Three things we learned from Hearts' first defeat of the season
Here are three observations from Hearts' 3-1 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox.
Hearts caused their own demise
The most demoralising aspect for Hearts after losing their unbeaten record is that the defeat was almost entirely self-inflicted and not a result of Rangers having to do anything special to break them down. After losing a poor first goal when their offside trap went awry, they found themselves two down within 12 minutes when Demetri Mitchell was caught in possession just inside his own box. In that period, Hearts spurned two good chances themselves, but, ultimately, for all that they had plenty good periods of play in the match, their slackness for the first two goals left them with too much to do against a side in a rich vein of form on home soil.
Arnaud Djoum craving a central role
As a result of the impressive form of Olly Lee and Peter Haring in central midfield, Arnaud Djoum has found himself used in right-midfield and left-midfield in recent matches. The midfielder started on the right at Ibrox and generally struggled to impose himself the way he might expect to from a central role. While the reasoning behind Djoum not starting centrally - namely the form of other midfielders - is entirely understandable, it was notable that the Cameroon internationalist started to have more of an impact when moved into the middle in the closing stages against Rangers. Djoum is capable of playing anywhere in central midfield but is less influential from his wider berth. The feeling persists that he would relish playing as a No.10 in support of Uche Ikpeazu.
Clevid Dikamona can deputise for Michael Smith
Clevid Dikamona came on for Steven MacLean shortly after Michael Smith’s dismissal and generally impressed in defence as Hearts saw out the remainder of the match without further damage. The Congolese is a centre-back by trade but looked comfortable at right-back and even had an impressive run up the right flank in which he performed two nutmegs. Looks a ready-made replacement for Smith when the Northern Irishman serves his suspension against Aberdeen.