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Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Sunday, 18 April 2010 14:23 UK

Rangers   2 - 0   Hearts

Kyle Lafferty celebrates at Ibrox
Lafferty made the breakthrough for Rangers against Hearts

By Clive Lindsay

Reigning Scottish champions Rangers showed a killer instinct to defeat Hearts and restore their 11-point lead.

Neat and tidy Hearts gave as good as they got in a lively first half without seriously threatening Rangers' goal.

Kenny Miller forced a fine save from goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald after the break as Rangers upped the tempo.

Kyle Lafferty powered home a header and Miller thumped home from the penalty spot after Eggert Jonsson was sent off for a push on Steven Naismith.

Rangers had been denied the opportunity to clinch the title on this occasion after Celtic recorded a fourth league victory in a row over Hibernian 24 hours earlier.

Perhaps anxious not to suffer the same problems suffered by Chelsea, who have let a healthy lead slip in England's top flight after Saturday's defeat by Tottenham, Walter Smith's side came out determined to attack their Edinburgh visitors.

Kenny Miller celebrates his goal
Miller scored Rangers's second goal from the penalty spot

Top scorer Kris Boyd was restored to the front line after impressing as a midweek substitute while he aims to end an uncharacteristic six-game run without a goal, which would be his 100th in the league for Rangers.

Despite the absence through injury of Andrew Driver and Christian Nade, Hearts were equally determined to be positive in their search for the points that would improve their outside chances of a Europa League qualification spot.

And the visitors were the better side in possession during the opening exchanges, although it was Rangers who were the greater goal threat.

The first was rather fortunate when Madjid Bougherra burst down the right flank before whipping a dangerous cross into the box that goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald just managed to tip over the crossbar.

Craig Thomson, back in the Hearts defence along with fit-again Ismael Bouzid, was proving a threat from left-back and his curling cross found Suso, but the Spaniard's front-post header flew wide from 16 yards.

Boyd squandered a chance when found by a Kenny Miller cross into the six-yard box, the Scotland striker failing to control the ball as he attempted to turn away from his marker.

Laryea Kingston was on hand to clear off the line at the back post as Rangers pressed from a corner.

Thomson squandered Hearts' best chance when, after chasing a fine Suso through ball behind the Rangers defence, he waited too long to cross to David Obua and his pass was blocked by goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Rangers upped the tempo after the break and only a fine save from goalkeeper MacDonald prevented a powerful Kenny Miller header from a Sasa Papac cross finding the net from 14 yards.

Bouzid replied with a thundering long-range drive that flew a few feet over McGregor's crossbar, but it was Rangers who broke the deadlock after 53 minutes.

Lafferty, who had been ineffectual after dropping to wide left in place of Steven Naismith to make way for Boyd, was the somewhat surprise scorer.

Kevin Thomson, who had started the game ahead of the unfortunate Maurice Edu considering the American's solid form, whipped in a corner that was powered home by the head of the unmarked Northern Ireland international at the near post.

Thomson almost turned goalscorer himself with a curling effort from 25 yards that struck the top of the crossbar and a Lee McCulloch header flew just over.

Rangers killed off the game after 83 minutes when Jonsson pushed Naismith to the ground as he looked to turn in a low cross across the face of goal from fellow substitute Nacho Novo and Miller made no mistake from the spot.

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Scottish Premier

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Rangers 2-0 Hearts FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Lafferty 54
  • Miller (pen) 84

    Rangers

    • 01 McGregor
    • 03 Weir
    • 05 Papac
    • 16 Whittaker
    • 24 Bougherra
    • 06 McCulloch
    • 07 Davis
    • 08 Thomson
    • 09 Boyd (Novo 78)
    • 18 Miller
    • 27 Lafferty (Naismith 69)

    Substitutes

    • 25 Alexander,
    • 66 Wilson,
    • 02 Edu,
    • 10 Novo,
    • 14 Naismith,
    • 29 Fleck,
    • 48 Little

    Hearts

    • 30 MacDonald
    • 03 Wallace
    • 13 Obua yellow card
    • 21 Ismael Bouzid
    • 26 Zaliukas
    • 04 Jonsson red card
    • 06 Palazuelos
    • 07 Suso Santana (Templeton 82)
    • 08 Black yellow card
    • 10 Kingston yellow card (Stewart 74)
    • 46 Thomson yellow card (Robinson 62 yellow card)

    Substitutes

    • 28 Ridgers,
    • 20 Thomson,
    • 16 Stevenson,
    • 23 Stewart,
    • 22 Elliot,
    • 24 Templeton,
    • 55 Robinson
    Ref: BrinesAtt: 47,590
    RANGERS
    HEARTS

