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.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn