Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 6, Motherwell 0.
Scottish Premiership: Heart of Midlothian 6-0 Motherwell
Three goals in the opening 21 minutes - and three more late on - saw Hearts obliterate previously in-form Motherwell at Tynecastle.
Igor Rossi's header, Osman Sow's 11th of the season and a penalty from Gavin Reilly put the home team into an insurmountable lead in quick order.
Callum Paterson scored for the third successive game to make it four.
Juanma drove in a fifth and they made it six when Arnaud Djoum was taken down in the box and put away the penalty.
They thought they had a seventh, but it was ruled out. Seven wouldn't have flattered them, though. This was the hiding to beat all hidings.
Robbie Neilson's team duly narrowed the gap on second-place Aberdeen to three points in the most emphatic way before the Dons face Ross County in Dingwall on Sunday.
Mark McGhee had spoken of Hearts' robustness during the week but how the Motherwell manager must have longed for some of the qualities of the hosts - the power, the pace, precision, the appetite for work, the desperate hunger for goals.
Hearts went ahead after Billy King's corner was glanced in by Rossi, the ball crossing the line before Motherwell could bang it clear.
In the relative blink of an eye, they doubled their lead when Motherwell stood off Sow and invited the striker to have a pot at goal. The big man obliged and rifled his left-shot shot low past Connor Ripley.
Motherwell were in a state of befuddlement. Their midfield was bossed, their defence was susceptible to Hearts' cleverness in attack. What is impressive about Neilson's side is, of course, their commitment and power and all those other things that some other players, and managers, seem to have a problem with.
But it's a one-dimensional and pretty daft analysis. There's a whole lot more to them than grunt.
Hearts' work rate is high and their ability to get men forward at pace is hard to cope with at times. The swiftness of their movement in the final third can be terrific. The pressure they apply and their capacity to execute makes them a handful when they're at their best.
In those early minutes, when the game was won, Motherwell couldn't deal with them.
Their third goal came before a quarter of the match was over. More gaps opened up in the Motherwell defence and the busy Reilly was brought down by Ripley. It was an obvious penalty, but was it a red card also?
Kevin Clancy, the referee, said no and that was about the sum total of McGhee's good news in what was a devastating opening sell. From the spot, Reilly added another layer to Motherwell's misery mountain.
Motherwell were more competitive in the second half. Too little, too late. Scott McDonald could and should have scored midway through when he headed wide and Wes Fletcher spurned a fine chance when through on goal.
Paterson added the fourth and also his seventh of the season. Quite a player, Paterson.
And quite a day for the Jambos when Juanma and Djoum completed the landslide in the snow.
- 4AugustynBooked at 81mins
- 18RossiSubstituted forMcGheeat 84'minutes
- 14Pallardo Gonzalez
- 8BuabenBooked at 52mins
- 10SowSubstituted forDelgado Lloriaat 65'minutes
- 20ReillySubstituted forZanattaat 70'minutes
- 19Delgado Lloria
- 1RipleyBooked at 22mins
- 3HammellBooked at 82mins
- 6McManusBooked at 37mins
- 7AinsworthSubstituted forThomasat 68'minutes
- 18LawBooked at 77minsSubstituted forClarksonat 83'minutes
- 20MoultBooked at 56minsSubstituted forFletcherat 69'minutes
- Kevin Clancy
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 6, Motherwell 0.
Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Connor Ripley.
Attempt saved. Billy King (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner.
Goal! Heart of Midlothian 6, Motherwell 0. Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.
Penalty Heart of Midlothian. Arnaud Djoum draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Joe Chalmers (Motherwell) after a foul in the penalty area.
Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Marvin Johnson.
Goal! Heart of Midlothian 5, Motherwell 0. Juanma (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Prince Buaben.
Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Stephen Pearson (Motherwell).
Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Jordan McGhee replaces Igor Rossi.
Attempt blocked. Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Substitution, Motherwell. David Clarkson replaces Josh Law because of an injury.
Steven Hammell (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Dario Zanatta (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Steven Hammell (Motherwell).
Blazej Augustyn (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Blazej Augustyn (Heart of Midlothian).
Wes Fletcher (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Heart of Midlothian 4, Motherwell 0. Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Dario Zanatta.
Josh Law (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Juanma (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Josh Law (Motherwell).
Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Neil Alexander.
Attempt saved. Wes Fletcher (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Josh Law (Motherwell).
Foul by Igor Rossi (Heart of Midlothian).
Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Dom Thomas (Motherwell) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt blocked. Billy King (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Dario Zanatta replaces Gavin Reilly.
Substitution, Motherwell. Wes Fletcher replaces Louis Moult.
Substitution, Motherwell. Dom Thomas replaces Lionel Ainsworth.
Attempt missed. Miguel Pallardó (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Attempt missed. Juanma (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Juanma replaces Osman Sow.
Foul by Osman Sow (Heart of Midlothian).
Ben Hall (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.