And here’s the match report:
Right, and with that, I’ll bid you good evening, at the end of a pretty decent Scottish season. The three domestic trophies went to three different teams, and one team reached a European final. They’re the ones celebrating tonight. Congratulations Rangers, commiserations Hearts. Thanks for following, and why not catch up with Rob again for another final? Bye.
The veteran Allan McGregor’s getting a tad misty-eyed as he applauds the Rangers fans on the lap of honour. What a stalwart he has been. If it is his swansong, it’s a memorable and appropriate one.
Up come the despondent Hearts players, led by Craig Gordon, to collect their medals, along with their impressive manager, Robbie Neilson. There’s some booing from someone or other for something or other, before James Tavernier leads his mates up, shaking hands with Ally McCoist en route to meet Rangers legend John Greig, cram all his teammates and manager onto the tight podium area and hoist the trophy!
Cheers Rob. As a bit of pyro lights up the Rangers end, as is the modern way, and the Rangers players cavort in front of them. It’s a first Scottish Cup since 2009, which constitutes a proper drought in Old Firm terms. The Hearts ends is emptying out a tad; they were out on their feet by the end, but they’ve progressed impressively this season, and are well placed to establish themselves as Scotland’s third force.
Full time: Rangers 2-0 Hearts
Rangers have won the Scottish Cup for the 34th time! It took a while, but ultimately they were too good - and too fit - for Hearts. The match was settled by two fine goals from the substitutes Ryan Jack and Scott Wright at the start of extra-time.
Hearts gave everything, and will wonder what might have happened had Ellis Simms scored instead of hitting the post early on, but by the end they were well beaten. The fact their best players were Craig Gordon and John Souttar tells a story. Those two were heroic.
I have to dash off to cover the Champions League final, but Tom Davies will bring you reaction from Hampden. Thanks, bye!
120 min Kent and Kamara are both denied by Craig Gordon, the (relatively) young Hearts keeper. He’s had a terrific game.
119 min: Rangers substitution A lovely bit of sentimentality from Giovanni van Bronckhorst: he brings on the goalkeeper Allan McGregor, aged 40, to play in a Scottish Cup final for the first time. All the Rangers substitutes are on their feet to applaud McGregor.
117 min Simms’ volley from the edge of the area deflects wide. The corner is cleared without fuss.
113 min This is a long 15 minutes of the soul for the Hearts players, who have no choice but to drag their weary legs around the pitch despite it being an exercise in futility.
111 min Wright charges infield and then plays the ball back outside to Sakala, whose low shot is smartly saved by Gordon. He probably should have scored. Wright has been such a threat since coming on in the second half of normal time.
110 min Rangers are passing the ball round, savouring that magical little window when you know something great is about to happen but it hasn’t been confirmed.
106 min Craig Halkett is booked for fouling Sakala. Hearts look finished. They’ve given everything, and were excellent in the first half, but at some point in the second half it started to become too much.
106 min The second period of extra-time is under way. Fashion Sakala has replaced Joe Aribo for Rangers, and Aaron McEneff is on for Cammy Devlin in the Hearts midfield.
Half time in extra time: Rangers 2-0 Hearts
Rangers are on course for victory after two fine goals from Ryan Jack and Scott Wright. I suppose it’s apt, with all the fatigue and injuries, that the game should be decided by a couple of substitutes.
104 min I’ll have what Calvin Bassey’s having. He’s played four hours of football since Wednesday evening and he is still charging up and down the left like it’s the first day of the season. Likewise Ryan Kent, who zips infield and shoots over from 25 yards.
103 min “Matt Dony has some nerve talking about penalties in Scotland v Wales World Cup play-offs,” says Simon McMahon. “The most blatant handball you’ll ever see by Dave Jones at Anfield in 1977, and yet Wales fans are still banging on about it 45 years later…”
101 min Hearts know it’s over, still they cling, they don’t know where else they can go.
The substitute Scott Wright has made it 2-0 after a ruthless counter-attack from Rangers. It was three v two, with Kent on the ball. He played it outside to Wright, who took a touch and drove the ball unerringly into the far corner. Gordon had no chance.
His first touch wasn’t the best, actually; but the second was immaculate. Wright, who had a disappointing night in Seville, has played really well since coming on.
GOAL! Rangers 2-0 Hearts (Wright 97)
Rangers are heading for their first Scottish Cup in 13 years!
95 min There’s no doubt Rangers deserve to be ahead. The first half was even but since then it has been pretty one-sided.
94 min “MORE extra time for Rangers?” sniffs John Cropp. “I can hear my dad now: ‘GIE’S a BREAK Rangers!!!’ Here’s to three for the Gers in the next five minutes so we can FINALLY get the celebration under way!”
Will one do?
Tavernier’s corner from the left was headed away to the edge of the D, where Jack controlled the ball deftly and thrashed a rising drive past Gordon. It hit the underside of the bar and flew into the net. I think Gordon was unsighted, because it went straight above his head. He appealed for handball after the goal, though there didn’t seem to be any hint of that on the replay.
GOAL! Rangers 1-0 Hearts (Jack 93)
Ryan Jack has smashed Rangers into the lead!
92 min: Chance for Rangers Another outstanding cross from Bassey is headed over by the stretching Aribo, six yards out. That’s another terrific chance - not quite as good as Diallo’s in the first half, but still eminently takeable.
92 min “Ble mae Ramsey?” says Matt Dony. “There a large but petty part of me looking forward to a potential Wales v Scotland World Cup playoff, with Ramsey Panenkaing the winning penalty in a shootout. Football really does turn us into bad people sometimes. If he’s not going to get onto the pitch, then come on Hearts!”
91 min Extra time is under way.
Full time: Rangers 0-0 Hearts
For the second time in four days, Rangers are going to extra time.
90+3 min That was such a brilliant save from Gordon, though Rangers will legitimately argue that they should have had a penalty. It wasn’t a subtle shirt pull from Atkinson, more a partial disrobing.
90+3 min: Wright hits the bar! Tavernier’s free-kick from the right is headed onto the top of the bar by Scott Wright! He did well to get in front of Kingsley and help it across goal, but he couldn’t get the ball to dip under the bar.
90+1 min: What a save from Gordon! That is sensational goalkeeping! Aribo received a pass on the half turn in the area, ignored a blatant shirt pull from Atkinson - that could have been a penalty - and hit a low drive towards the far corner. Gordon, whose weight was slightly the wrong way, thrust out his left leg to divert the ball just past the post.
90 min Three added minutes. The Hearts players look absolutely shattered.
90 min Rangers break, with Kent playing in the overlapping Bassey on the left side of the area. His cross is cleared at the near post, and I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you which Hearts defender was responsible.
89 min ... and swing it straight into McLaughlin’s hands.
88 min Ginnelly gives the Hearts defence a breather by winning a corner, then conducts the Hearts end before it is taken. Kingsley will swing it in from the right...
87 min Ryan Jack curls over from distance. It was an ambitious attempt.
87 min Hearts are hanging on for extra-time. They look really tired now.
85 min Wright lays the ball back invitingly to Lundstram, whose crisp drive from 25 yards is brilliantly blocked by Souttar. He and Bassey have been magnificent.
84 min: Chance for Rangers! Tavernier swings the resulting corner to the near post, where Balogun gets the run on Souttar and flashes a header just over the bar. It brushed the roof of the net rather than hitting the back of it.
83 min Kent’s cross is headed behind by the leaping Souttar, who has had an extremely good game.
82 min: Hearts substitution Josh Ginnelly replaces Barrie McKay, who faded after a bright start.
81 min: Double substitution for Rangers Glen Kamara and Ryan Jack replace Steven Davis and Scott Arfield in midfield.
Ramsey oh, Ramsey oh, where art thou Ramsey? Oh.
79 min Bassey beats Halliday with a Cruyff turn and is brought down in the eyes of everybody except Willie Collum. Bassey has had a sensational game.
77 min “To avoid the ‘heartbreak’ of a penalty ‘lottery’, maybe if cup finals are still level after 120 minutes the trophy should just be ‘withheld’, like the Scottish Cup was in 1909,” says Simon McMahon. “Then Gerry Scott would get his wish and both teams really would lose. And we could replace ‘neither team deserved to lose’ with ‘neither team deserved to win’.”
76 min: Hearts substitution Andy Halliday replaces Liam Boyce, who has had a good game and must still be feeling the injury he sustained last weekend.
75 min: Good save from Gordon! Bassey takes matters into his own hands and almost gives Rangers the lead. He surges past McKay, cuts inside Souttar on the edge of the area and slides a right-footed shot that is pushed away by Gordon, scrambling low to his left.
74 min Aribo flashes a dangerous ball across the six-yard box. A number of Hearts players were doubtful for this game, or have just come back from injury, and that might be starting to catch up with them. Rangers have been much the better team in the second half.
72 min Wright plays a good one-two with Aribo on the edge of the area, forcing Kingsley to come across and make a vital interception. Excellent defending.
