Hearts player ratings: Impressive duo score 9/10 and another two land 8/10 despite defeat by Rangers

Ratings out of 10 for every Hearts player who featured in the 1-0 Scottish Premiership defeat by Rangers at Ibrox.

Robbie Neilson made two changes following Sunday’s 3-2 win over Motherwell, with Barrie McKay dropped to the bench and midfielder Jorge Grant missing through suspension. Australian World Cup pair Nathaniel Atkinson and Kye Rowles came in, the centre-back starting for he first time since his metatarsal injury in August.

Neilson set up his team in a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Rowles lining up along with Toby Sibbick at centre-back. Atkinson and Andy Halliday provided the width, with Lawrence Shankland in a No10 role behind Josh Ginnelly as the advanced striker playing on the last man and trying to run in behind on the counter-attack.

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GK – CRAIG GORDON 7/10

Hearts defender Toby Sibbick holds off Antonio Colak in a very solid performance at Ibrox Stadium. Picture: Mark Scates / SNS

Steady performance from the skipper, who wasn’t tested too much despite all of Rangers’ possession. Made saves that he would expect to make.

DR – MICHAEL SMITH 6

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Involved in an intriguing tussle with Ryan Kent. Stood up to the test well in the first half but the Rangers winger won the second-half battle.

DRC – TOBY SIBBICK 9

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What a transformation. Confident, strong and alert, the Englishman defended with real authority and showed composure in possession.

DLC – KYE ROWLES 9

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First start since August, but the Australian played like he had never been away. Excellent performance and did well to last the full 90 minutes.

DL – ALEX COCHRANE 7

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Back in his best position, the Englishman delivered another solid, steady display in what has been a stellar season of consistency.

RM – NATHANIEL ATKINSON 6

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Doubled up on Kent to give Smith a hand defensively but not really able to offer much going forward and replaced when Rangers went in front.

MC – CAMMY DEVLIN 6

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Hesitant in possession a couple of times, but Australian combined well with Snodgrass and ran himself into the ground in the middle of the park.

MC – ROBERT SNODGRASS 8

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Brave on the ball and brought real composure to the team. Early through-ball to put Ginnelly in behind nearly gave Hearts a golden start.

LC – ANDY HALLIDAY 7

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Another game, another position for the reliable utility man. Booked for a tackle on Matondo despite making no contact with the Rangers player.

FW – LAWRENCE SHANKLAND 8

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Put in a huge shift for his team in a more withdrawn role than he is used to, dropping off to stiffen up the midfield. Didn’t get a chance to score.

ST – JOSH GINNELLY 7

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The out-ball, playing on the last man and threatening in behind with his pace. Drilled cross after half time created Hearts’ the only chance.

SUB – BARRIE MCKAY 6

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For Halliday 55mins. Had some neat touches but couldn’t carve out the opportunity Hearts needed.

SUB – ALAN FORREST 6

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For Atkinson 67mins. Injected some pace and energy but unable to come up with real quality.

SUB – EUAN HENDERSON 6

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For Ginnelly 77mins. Ballooned a half-chance well over the bar in injury time.

SUB – ORESTIS KIOMOURTZOGLOU 6

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For Devlin 77mins. Tenth appearance for club for the German.

Player ratings scale

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10: One of best performances you've seen. 9: Outstanding. 8: Very good. 7: Good. 6: Average. 5: Poor, 4: Very poor. 3: Terrible day at office. 2: Abysmal. 1: One of worst performances you've seen.