    Possession

    • Rangers 60%
    • Hearts 40%

    Attempts on target

    • Rangers 5
    • Hearts 3

    Attempts off target

    • Rangers 7
    • Hearts 4

    Corners

    • Rangers 8
    • Hearts 2

    Fouls

    • Rangers 6
    • Hearts 12
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:16 The referee ends the match.
    • 90:00+2:52 Madjid Bougherra takes a shot. Jamie MacDonald makes a save.
    • 90:00+2:04 Ruben Palazuelos takes a shot. Save by Allan McGregor.
    • 89:30 Lee Wallace sends in a cross.
    • 87:40 David Templeton crosses the ball, blocked by Sasa Papac.
    • 86:32 Nacho Novo is caught offside. Free kick taken by Marius Zaliukas.
    • 85:11 Madjid Bougherra crosses the ball.
    • 85:02 The ball is crossed by Nacho Novo, Marius Zaliukas manages to make a clearance.
    • 83:10 GOAL - Kenny MillerRangers 2 - 0 Hearts Placed penalty scored by Kenny Miller. Rangers 2-0 Hearts.
    • 82:08 Sent off The referee sends off Eggert Jonsson for professional foul.
    • 82:01 Unfair challenge on Steven Naismith by Eggert Jonsson results in a Penalty.
    • 81:06 Substitution David Templeton is brought on as a substitute for Suso Santana.
    • 80:31 Madjid Bougherra crosses the ball, Ismael Bouzid manages to make a clearance.
    • 79:54 Nacho Novo takes the inswinging corner, Ruben Palazuelos makes a clearance.
    • 79:43 Centre by Kenny Miller, clearance made by Eggert Jonsson.
    • 77:33 Substitution Nacho Novo replaces Kris Boyd.
    • 76:17 Ismael Bouzid produces a cross.
    • 75:55 Suso Santana sends in a cross, clearance by Madjid Bougherra.
    • 73:35 Substitution Michael Stewart joins the action as a substitute, replacing Laryea Kingston.
    • 73:12 Corner from the left by-line taken by Kevin Thomson, Lee McCulloch produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
    • 72:42 Kevin Thomson takes a shot. Clearance made by Suso Santana.
    • 72:32 Madjid Bougherra sends in a cross.
    • 71:08 Sasa Papac restarts play with the free kick.
    • 71:08 Booking Scott Robinson goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
    • 71:04 Foul by Scott Robinson on Kenny Miller, free kick awarded.
    • 70:57 Suso Santana sends in a cross, blocked by Steven Naismith.
    • 70:19 Corner taken right-footed by Suso Santana, clearance made by Lee McCulloch.
    • 68:55 Substitution Steven Naismith replaces Kyle Lafferty.
    • 66:39 Steven Davis sends in a cross.
    • 65:22 The assistant referee flags for offside against David Obua. Indirect free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
    • 64:16 Ruben Palazuelos crosses the ball, save by Allan McGregor.
    • 62:33 Sasa Papac takes the direct free kick.
    • 62:33 Booking Ian Black receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
    • 62:22 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sasa Papac by Scott Robinson.
    • 61:03 Free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
    • 61:03 Substitution Craig Thomson goes off and Scott Robinson comes on.
    • 61:03 David Obua gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Madjid Bougherra.
    • 59:34 The referee blows for offside against Kris Boyd. Free kick taken by Ismael Bouzid.
    • 58:04 The ball is delivered by Laryea Kingston.
    • 57:58 The ball is swung over by Ian Black.
    • 57:40 Corner taken by Craig Thomson from the right by-line to the near post, Kyle Lafferty makes a clearance.
    • 57:32 Eggert Jonsson takes a shot. Blocked by Kevin Thomson.
    • 57:22 Craig Thomson sends in a cross, Sasa Papac gets a block in.
    • 56:42 Kyle Lafferty produces a cross, Marius Zaliukas makes a clearance.
    • 55:38 Centre by Madjid Bougherra, Ismael Bouzid makes a clearance.
    • 55:10 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lee McCulloch by Craig Thomson. Kevin Thomson takes the direct free kick.
    • 53:07 Assist by Kevin Thomson.
    • 53:07 GOAL - Kyle LaffertyRangers 1 - 0 Hearts Kyle Lafferty finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Rangers 1-0 Hearts.
    • 52:42 Kevin Thomson takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post,
    • 52:17 Shot by Ismael Bouzid from a long way out goes over the net.
    • 51:14 Shot by Kyle Lafferty from outside the box goes over the net.
    • 49:07 Kevin Thomson takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post.
    • 48:54 The ball is swung over by Sasa Papac, Kenny Miller takes a shot. Jamie MacDonald makes a save.
    • 48:13 Kevin Thomson takes the direct free kick.
    • 48:13 Booking The referee shows Laryea Kingston a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 48:06 Foul by Laryea Kingston on Kevin Thomson, free kick awarded.
    • 47:35 Ruben Palazuelos delivers the ball, clearance by Madjid Bougherra.
    • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+0:13 The half-time whistle blows.
    • 44:50 The ball is swung over by Madjid Bougherra, Close range headed effort by Kyle Lafferty clears the crossbar.
    • 43:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by David Weir on Suso Santana. Free kick crossed right-footed by Laryea Kingston from right channel, clearance made by Madjid Bougherra.
    • 42:55 Shot from long distance by Ian Black goes over the bar.