71 min Boyce and Atkinson have been a big threat down the right in the last 5-10 minutes. Atkinson is fouled by Kent around 45 yards from goal. McKay’s free-kick is a stinker, claimed easily by McLaughlin.
69 min See 56 min.
67 min “What is the process for a draw at full time?” says Joe Pearson. “Extra time then penalties? Or is this cup different?”
Yep. Yep to the second question, that is. No to the third.
66 min Boyce flicks a clever return pass to Atkinson, who surges into the area from the right and drives a cross that is blocked by Davis.
65 min A rare Hearts attack, at least in the second half. Atkinson has space on the right and curls a lovely cross that just evades the leaping Simms at the near post.
63 min: Rangers substitution Scott Wright replaces Amad Diallo, who did some good things but also missed Rangers’ best chance.
63 min It’s getting hot out there. Kent is unhappy after being penalised for a challenge on Boyce, and the usually undemonstrative van Bronckhorst waves his hands around on the touchline.
63 min “Anyone else think these missed chances will now end in glorious failure for the Hearts?” says Paul Cowan. “Too early?”
Way too early, and way too 0-0.
61 min Diallo is late again, this time on McKay, and gets a final warning from Willie Collum. He might have slipped, in his defence, though some referees would have given him a second yellow for that. One way or another, Diallo is going off: Scott Wright is getting ready.
60 min That was an excellent chance for Kent, though the ball over the top wasn’t the easiest to control on the run. The proximity of Gordon and Atkinson meant he had almost no margin for error.
59 min Diallo is booked for a lunge at Boyce.
58 min: Fine save from Gordon! Diallo, just inside his own half, angles a superb pass over the top to find Kent in the area. His first touch is slightly heavy and that allows Gordon to smother his shot.
56 min We say this in approximately 100 per cent of association football contests, but the first goal feels crucial today.
55 min “All these Kumbayas are getting to me,” says Gerry Scott. “I hope they both lose.”
Now that’s what I call an MBM email.
54 min Diallo’s teasing cross is headed away superbly, if a little desperately, by Souttar. It’s been all Rangers since half-time.
52 min Bassey beats three players on the left, a run that includes a Zidane-style roulette, before his cross is blocked. On Wednesday night he was Rangers’ best defender; today he’s been their best attacker.
48 min Rangers have made a fast start to the second half, winning a couple of corners in the first three minutes. Nothing comes from either, though.
47 min “When you said Simms hit the post,” says John Lockhart, “I thought you meant with the ball, not his own body.”
The ball hit the post as well, didn’t it? Or is my neurodegeneration gathering pace?
46 min Peep peep! Hearts begin the second half. No changes on either side.
“I’m probably not the furthest away from Guardian Towers in ... New Malden,” says Donald Cameron. “A Gers fan so hope they can do it, but it would be great for Hearts and Scottish football if the glory is spread about a bit.”
What’s with all this generosity of spirit today? Have you all been asleep since June 2016?
“Watching from Utah,” says Mark Crowder. “Big shoutout to my brother-in-law Phil who made the journey from London to Seville this week and is probably back home in Glasgow for this one.”
While we’re doing shoutouts, both big and small, can I recommend a couple of books: the 50 Greatest Rangers Games by Martyn Ramsay and We Made Them Angry: Scotland at the 1982 World Cup by Tom Brogan.
Half time: Rangers 0-0 Hearts
After one second of added time, Willie Collum blows the whistle for half-time. It’s tight, tense and goalless at Hampden. Both teams have had one excellent chance - Ellis Simms hit the post for Hearts, Amad Diallo headed over from six yards for Rangers.
44 min How good is Calvin Bassey? That question could be rhetorical or interrogative.
42 min: What a chance for Amad! Rangers should be ahead. Calvin Bassey, who is having another stormer, curls a beautiful, dipping cross to the far post, where Amad makes a good run inside Cochrane but then heads over from six yards.
40 min Tavernier, who has committed a few fouls today, gets a last warning from Willie Collum after bringing down Cochrane.
40 min There was a scare for Hearts a moment ago when Liam Boyce started limping. He seems okay now, though he hasn’t yet had to run at full pelt.
39 min “Apropos of nothing, I actually attended an Edinburgh derby at Easter Road back in 2012 on my only trip to Scotland,” says Joe Pearson. “Great atmosphere!”
38 min: Chance for Aribo! Kent plays a simple pass to the overlapping Bassey on the left. He teases a really good cross towards Aribo, who gets in front of Halkett but can only flick a header across goal on the stretch. On reflection it wasn’t the easiest chance.
