Rangers manager Steven Gerrard praised his players for “going to war” with league leaders Hearts at Ibrox and claiming a 3-1 victory he believes has blown the Premiership title race wide open.
First-half goals from Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos and Scott Arfield earned all three points for Rangers as Hearts, who had Michael Smith sent off before pulling a goal back through Jimmy Dunne, suffered their first defeat of the season.
Craig Levein’s side remain top of the table but with their lead cut to just two points over nearest challengers Hibs. Only five points now cover the top half of the table and Gerrard savoured an important result for his team who had lost 1-0 at Livingston the previous weekend.
“We’ve beaten a good team today because we went to war with them and we matched them in the war,” said Gerrard. “Then our football shone through and that’s what you have to do in games like this.
“I said it before the game and I wasn’t telling lies – Hearts are where they are on merit. They have good players and a good way to play.
“This result had nothing to do with Livingston and it doesn’t heal the performance there, which just wasn’t good enough.
“The challenge for me and the team now is how can we produce these home performances away from home and that’s when we will find consistency.
“Today doesn’t heal Livingston, but it was certainly a statement and has blown the title race wide open and made it a little bit better looking for us.”