Rangers showed their powers of recovery when James Tavernier and Danilo struck Hearts late for a massive win.
It was an afternoon of the utmost drama at Ibrox, as Rangers stung a buoyant Hearts side with two late goals.
And while there were penalties, goal line clearances, and some tasty challenges for the refereeing team to sink their teeth in to after Lawrence Shankland opened the scoring with a massive header inside five minutes. That was before a penalty was awarded to captain James Tavernier for Rangers who could not end his Hearts hoodoo and instead smacked the post from 12 yards in unorthodox fashion. Rangers would be afforded another chance from the spot with two minutes of normal time and the captain made no mistake.
That was before super sub Danilo brought Ibrox in too rapture with a header deep in to injury to seal an astonishing three points for Philippe Clement and Co. And Record Sport looks at the key decisions from a 90 minutes brimming with dramatic moments.
It was early in the game when Brighton loanee Odeluga Offiah halted Todd Cantwell in his tracks, scything down the quick midfielder just five minutes after Hearts opened the scoring through Shankland. It brought the angry Ibrox crowd to its feet with some believing the challenged merited more than a booking from referee John Beaton.
The big defender wouldn’t see out the half either way, being hooked on 39 minutes for Stephen Kingsley as fans surmised the 21-year-old was being a little heavy on the tackles. But some eagle-eyed punters also noticed he seemed to motion to his back at the Hearts technical area before being taken off.
John Lundstram and a good chunk of the Ibrox crowd fancied a penalty shout before the first one was given. Good Rangers work down the right saw the Englishman fire from range with the shot blocked by Frankie Kent who used his chest well to send it away from goal.
It appeared at first glance that there may have been a claim, but referee Beaton was clear in his call and motioned to the chest area as Rangers gave up their protests.
It was penalty to Rangers with seconds to play in the first half. But in the most unorthodox fashion, captain James Tavernier, who is yet to score against Hearts smacked the post with his effort as the final action of the opening 45.
But it was a seemingly unanimous one in terms of the decision with John Beaton waiting momentarily before pointing to the spot. Cantwell was once again chopped down this by Toby Sibbick from behind, who got none of the ball as the former Norwich man fell to the floor. There were little complaints from those of the Hearts persuasion.
Rangers were given a lifeline with just minutes of regulation time on the clock when John Beaton was consulted by VAR over a shirt pull in the area. It’s one that the naked eye would have potentially missed on first viewing, but the replays showed Peter Haring had a handful of Connor Goldson’s jersey and hauled the big defender down.
It was a relatively quick decision making process from Alan Muir and Beaton, before James Tavernier converted in customary fashion. Pain was etched across the face of Haring who was booked for his troubles, but it appeared a stonewaller by all accounts. Not, however, in the eyes of Steven Naismith who ripped in to VAR as he said: “It’s a clear block on our player. Simple as that. As the player comes in the box our player is marking the opposition player that he is meant to and a Rangers player comes and blocks him out of the way. What happens next is irrelevant, that is the foul and gives the Rangers player the edge. The outcome of the game is defined by the penalty.”