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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 21:39 GMT
Hearts 0-4 Rangers
By Thomas McGuigan

Jean Claude Darcheville fires Rangers in front
Jean Claude Darcheville gave Rangers the lead after a slick move
Jean Claude Darcheville fired a double as Rangers maintained their four-point lead at the top of the SPL with victory over a toothless Hearts at Tynecastle.

The Frenchman drilled the ball under Hearts keeper Steve Banks after a clever flick by Barry Ferguson.

Darcheville punished calamitous Hearts defending to add his second on the stroke of half-time.

Substitute Nacho Novo added two more after the break as Rangers recorded their 10th straight SPL victory.

Hearts were unchanged from the side which won at Motherwell on Saturday and were without top goalscorer Andrius Velicka after he moved to Norwegian outfit Viking FK.

Rangers recalled Christian Dailly and Charlie Adam at the expense of Daniel Cousin, who dropped to the bench and Chris Burke, with the winger dropped from the squad.

Banks produced a superb point-blank save to tip Steven Naismith's header from Barry Ferguson's corner.

The visitors took the lead in the 25th minute when Darcheville collected Ferguson's clever flick over the Hearts defence and drilled a low shot across Banks into the bottom corner.

Hearts were unable to put the Rangers defence under pressure in the opening exchanges.

Nacho Novo
Novo came off the bench to score a brace at Tynecastle

Calum Elliot flashed a drive over the bar in the 37th minute in a rare foray forward for the home side, but they were struggling to find a cutting edge.

Darcheville doubled Rangers' lead just before half-time when he fired home Ferguson's corner with the Hearts defence in disarray.

Things went from bad to worse for Hearts in the second half when substitute Novo slid the ball into the net from close range from Charlie Adam's low cross.


Rangers looked as though they would score with every attack as Hearts crumbled in the face of incessant pressure.

Novo got the fourth when his backheel squirmed past the helpless Banks.

The fourth goal sparked an exodus in the Hearts section of Tynecastle as the home fans streamed for the exits.

Novo spurned a couple of chances to complete his hat-trick and failed to play in Naismith for a fifth as the visitors threatened to run riot.

Hearts: Banks, Neilson, Karipidis, Berra, Goncalves (Ksanavicius 54), Cesnauskis (Mikoliunas 46), Jonsson (Zaliukas 64), Palazuelos, Wallace, Nade, Elliot. Subs Not Used: Basso, Ivaskevicius, Tall, Mole.

Booked: Zaliukas, Ksanavicius.

Rangers: McGregor, Broadfoot, Cuellar, Weir, Whittaker, Dailly, Naismith, Ferguson, Davis (Thomson 85), Adam, Darcheville (Novo 46). Subs Not Used: Alexander, Boyd, Cousin, Furman, Lennon.

Goals: Darcheville 25, 44, Novo 53, 70.

Att: 16,173

Ref: S Dougal

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