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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 September, 2004, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Hearts 0-0 Rangers
Mark de Vries and Maurice Ross were back for their respective clubs
More pressure mounted on Rangers manager Alex McLeish after his side failed to impress again in a goalless draw with Hearts at Tynecastle.

It leaves his team - and Hearts - seven points behind leaders Celtic.

A Mark de Vries drive forced a parried save from Rangers' Stefan Klos, while Dragan Mladenovic and Paulo Vanoli and tested Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Rangers' Shota Arveladze and Hearts' Paul Hartley both had good chances late on but missed from short range.

The game had kicked off amid controversy, with Hearts fans campaigning against the sale of Tynecastle.

But, on the park, there was good news for the home side, with Steven Pressley recovering from a back problem and De Vries returning from injury for the first time this season.

Vanoli, along with Maurice Ross and Chris Burke, returned to the Rangers team.

And he was the first to test a goalkeeper, delivering a fierce 25-yard effort that Gordon did well to parry.

Phil Stamp fired over from the edge of the Rangers box before Klos made a great save in the 17th minute to deny De Vries.

The Hearts striker had been put through by Patrick Kisnorbo's header but could not put enough power on his low drive.

Burke sent a low effort skimming wide of Gordon's right-hand post and Nacho Novo headed wide from a great position, only for the offside flag to spare his blushes.

Dragan Mladenovic fired a free-kick towards the top corner, but Gordon was there to make a smart save.

Hearts had the better of the game in the first half, but Rangers had the edge in the second 45 minutes.

Arveladze, dropped to the bench, replaced Novo and was picked out completely unmarked by a Burke cross but glanced his header wide from eight yards.

A superb through ball from Mladenovic found Burke, but Robbie Neilson did well to head clear the cross inside the Hearts six-yard box.

Hartley missed a superb opportunity to give Hearts a late winner, heading over from six yards with only Klos to beat.


Hearts: Gordon, Neilson, Webster, Pressley, Maybury, Stamp, Kisnorbo (MacFarlane 87), Hartley, Hamill (McAllister 84), de Vries (Janczyk 62), Weir.
Subs Not Used: Moilanen, Wyness, Berra, Stewart.

Booked: Pressley, Maybury, Hartley.

Rangers: Klos, Ross, Moore, Boumsong, Vignal, Burke, Ricksen, Mladenovic, Vanoli (Lovenkrands 69), Novo (Arveladze 55), Prso (Thompson 69).
Subs Not Used: Graeme Smith, Davidson, McCormack, Andrews.

Booked: Ross, Thompson, Moore.

Attendance: 14,601

Referee: D McDonald



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