36 min “How is Amad doing?” says Hans Petter Hustveit. “As a United supporter I had high hopes, and it has been another disappointment from a pretty dire season. It sort of confirmed that the young man showed flashes, but had not the prerequisite physical requirements to flourish in British football.
“However, I did read Rangers supporters say he had developed positively as the season has progressed, and that he now seems to have adapted to the level of Scottish topflight - and he’s also very, very young still. Do you feel you can see the beginnings of an end product that Erik ten Hag could develop into real quality?”
There’s plenty to like about him, and he plays with a perky mischief, but if I was betting the farm I’d say he won’t make it at United. He’s really young, though, as you say, so we’re in William Goldman territory. At the same age Cristiano Ronaldo was a showpony (sic) and Theo Walcott was a future superstar.
34 min Davis releases Aribo in the inside-left channel, one v one with his future teammate Souttar. He shifts the ball to the side and drives a shot that is well blocked by Souttar. That was good, calm defending.
33 min It’s been an even first 33 minutes. Rangers have had more of the ball but Hearts came closest to scoring when Ellis Simms hit the post.
32 min “Good morning from the colonies Sir Rob!” chirps James Thomas. “I do have a subscription to ESPN+ … for now, in order to follow Fulham. But, of course, I’ll be changing that to peacock, or whatever NBC’s PL streaming channel is. Getting a bit of Scottish footy here in the States is a rare treat indeed! Carry on sir!”
31 min A snapshot from Simms hits a Rangers defender. Then McKay goes on a dangerous run into the Rangers area before being dispossessed by Diallo.
31 min “Hi Rob, watching from Dublin on holiday from Edinburgh,” says Nora Casey. “Thank you for your service. ‘Mon the Hearts!”
30 min Souttar marches forward imperiously and gives the ball to Simms. He carefully tees up McKay, who blooters over from the edge of the D.
29 min “Yup, following along from Canada as well,” says Fred Decker. “Keeping one eye on the Sunderland MBM and one on Rangers, the latter in honour of longtime Canadian international Scott Arfield. I know he’s a Scot born and bred, but I don’t make the rules of international football (just as well, really).”
27 min Now Kent shoots a few yards wide from the edge of the area. Rangers are having a decent spell.
26 min The first shot on target comes from Rangers. Diallo teases a low cross into Davis in the area; he lays it back to Arfield, whose first-time shot is straight at Gordon.
25 min “Monitoring from Sassari in Sardinia,” says Robert B. “I am a Hibs fan but hope that Hearts win.”
I’m confident that such generosity of spirit is shared by at least 0.001 per cent of your fellow Hibs supporters.
23 min At the other end, Bassey’s cross is miscontrolled on the bounce by Aribo. With a better first touch he would have had a shot at goal. It wasn’t the easiest ball to take though.
22 min McKay lobs a dangerous ball towards Boyce on the edge of the area. He doesn’t quite read the bounce, though, and Rangers are able to clear. The Hearts front three of McKay, Boyce and Simms look lively.
20 min “I’ll be following you Rob,” says Paul Byatt. “Got a soft spot for Hearts. Who hasn’t?”
19 min It’s been an enjoyable first 20 minutes. Hearts haven’t bent the knee at all, and as a result it’s a pretty open game.
17 min “Lonely?” asks Bartholomew Baker. “Yes, I’m monitoring the Scottish Cup on the Guardian from the States. This is the only way to ‘watch’ since I’m not ready to subscribe to ESPN+.”
Call it what you will - narcissism, self-absorption, egomania - but I always feel better when I know somebody is reading.
15 min A long, crossfield pass is controlled magnificently in mid-air by Diallo. He gets away from Cochrane and slides a low cross that is booted away in the six-yard box. Moments later, a loose ball falls to Arfield just inside the area. He thrashes a shot that is brilliantly blocked at full stretch.
13 min We’ve just seen a replay of that Simms chance. He went with his wrong foot, the right, and that might have cost him a goal. There was no need to go with his stronger foot because all he had to do was make contact.
10 min: Simms hits the post! A great chance for Hearts. Atkinson played a clever through pass to Boyce, whose mistimed shot almost turned into a perfect cross for Simms. He slid desperately towards the ball but could only poke it off the outside of the post from close range. That was a really good chance for Boyce, never mind Simms.
10 min Anyone out there?
9 min Goldson plays an outstanding long pass inside Kingsley to find Tavernier on the right. He lofts a cross towards Aribo but it’s too deep.
