Rangers sink Hearts to set up date with Aberdeen in Viaplay Cup final

The Ibrox side put in a strong second half performance at Hampden.

Rangers sink Hearts to set up date with Aberdeen in Viaplay Cup final SNS Group

Rangers will face Aberdeen in the Viaplay Cup final after defeating Hearts 3-1 at Hampden.

James Tavernier struck twice and Scott Wright was on the scoresheet as a strong start to the second half saw Rangers book their place in the final.

Lawrence Shankland scored a late penalty for Hearts but the Edinburgh side couldn’t get back into the game and Rangers celebrated at the final whistle.

The result gives Philippe Clement a shot at his first silverware as Rangers manager just weeks after taking the job and continues his unbeaten start.

When the sides met on league business at Ibrox last week, Hearts enjoyed a positive start with a goal in the first five minutes but the encounter at the national stadium had no early drama.

Rangers enjoyed most of the attacking play and forced Hearts goalkeeper Zander Clark into action on more than one occasion but the first half remained goalless.

After the break, the action started in earnest.

Clark raced out to collect a loose ball but found himself in a race with Danilo and ended up second best, clipping the Brazilian striker in the box. A VAR check confirmed contact and Rangers were given a penalty.

James Tavernier had scored a penalty and missed one against the same opposition last week and he made no mistake at the national stadium, picking his side and slamming the ball past Clark to put his side in front.

Hearts tried to get right back into the game and Frankie Kent’s header form a corner forced Jack Butland into a save but Rangers quickly doubled their advantage.

Danilo played in Wright and he took a touch to set himself before rifling a low shot into the back of the net.

Rangers were in control but Hearts drew another save from Butland when Stephen Kingsley put a free kick on target but the gap was soon to widen.

A free kick outside the box gave Tavernier another dead ball opportunity and he measured his distance, physically moved two of his teammates into position to obscure Clark’s view and then put the ball into the top corner to make it 3-0.

There was further VAR drama ten minutes from time when referee Nick Walsh shoed Kingsley a second yellow card for diving in the box, only to reverse the sending off and give Hearts a penalty after VAR officials summoned him to the pitchside monitor.

Lawrence Shankland was accurate from the spot but though his goal sparked faint hopes from the Hearts support, they couldn’t build on it and Rangers booked their place in next month’s final.

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