STEVEN GERRARD blew a sigh of relief at Hampden yesterday as Rangers saw off Hearts 3-0 in the Betfred League Cup semi-final.
The triumph booked a Cup Final meeting against holders Celtic at the national stadium on Sunday, December 8.
And it also meant the Liverpool legend had got through a tricky hurdle after losing 1-0 to Aberdeen in the competition at the same venue at the same stage last season when they crashed out due to a late header from Lewis Ferguson.
However, there wasn’t even the hint of a blip in the display against a struggling Tynecastle outfit who rarely troubled Allan McGregor in a fairly timid display under caretaker gaffer Austin MacPhee following the dismissal of Craig Levein on Thursday.
It was left to Swedish central defender Filip Helander to get the barrier-breaking effort in stoppage-time as he was allowed to amble through a petrified defence to poke the ball into the net from close range.
Alfredo Morelos then took over after the interval to add two more typical strikes to take his campaign’s total to 20.
Scotzine‘s ace lensmen were there to capture the action. Here is a pick of the pics.
NUMBER ONE…Filip Helander is all on his own as the slots away the opener.
SWEDE DREAMS…Helander races away in delight.
SLIDE SHOW…Helander is joined by Alfredo Morelos in his goal celebrations.
WHACK…Ryan Kent fires in a wicked right-foot shot that struck the outside of the post.
NUMBER TWO…Alfredo Morelos can’t miss from four yards as he thumps the ball home.
HAMPDEN HOORAYS…Morelos is joined by skipper James Tavernier as he celebrates.
NUMBER THREE…Morelos first-times a right-foot drive into the net from close range.
KNEESY DOES IT…Alfredo Morelos slides along the turf in celebration.
GOAL…the sign says it all as Morelos shares the joy.
WAY TO GO, JOE…Steven Gerrard congratulates second-half substitute Joe Aribo.