Football: Reyna's double breaks Hearts

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Heart of Midlothian 0

Rangers 4

Reyna 14,73, Mols 45, Albertz 67

Half-time: 0-2 Attendance: 17,893

HEARTS BORE little resemblance to Parma, except, possibly, to the famous hams, but that should not be allowed to detract from the way Rangers feasted themselves at Tynecastle.

A fine double from the impressive Claudio Reyna and equally eye-catching goals from Michael Mols and Jorg Albertz was the boost Dick Advocaat's team sought before next week's Champions' League test, but it must have stripped the confidence from the rest of the Scottish Premier League: Hearts, the club most likely to challenge the Old Firm, were swept aside.

A lot of water had passed under the bridge since Dick Advocaat came to this ground a year a go to face his first Scottish Premier League game in charge of Rangers.

Hearts won so emphatically on that occasion that they posed question marks about where Advocaat's era would go. As everyone knows, the journey for Rangers was a triumphant procession to three trophies last season while the Edinburgh club just avoided the drop.

Yet, Advocaat's mood yesterday must have been as gloomy with injuries to Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Neil McCann and Arthur Numan, depriving Rangers of the trio not only for this match, but almost certainly the Champions League visit of Parma on Wednesday.

If Hearts expected Rangers to display a vulnerability, they soon changed their mind. The wave of attacks from the champions was so overwhelming that the surprise was that it only yielded one goal.

That moment, though, in the 13th minute, was one to savour. Claudio Reyna, who just a week ago scored his first goal for Rangers, conjured up a replica of the strike that defeated Kilmarnock.

The little United States midfielder picked the ball up in the centre of the pitch, played a perfect pass out wide to Michael Mols and advanced to take the return. Suddenly, Reyna's pace had taken him clear of every Hearts defender and with poise he slipped his shot beyond goalkeeper Gilles Rousset.

It took every inch of Rousset's 6ft 5in frame to prevent Rangers from doubling that lead in the 25th minute, beating out a fierce shot from Mols after the Holland international's superb turn.

This let-off seemed to galvanise Hearts and they spent the remainder of the half camped around Rangers' box forcing Stefan Klos to prove his goalkeeping credentials.

However, as Hearts pressured Klos, Rangers struck with the sucker punch in injury time, clearing the ball out of their own area and shuttling it via Jorg Albertz and Barry Ferguson out to Mols on the right. The flying Dutchman skipped past Grant Murray's tackle before firing home from a tight angle.

With Rangers now safely in the comfort zone, they were able to indulge themselves in the second half, particularly in midfield, where they moved the ball around impressively.

Albertz in effect killed off the game when he scored Rangers' third in the 66th minute. Mols' clever footwork was bewildering the Hearts defenders when a tackle allowed the ball to break into the path of Albertz who thrashed a low shot into the far corner of the net from the edge of the box.

Seven minutes later, Reyna collected his second goal, arriving with a perfectly timed run to meet Wallace's cross with a downward header which thumped past poor Rousset.

Comments