    • 41:22 The ball is sent over by Kenny Miller, blocked by Ismael Bouzid.
    • 39:25 The ball is sent over by Madjid Bougherra, Lee McCulloch takes a shot. Ismael Bouzid gets a block in.
    • 38:52 The ball is crossed by Kenny Miller, clearance made by Ismael Bouzid.
    • 38:20 The ball is swung over by Ruben Palazuelos, save by Allan McGregor.
    • 37:41 The ball is crossed by Steven Davis, save by Jamie MacDonald.
    • 36:57 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kris Boyd on Eggert Jonsson. Ismael Bouzid takes the free kick.
    • 36:18 The assistant referee flags for offside against Kenny Miller. Jamie MacDonald takes the free kick.
    • 36:10 The ball is delivered by Steven Davis.
    • 35:21 Kris Boyd crosses the ball, Marius Zaliukas makes a clearance.
    • 34:52 The ball is swung over by Kenny Miller, Lee Wallace manages to make a clearance.
    • 34:06 The official flags David Obua offside. Allan McGregor restarts play with the free kick.
    • 31:44 Steven Davis gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ian Black. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Laryea Kingston, clearance by Steven Whittaker.
    • 29:04 Steven Whittaker crosses the ball, clearance made by Marius Zaliukas.
    • 27:49 Kris Boyd produces a right-footed shot from long range that goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 26:26 Craig Thomson sends in a cross.
    • 25:30 Kevin Thomson challenges Laryea Kingston unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ismael Bouzid takes the direct free kick.
    • 24:00 Free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
    • 24:00 Booking Craig Thomson is cautioned.
    • 23:51 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Weir by Craig Thomson.
    • 23:42 Centre by Craig Thomson, save by Allan McGregor.
    • 22:26 Centre by Kris Boyd, Ian Black makes a clearance.
    • 21:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ismael Bouzid on Kris Boyd. Kevin Thomson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 20:20 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Jamie MacDonald.
    • 19:04 Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Davis from left wing, Jamie MacDonald makes a save.
    • 19:04 Booking David Obua is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 18:57 David Obua challenges Kevin Thomson unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 18:33 Kevin Thomson takes a shot. Blocked by Ismael Bouzid.
    • 17:40 Outswinging corner taken by Kevin Thomson from the left by-line, Lee McCulloch takes a shot. Clearance made by Ruben Palazuelos.
    • 16:21 The ball is delivered by Steven Davis, save by Jamie MacDonald.
    • 15:17 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Davis by Ian Black. Kevin Thomson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 13:17 Craig Thomson crosses the ball, Header by Suso Santana from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
    • 13:08 Ian Black crosses the ball, clearance by David Weir.
    • 12:06 Free kick awarded for a foul by David Obua on Lee McCulloch. Madjid Bougherra restarts play with the free kick.
    • 11:45 Shot from just outside the box by David Weir goes over the crossbar.
    • 11:34 Kevin Thomson produces a cross, clearance made by Ian Black.
    • 11:25 Sasa Papac decides to take a short corner.
    • 11:19 The ball is sent over by Sasa Papac, blocked by Craig Thomson.
    • 11:02 Laryea Kingston takes a shot. Kevin Thomson gets a block in.
    • 7:11 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Whittaker on Lee Wallace. Craig Thomson crosses the ball, Header on goal by Ruben Palazuelos from just inside the area goes over the target.
    • 6:29 Lee McCulloch gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jamie MacDonald. Jamie MacDonald takes the free kick.
    • 6:02 Inswinging corner taken by Kevin Thomson, save by Jamie MacDonald.
    • 5:51 Madjid Bougherra crosses the ball, save by Jamie MacDonald.
    • 4:26 David Obua is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Allan McGregor.
    • 2:46 Steven Davis delivers the ball in from the corner, Jamie MacDonald makes a save.
    • 2:23 Foul by Craig Thomson on Kris Boyd, free kick awarded. David Weir takes the direct free kick.
    • 0:55 Steven Whittaker is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Jamie MacDonald takes the free kick.
    • 0:00 The match gets underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Scottish Premier results

    18 Apr 2010 23:59 UK


    Scottish Premier table snapshot

    As it stood on 18 Apr 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Rangers 34 53 80
    2 Celtic 34 28 69
    3 Dundee Utd 34 13 62
    4 Hibernian 34 3 50
    5 Motherwell 34 0 48
    6 Hearts 34 -9 44
    7 St Johnstone 34 -4 42
    8 Hamilton 34 -11 39
    9 Aberdeen 34 -14 37
    10 St Mirren 34 -13 29
    11 Kilmarnock 34 -21 29
    12 Falkirk 34 -25 28

    see also
    Smith sees Gers close in on title
    18 Apr 10 |  Rangers
    Jefferies slams Naismith penalty
    18 Apr 10 |  Hearts
    Smith bemoans fixture imbalance
    18 Apr 10 |  Rangers
    SPL as it happened
    18 Apr 10 |  Scottish Premier
    SPL photo gallery
    18 Apr 10 |  Scottish Premier


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