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Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Rangers vs Hearts. Scottish Premiership.

Ibrox StadiumAttendance50,354.

Rangers 5

  • M Diomande (2nd minute)
  • Ó Cortés (37th minute)
  • C Dessers (44th minute, 48th minute)
  • F Soares Silva (65th minute)

Hearts 0

    Rangers 5-0 Hearts: Philippe Clement's side impress to maintain lead in Scottish Premiership title race

    Match report as Rangers ease to a 5-0 win against Hearts; Mohammed Diomande opened the scoring before Oscar Cortes scored his first goal for club; Cyriel Dessers added a double with Fabio Silva scoring a fifth; Rangers remain two points clear of Celtic in the Scottish Premiership

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    Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Hearts.

    Rangers showed their title intent with a 5-0 win against Hearts that kept them in the driving seat in the Scottish Premiership title race.

    The Ibrox side were in no mood to let Hearts show the form that had seen them win their previous six league matches as Mohammed Diomande fired in the opener inside two minutes.

    Rangers' Cyriel Dessers celebrates with Mohamed Diomande
    Image: Rangers' Cyriel Dessers celebrates with Mohamed Diomande

    Oscar Cortes made it 2-0 with his first goal since joining Rangers in January and Cyriel Dessers headed in a third before half-time.

    Steven Naimsith's side looked shell-shocked as Dessers added another just after half-time with Fabio Silva coming off the bench to wrap up an impressive performance by Philippe Clement's side.

    The win took Rangers five points clear at the top before Celtic cut that back to two points with a win at Motherwell on Sunday, while Hearts remain third.

    Rangers show no sign of stopping

    GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Rangers' Mohamed Diomande celebrates after making it 1-0 during a cinch Premiership match between Rangers and Heart of Midlothian at Ibrox Stadium, on February 24, 2024, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
    Image: Mohamed Diomande fired in an early opener for Rangers

    The Ibrox side, who were paired with Benfica in the Europa League last-16 draw on Friday, were high on confidence after winning their previous nine matches.

    Hearts had reason to believe they could cause an upset despite three defeats out of three against the Govan side this season.

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    Naismith's men were unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions and captain Lawrence Shankland led the league goalscoring charts with 18 goals in 26 games for club and country so far this season.

    Team news

    Tom Lawrence was one of four changes along with Ridvan Yilmaz, Dujon Sterling and Dessers also starting for Rangers. Kemar Roofe was back on the bench after two months out.

    Nathaniel Atkinson, Jorge Grant and Kenneth Vargas all returned to Hearts' starting XI at Ibrox.

    But they were stunned by the loss of the early goal.

    Hearts were in their shape when 20-year-old Cortes came in from the left and set up Diomande who sized up the shot from 20 yards and drilled the ball low past Gorgie keeper Zander Clark, his second Rangers goal after scoring his first last week against St Johnstone.

    Oscar Cortes scored his first Rangers goal against Hearts
    Image: Oscar Cortes scored his first Rangers goal against Hearts

    The football was frantic.

    A lung-bursting run by Dessers ended up with his shot saved by Clark, who made an even better save from skipper James Tavernier's powerful drive moments later.

    Dessers should have had the ball in the net in the 18th minute after Clark had parried a long-distance drive from Ridvan Yilmaz but the Jambos keeper saved his header and then his shot, although the offside flag was up.

    The Gers striker then headed a Yilmaz cross past the post with only Clark to beat.

    Just as Hearts worked their way back into the game, they conceded a second with Tom Lawrence taking a Dujon Sterling pass and motoring forward before squaring for Cortes and he curled the ball low past the diving Clark, who was soon picking the ball out of his net again when Dessers side-footed a John Souttar cross past him.

    Cyriel Dessers headed Rangers to a 3-0 lead before half time
    Image: Cyriel Dessers scored for Rangers either side of half time

    The Jambos defence failed to deal with Sterling's cross into the box early in the second half and Dessers lashed the ball into the net from close range, the goal surviving a VAR check for handball.

    Silva and Ross McCausland replaced Lawrence and Sterling before Tavernier's cut-back across the six-yard box evaded the sliding Dessers.

    But there was no respite for the visitors.

    In the 65th minute, midfielder John Lundstram slid in Silva and his angled-drive beat Clark and found the far corner.

    Rangers' Fabio Silva scores to make it 5-0
    Image: Rangers' Fabio Silva scores to make it 5-0

    The distressed Gorgie side kept on going.

    Gers keeper Jack Butland was beaten by a Shankland header but the ball rebounded off the post and Rangers escaped, with Butland making a decent save from Grant's 25-yard free-kick and substitute Kyosuke Tagawa's curling strike.

    However, another clean sheet was registered by the home side and they will travel to Kilmarnock on Wednesday with increasing title belief.

    Clement: 'Reward will come' if we continue to impress

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    Rangers manager Philippe Clement is refusing to think about the Scottish Premiership title after they extended their lead with a 5-0 win against Hearts.

    Rangers boss Philippe Clement, speaking to Sky Sports:

    "We don't need to say anything to the rest of the league, we just need to be focused on ourselves which is what we've been doing.

    "It's a good performance from my team and I'm only thinking about that.

    "The guys knew it was a big challenge today with the Hearts team really in good form, so they wanted to perform really well because they knew they had to be on their toes.

    "If we can be on our toes we can be a really good team.

    "The team is growing and taking more experience together, making good calls, good runs and defending well together. It's really pleasing to see.

    "We're not busy with title or no title because we're only busy with one thing and that's trying to take the three points and raise our level.

    "That's the only ambition in the team and if we do that every time, then you get a reward at the end of the season."

    Naismith: The poorest goals we've conceded

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    Hearts boss Steven Naismith shares his disappointment on his side’s 5-0 defeat against Rangers and feels that they didn't perform to the level required when trying to challenge at the top end of the league.

    Hearts head coach Steven Naismith:

    "Going into the game you know after what happened last week with the table changes and Rangers playing first, you knew they were going to start fast and they were going to make the atmosphere ready for the players.

    "That's exactly what happened and we didn't deal with it well enough, but on top of that the goals we concede are really poor.

    "We've had some praise and we've worked hard on our defensive side of our game this season, but that's probably some of the poorest goals we've conceded.

    "When you lose goals in both halves so early on it kills anything that you're trying to build.

    "On top of that, Rangers were clinical and aggressive and that caused us issues.

    "Every mistake or aspect of the game that maybe wasn't right and we got punished, it gives you a realisation that when you're at the top of the table that's what you're competing with and you've got to strive to try to get to that level.

    "It's definitely a learning experience."

    Will the title race be decided by mid season signings?

    Mohammed Diomande (middle) and Oscar Cortes (left) joined Rangers in January
    Image: Mohammed Diomande (middle) and Oscar Cortes (left) joined Rangers in January

    Sky Sports' Mark Benstead watched the game at Ibrox:

    "Has today underlined the importance of the January window in the title race? "Three Rangers additions all on the scoresheet and adding a freshness to the team.

    "Philippe Clement now has strength in depth and options off the bench. Across the city, Celtic have £67m in the bank but have they given Brendan Rodgers enough on the park?

    "Steven Naismith spoke about belief after Hearts' win at Celtic Park in December, but the Edinburgh side are lacking that today.

    "Rangers have played well, but the visitors could have competed better. They'll need to find a bit more fight for Wednesday's Edinburgh derby."

    What's next?

    Rangers' next Scottish Premiership game is away to Kilmarnock on Wednesday night, while Hearts host Hibs in the Edinburgh derby.

    Both games kick off at 7.45pm.

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