Rangers 3-1 Hearts was a glorious scoreboard for Gers fans to see at Ibrox.
The match was billed as a massive contest given how impressive Hearts had been beforehand. The Jambos had yet to taste defeat all season before arriving in Glasgow. They also sat six points clear at the top of the Premiership table.
Yet, first-half goals from Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos, and Scott Arfield downed the Jambos in a first-half blitz. Jimmy Dunne got a second-half consolation for the visitors after Michael Smith was sent off.
The win moves the Gers to within five points of Craig Levein’s side.
Here, we state the three things that today’s win over Hearts proved:
Hearts still can’t be underestimated
Today’s result was huge for Rangers. Monumental in fact when considering how big a chance Hearts had to stretch their lead at the top.
The nature of the win was convincing from the Gers. There’s no denying that Steven Gerrard’s men proved their dominance over the Jambos this afternoon.
But, it’s still far too early to be dismissing Hearts from keeping in touch as the season goes on. Rangers still have plenty of work to do to catch the Tynecastle outfit, and today was just the start of that.
Hearts showed good character to get a goal in the second half despite being down to 10 men. Despite crumbling like a Greggs pastry in the first half, they’re still a decent side on their game.
Today has to be considered as just the beginning, with a lot more work to be done.
Alfredo Morelos can’t be dropped for any big-game
From big-game choker to big-game master this season, the improvement in Alfredo Morelos is staggering.
The Colombian forward has been much-maligned in recent years for a series of big-match misses. This has led to supporters in the past questioning whether he has the ability to be Rangers’ number one striker.
The past week alone, and not just today, showed that there’s no denying he has the ability to be just that. Morelos leads the line brilliantly, and a massive improvement compared to last season can certainly be seen.
Another big match goal to add to his brace against Vienna during the week, and Morelos is on fire.
At the moment, Steven Gerrard can’t even think about dropping him from any future big games. Even if Kyle Lafferty is available in reserve, right now it’s Morelos’ jersey to keep.
Ibrox has now become a fortress
This was supposed to be the day when Hearts took their title-charge to the next level. A strong start to the season had them arriving at Ibrox full of confidence.
But, what they didn’t count on, was just how strong Rangers are at home under their new manager. Gerrard remains unbeaten at home as he continues to strengthen the notion that Ibrox is a fortress once more.
In Rangers’ last four games at Ibrox alone, they’ve netted 15 goals. Compare that to how poorly they attacked at home last season, and Gerrard has made huge strides with this Rangers side.
It’s now fair to call Ibrox a fortress. Teams now have that fear factor back when they pitch up in Govan. Hearts caved in quicker than many would’ve expected, and this was simply down to being overwhelmed by Rangers’ quality going forward combined with their boistrous supporters.
It’s important now that Rangers kick on from here and replicate this sort of form away from home. If they can, then we really do have a title-challenge on – just maybe not from Hearts.