort but a late offside flag for Forrester brought the celebrations to a halt.
Foderingham parried another Johnsen drive shortly afterwards but could not prevent his side going 2-0 down when Muirhead arrived at the back post in plenty of space to knock a Walker cross into the net.
Hearts claimed for a penalty when Rangers substitute Michael O'Halloran tangled with defender Faycal Rherras but referee Craig Thomson ignored the pleas.
Rangers tried to rally towards the end and did force chances with substitute Joe Garner having a header cleared off the line before screwing a shot wide from 12 yards.
Warburton's side host Aberdeen, who are two points behind them in fourth having played two games less, at Ibrox on Saturday.