Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson was left to bemoan missed chances as his side were beaten 2-0 by Rangers at Tynecastle.
First half goals from Alfredo Morelos and Joe Aribo were enough to seal three points for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side but Hearts created chances throughout, hitting the woodwork twice and repeatedly testing Rangers back line.
The champions saw off the threat but Neilson believes his side were too wasteful and could have taken something if they had seized the decisive moments.
“I’m frustrated because we had chances to score goals at the start, and then they had two very good finishes, which made it difficult for us,” he said.
“If we took our chances, it would have been a different game but that was the difference between the two teams.
“Even first half when we went 2-0 down, we still controlled the game, I thought. They had two shots on target in the first half; we had several.
“It was that final moment we didn’t take. It shows where we are as a team that over the course of the game we had more possession, more shots and more shots on target.”
The Hearts boss referenced key saves from the Rangers goalkeeper and also an incident when the ball struck Connor Goldson’s hand but referee Nick Walsh didn’t give a penalty.
“We just didn’t have that final moment,” Neilson said. “We hit the bar twice, we had a potential penalty, but the difference is you need to put the ball in the net.
“Allan McGregor was really good but we had chances where we shouldn’t have given him the opportunity to make the save.
“Our downfall was down to us because we had the chances to score and win the game. On the balance of the play, we were probably the better team but they took their two moments.”
Rangers manager Van Bronckhorst was delighted with how his side came through a tough test.
“We’ve had a big win at a difficult place to go,” he told Sky Sports.
“You could see in the first minutes what Hearts would bring to the game. They started really well but we defended the pressure well and made sure we were dangerous in the counter-attacking moments.
“I think we did perfectly in the first 15 minutes, which gave us confidence. The 2-0 scoreline was important.
“They also had a lot of chances but we kept fighting as a team and worked together to get a result, especially in the second half when the game got quite physical.”