Rangers went on the roach against Hearts of Midlothian and despite coming out flat and falling behind, came back to gain all 3 points.
Rangers returned to the Scottish Premiership in 2nd place to play against the then 3rd place Hearts of Midlothian. Hearts, of course, got off to a brilliant start to the season, but have sputtered of late.
Still, the game was going to prove to be a test for Rangers. They have struggled on the road within Scotland all season and Hearts are still a quality club.
Early in the match, it looked as though Rangers road issues had not gone anywhere. Sloppy passes, including several from the normally excellent James Tavernier, and poor positioning gave Hearts ample chances and possession.
This came to a head in the 27th minutes when a cross into the box was intercepted by Gareth McAuley, but his sliding attempt to block the cross knocked it into the net for an own goal. It was the first time Hearts had put a mark on the scoreboard in over a month.
While a disappointing start to the game, the goal seemed to awaken the sluggish Rangers as they took control of the game by the throat and never let go from there.
Very quickly the passes got crisper and the Rangers midfielders found their groove to possess the ball. Hearts found themselves on the back foot and could hardly get the ball out of their own 3rd. After a series of James Tavernier crosses resulted in corner kicks, Rangers finally got their breakthrough in the 35th minute.
Rangers skipper provided an excellent service from the corner and it found center-back Connor Goldson. Hearts keeper Zdenek Zlamal stopped the initial deflection but it went right back to Goldson who forced the ball in the net off of his thigh.
Following the goal, the match continued in much of the same way, with Rangers dominating play and possession. Rangers won a free kick at about 35 yards, and James Tavernier was once again ready to provide wonderful service. Providing a picture perfect ball to Alfredo Morelos, who one-timed it to the far post for a goal to make it 2-1 Rangers.
It should be noted that on Morelos goal, he was just a bit offsides, but it shouldn’t feel too cheapened since his offsides didn’t really impact the play at all.
The second half was going similarly swimmingly when, following a pair of shots on goal, the Hearts keeper was trying to get ahold of the ball and Scott Arfield made a sliding attempt to knock the ball in and received a straight red-card.
Forced down to 10 men to finish the game, Rangers hardly missed a beat. They defended well, and still managed plenty of pressure on Hearts goal.
All in all, it was an excellent performance for Rangers and (for now) put them at the top of the table (though they have played one more game than Celtic.) for the first time. There is a lot of time left in the season, but this Rangers season has been going very well.