8 min Bassey, playing at left-back today, wins the first corner of the match. Diallo’s ball in is cleared by Souttar, who will be joining Rangers in the summer.
6 min This has been a good start from Hearts. McKay, who looks lively, can’t quite control a pass on the edge of the area and that allows Balogun to clear.
5 min After a confident run from Boyce, Sims’ shot on the turn is blocked by Bassey. That’s the first attempt at goal.
3 min An early yellow card for Peter Haring, who overran the ball and then took a shortcut through Calvin Bassey.
1 min A couple of fouls in the first 53 seconds, one on Lundstram and one by him. Terrific stuff.
1 min Peep peep! Rangers kick off from left to right as we watch.
“Not surprised to see multiple changes made by GVB after Wednesday,” says Simon McMahon. “Fatigue could well play a part, emotional as much as physical, especially as the game progresses. But at least Rangers won’t have the second leg of the Europa League final to play in midweek, eh? That would just be crazy.”
There’s a mighty roar around Hampden as the players walk onto the field. It’s time for the Scottish Cup final of 2022.
A reminder of the teams
Rangers (4-3-3) McLaughlin; Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Bassey; Arfield, Lundstram, Davis; Diallo, Aribo, Kent.
Substitutes: McGregor, King, Jack, Ramsey, Kamara, Sands, Lowry, Itten, Wright, Roofe, Fashion Jr.
Hearts (3-4-2-1) Gordon; Souttar, Halkett, Kingsley; Atkinson, Haring, Devlin, Cochrane; McKay, Boyce; Simms.
Substitutes: Stewart, Smith, McEneff, Woodburn, Mackay-Smith, Moore, Halliday, Sibbick, Ginnelly.
“Favourite Gio van Bronckhorst goal?” asks (and answers) Phil Podolsky. “Never mind long-range screamers. He was at the business end of one of the great Barcelona team goals, a move that epitomizes ‘probing’, having also launched it with a throw-in.”
I just had a look at the Barcelona team for that game, which included Xavi, Ronaldinho, Deco, Henrik Larsson, Carles Puyol, van Bronckhorst and Samuel Eto’o. Meanwhile, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi were on the bench, and Rivaldo, Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona didn’t even make the squad.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst has made five changes from the Europa League final. Jon McLaughlin, Leon Balogun, Steven Davis, Scott Arfield and Amad Diallo replace Allan McGregor, Borna Barisic, Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack and Scott Wright.
Barisic, who came off injured towards the end in Seville, hasn’t made the squad.
Hearts had doubts over a few players but Robbie Neilson is able to pick a very strong XI. There are three changes from last week’s league defeat to Rangers. John Souttar, Nathaniel Atkinson and Craig Halkett return in place of Michael Smith, Gary Mackay-Steven and Toby Sibbick.
Crucially, Liam Boyce and Cammy Devlin are fit to start. It’s a bit of a gamble from Robbie Neilson but, as every manager in the world seems to have told us in the last fortnight, this is the time for risk.
Ewan Murray’s match preview
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Scottish Cup final between Rangers and Hearts at Hampden. Hearts fans don’t much care for remembering 1986, when they lost the league on the final day and turned up for the subsequent cup final in body but not mind. While that lost double is something Hearts fans will never truly get over, the heartbreaking circumstances might give them some added hope today.
It’s roughly 63 hours since Rangers lost the Europa League final on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties. We’re about to find out what that gruelling match and the despair of defeat have done to both their legs and their minds. If Rangers aren’t close to their best today then Hearts, comfortably the best of the rest in Scotland this season, will make off with the glory.
Hearts have won this competition more recently than Rangers. They smashed Hibs 5-1 in the final in 2012, three years after Rangers beat Falkirk 1-0. Both teams have since experienced football’s vicissitudes. Rangers went into administration and had to start again; Hearts have been relegated twice, most recently in controversial circumstances in 2020.
The recovery of both clubs has been pretty admirable. While Rangers were romping the Premiership last season, Hearts were doing likewise in the Championship, though they were also humiliated by Brora Rangers in the Scottish Cup. They finished third in this season’s Premiership, 13 points ahead of Dundee United in fourth, and now their young manager Robbie Neilson is hoping to join a small group who have won the Scottish Cup with the same club as player and manager.
One thing Neilson’s Hearts are yet to do is properly lay a glove on Rangers. In four league games this season they took only one point, and were beaten 3-1 by Rangers Reserves at Tynecastle last weekend. Today would be the perfect time to start punching upwards.
Kick off 3pm.