Scottish Premiership
Motherwell0Hearts3

Motherwell 0-3 Heart of Midlothian

Alexandros Tziolis scores
Alexandros Tziolis broke the deadlock with a degree of fortune

Esmael Goncalves scored twice as Hearts overcame 10-man Motherwell in Saturday's early Scottish Premiership match.

Carl McHugh was red-carded for a lunge on Don Cowie early in the second half.

Hearts went ahead when Alexandros Tziolis' shot took a deflection off Keith Lasley and looped over goalkeeper Craig Samson.

And Esmael Goncalves struck twice late on, the striker scoring his first goals for the Tynecastle club.

Tentative first half

Goncalves had an early low shot just wide before Louis Moult's header hit the bar, but the flag was up - wrongly - for offside against the Motherwell striker.

The hosts had started the match with a back three in an attempt to stymie the Hearts attack, but as the half wore on the away side became more dangerous.

First, a great run from left-back Lennard Sowah forced a save from Samson.

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Red card call 'cost Motherwell game'

Then Jamie Walker threatened with a couple of fierce efforts which were just off target. He perhaps should have had a penalty when it looked like he had his shirt pulled in the box.

Malaury Martin then stung the palms of Samson with a free-kick from 25 yards, but Motherwell would finish the half strongly.

From a corner Lionel Ainsworth fired in a shot which was cleared off the line by Anastasios Avlonitis. McHugh then fired an effort over the bar.

Moult was wrongly awarded awarded a free-kick at the edge of the box, having actually been tripped by team-mate Ainsworth. Referee Andrew Dallas even mistakenly booked Hearts midfielder Martin.

Moult took the free-kick himself and the ball flew narrowly wide of Jack Hamilton's goal.

Dismissal the turning point

Red cards defined Motherwell's match with Rangers last weekend and another sending off played a massive part in this match.

Carl McHugh is sent off
McHugh is the second Motherwell player in three games to be dismissed

This time it was McHugh who lunged in, catching Cowie painfully. There were echoes of Scott McDonald's red card tackle on Rangers' Kenny Miller, and it looked like the right decision by Dallas.

Just minutes later Hearts opened the scoring. The impressive Greece international midfielder Tziolis fired in a shot from 20 yards which took a massive deflection off Lasley and beat Samson.

But Lasley almost levelled moments later, his effort narrowly off target.

Goncalves gets his reward

Goncalves has shed 8kg and with his improved conditioning and professionalism it's intriguing to ponder what he can do for this Hearts side.

The management at the club clearly believe in the talents of this mercurial player, and that belief will give Goncalves added confidence.

Esmael Goncalves celebrates
Goncalves has returned to Scottish football after a previous spell at St Mirren

He looked determined to get his first Hearts goal and caused Motherwell problems all afternoon.

It finally came as he fired home with a composed finish. It clearly meant a lot to him as he celebrated with the travelling fans - for which he was duly booked.

Goncalves restrained himself from a second yellow after he scored again as Hearts made it two wins in four days following Wednesday's 4-1 defeat of Rangers.

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 1Samson
  • 4HeneghanBooked at 72mins
  • 6McManus
  • 21Jules
  • 2TaitBooked at 17minsSubstituted forMcMillanat 18'minutes
  • 14LasleyBooked at 28mins
  • 8McHughBooked at 53mins
  • 3HammellSubstituted forLucasat 54'minutes
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forPearsonat 55'minutes
  • 12Cadden
  • 9Moult

Substitutes

  • 11Bowman
  • 13Griffiths
  • 17Frear
  • 18Lucas
  • 20Clay
  • 30McMillan
  • 88Pearson

Hearts

  • 1Hamilton
  • 27Struna
  • 4Tziolis
  • 5Hughes
  • 46Sowah
  • 15Cowie
  • 12Avlonitis
  • 88MartinBooked at 43minsSubstituted forKitchenat 63'minutes
  • 7WalkerBooked at 33minsSubstituted forNicholsonat 75'minutes
  • 77Esmael GonçalvesBooked at 85mins
  • 20JohnsenSubstituted forEl Ouriachiat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Rherras
  • 6Kitchen
  • 11Nicholson
  • 13Noring
  • 16El Ouriachi
  • 19Nowak
  • 30Currie
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
4,651

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home4
Away18
Shots on Target
Home1
Away7
Corners
Home1
Away5
Fouls
Home16
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Motherwell 0, Heart of Midlothian 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Motherwell 0, Heart of Midlothian 3.

Attempt missed. Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt blocked. Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 0, Heart of Midlothian 3. Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Moha.

Lennard Sowah (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jack McMillan (Motherwell).

Attempt saved. Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Booking

Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 0, Heart of Midlothian 2. Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Moha.

Attempt blocked. Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Moha (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Zak Jules (Motherwell).

Andraz Struna (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lee Lucas (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Sam Nicholson replaces Jamie Walker.

Attempt saved. Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Ben Heneghan (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ben Heneghan (Motherwell).

Foul by Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian).

Stephen McManus (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Esmael Gonçalves (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Keith Lasley (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Foul by Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian).

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Perry Kitchen replaces Malaury Martin.

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 0, Heart of Midlothian 1. Alexandros Tziolis (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box to the high centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Moha (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Stephen Pearson.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Stephen Pearson replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Lee Lucas replaces Steven Hammell.

Don Cowie (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dismissal

Carl McHugh (Motherwell) is shown the red card.

Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

Alexandros Tziolis (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Ben Heneghan.

Second Half

Second Half begins Motherwell 0, Heart of Midlothian 0.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic23221060144667
2Aberdeen23134640202043
3Rangers2412753226643
4Hearts24107745311437
5St Johnstone239772925434
6Motherwell2366112739-1224
7Ross County2459102742-1524
8Kilmarnock235992038-1824
9Partick Thistle2458112432-823
10Dundee2365122333-1023
11Hamilton2431292535-1021
12Inverness CT2439122845-1718
View full Scottish Premiership table

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