Little double stops Hearts taking second big scalp

Heart of Midlothian 0 Rangers 3

tynecastle

Hearts were unable to repeat the heroics of last weekend's Cup semi-final victory against Celtic and take back-to-back Old Firm scalps, as Rangers ran out easy winners in Edinburgh yesterday. A Sone Aluko goal and an Andy Little double sealed the win for Rangers, while a penalty miss from Hampden hero Craig Beattie added to Hearts' despair.

Rangers could have had a penalty in the first five minutes, when Darren Barr appeared to handle a Maurice Edu header in the box. The referee, Calum Murray, did not point to the spot. Rangers continued to push forward and Little squared into the path of the on-rushing Lee McCulloch in front of goal, but he could not connect cleanly and the goalkeeper, Jamie MacDonald, was able to gather. Kyle Bartley then saw his volley cannon off the former Rangers defender Andy Webster on the line, before McCulloch's shot flashed across goal and wide.

Rangers took the lead after 28 minutes when they were given a free-kick just outside the box for a foul by Webster, which was hotly disputed by the Hearts player. Aluko stepped up for the set-piece and sent a superb curling effort past MacDonald.

Rangers could have doubled their lead when Steven Whittaker supplied a cut-back for McCulloch; with only the goalkeeper to beat, he looked on in disbelief as MacDonald managed to tip the shot wide. The honours went to Little instead when he collected a Lee Wallace cross at the near post and scooped a left-footed effort past MacDonald and into the net.

Beattie was not too far away for Hearts shortly after the re-start, with a shot that fell just wide of Allan McGregor's left-hand post. The former Celtic striker had another chance when he picked up Ian Black's pass, only to blast well over the crossbar from 15 yards, failing to trouble the Rangers goalkeeper once again.

Hearts should have pulled a goal back when the referee pointed to the penalty spot for an Aluko trip on the substitute David Templeton, just inside the area after 75 minutes. But Beattie, who had been the hero with the winner from the penalty spot against Celtic, saw his effort crash off the crossbar.

There was no way back for Hearts after Wallace found Little in plenty of space in front of goal and all that was required from the Northern Irishman was to slot into an empty net and put the gloss on the win with two minutes to go.

The Rangers manager, Ally McCoist, would like to offer a new contract to Little. "Andy Little has had a heck of a tough time and has come back from serious career-threatening injuries," said McCoist. "He will always make something happen. He's chipped in with more than his fair share of goals already this season."

Hearts (4-4-2): McDonald; Grainger, Barr (Glen, 68), Webster, McGowan; Zaliukas, Black, Driver (Templeton, 68), Skacel; Beattie, Elliott (Santana, h-t).

Rangers (4-4-2): McGregor; Gojan (Perry, 76), Wallace, Whittaker, Bocanegra; Bartley, McCulloch, Edu, Aluko (Kerkar,76); McCabe, Little.

Referee Calum Murray.

Man of the match Aluko (Rangers).

Match rating 6/10.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballStriker in talks over £17m move from Manchester United
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
boksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor