Rangers 1-0 Hearts: Narrow Ibrox win just about eases pressure on Rangers manager
Rangers secured a much-needed three points with a slim victory over Hearts at Ibrox.
The Gers came into this game desperately needing to get back to winning ways after Sunday’s defeat against St Johnstone.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst made one change from the team that lost in Perth, with Fashion Sakala dropping out due to injury in place of Rabbi Matondo.
The away side produced the first meaningful attack five minutes in when all it took was one simple long ball played through the heart of the Rangers defence for Josh Ginnelly to run onto. Allan McGregor had to come off his line to turn it around for a corner.
In a laboured first half which was hard to watch, Rangers’ best chance came in the 19th minute after great work in midfield by James Sands released Ryan Kent on the left. The winger’s cut back set up John Lundstram, who fired a left-footed shot over the bar from outside the area.
Struggling to find any inspiration to break down the visitors, the Gers resorted to aimless cross after aimless cross into the box—all coming to nothing.
Other than that, tame efforts from Antonio Colak and Malik Tillman just before the break aside, it was another tepid display from the Light Blues, who were—not for the first time in recent weeks—booed off at the interval.
Rangers did show some intent at the start of the second, with Tillman stabbing an effort which Craig Gordon turned behind after a deep Matondo cross.
At the other end, a Ginnelly cross from the right nine minutes into the second half evaded everyone in blue and ex-Ranger Andy Halliday at the back post, who was left unmarked with the goal at his mercy.
Looking to please an increasingly frustrated Ibrox crowd, Tillman drove into Hearts box but he could only hit the side netting.
The breakthrough finally came in the 65th minute, much to the relief of everyone inside the stadium. Brilliant combination play by Kent and Borna Barisic resulted in a cross which landed perfectly at the feet of Tillman who fired home from inside the box, leaving Gordon with no chance.
It should have been a second for Rangers 15 minutes from time after great work by Tillman to beat his man on the right. He found substitute Alfredo Morelos with a cut-back but his effort was straight at the Scotland goalkeeper.
A match of low quality, the second half petered out as Rangers secured the victory—one the manager desperately needed as questions continue to be asked.
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst post match press conference –
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