Phil McGhee at Tynecastle
A poor Motherwell were hit for six as a rampant Hearts brushed the Fir Parkers aside in the January snow.
The Steelmen, crucially missing skipper Keith Lasley to suspension and Liam Grimshaw, who returned to his parent club during the week, were second best all across the park and were deservedly beaten.
The game was as good as over in the early stages as Hearts scored three in a ten-minute blitz courtesy of goals from Rossi, Sow and a Reilly penalty.
It stayed that way until the 77th minute before the hosts added three late on, Paterson, Juanma and another penalty, this time from Djoum, rubbing salt into the wounds.
Mark McGhee was forced to reshuffle his pack for the first time in five matches, with the aforementioned midfielders missing. Joe Chalmers and Lionel Ainsworth were introduced. Hammell was pushed into right back to allow the former Celtic youngster into left back.
Law partnered Pearson in the middle of the park with Ainsworth and Marvin Johnson operating on the flanks.
‘Well made a decent start and could’ve been ahead from a well-worked corner but didn’t capitalise.
Hearts showed no mercy and got their noses in front on the eleventh minute. Defender Rossi flicked on a King corner at the near post. It looped over Ripley, only for Law to head off the line. However, the standside assistant referee, Brian Templeton, raised his flag to signal a goal and spark the celebrations amongst home supporters.
‘Well then missed a chance to level when Moult cleverly played in Ainsworth, but his low shot was well held by Alexander.
It was to prove a crucial miss as Hearts extended their advantage five minutes later. Paterson won the ball just inside the visitor’s half, allowing Djoum to burst forward and worked the ball towards Osman Sow. ‘Well didn’t get out quickly enough to block, allowing the striker to lash a low shot into the far corner.
It went from bad to worse and the game was effectively over on 21 minutes when Hearts were awarded a penalty. Reilly was pulled down by Ripley whilst attempting to dribble round the keeper, and the striker confident stroked home the spot-kick to give the hosts a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Sow had a possible fourth goal disallowed for offside just after the half-hour mark, and Prince Buaben stung Ripley’s palms from 25 yards soon after.
The visitors started the second half seeking an early goal and some sort of lifeline. Louis Moult ought to have done better than head Lionel Ainsworth’s free-kick over the crossbar on 52 minutes. Mark McGhee would have noticed his players keeping the ball slightly better but would have been frustrated by their inability to forge clear scoring chances.
Motherwell continued to make the better of it and could and should have gone ahead but both Scott McDonald and sub Wes Fletcher passed up glaring opportunities.
Unmarked, the Australian headed Marvin Johnson’s right-sided cross wide of the back post, a miss which virtually summed up a miserable afternoon for McGhee and his team.
An equally good chance presented itself a few minutes later when substitute Wes Fletcher ran through on goal after dispossessing Pallardo. However, he too failed to hit the target.
Hearts punished that loose finishing with another three in short succession. Paterson fired home from just inside the area, as did sub Juanma shortly after then, in stoppage time, Djoum won and scored a penalty to end the afternoon in miserable fashion.
[tab:As it happened]
Ally Reilly at Tynecastle
FT: Hearts 6 – 0 Motherwell
91′ | 6-0
Goal – Djoum wins a penalty and fires home from the spot.
87′ | 5-0
Goal – Juanma collects the ball on the box, turns and fires past Ripley to make it 5-0 to the Edinburgh side.
84′ | 4-0
Hearts sub, McGhee on for Rossi.
82′ | 4-0
Motherwell sub, Clarkson on for Law.
80′ | 4-0
Augustyn booked for punching the ball away in anger.
77′ | 4-0
Goal – Paterson turns inside the box and gets his shot past Ripley. 4-0 to Hearts
76′ | 3-0
Law booked for a challenge on King, wide on the right.
74′ | 3-0
Great chance for Fletcher there as he dispossesses Ozturk and races through on goal but Alexander pushes it wide.
71′ | 3-0
Wonderful chance for McDonald after Johnson got down the right and fired a ball in to the back post but the Aussie heads wide.
69′ | 3-0
Hearts sub, Reilly off for Zanatta
64′ | 3-0
Motherwell subs, Fletcher and Thomas on for Ainsworth and Moult.
66′ | 3-0
Hearts sub, Juanma on for Sow.
64′ | 3-0
Great ball in from Ainsworth wide on the right, finds Pearson at the front post but he gets too much on it, and shoots wide.
56′ | 3-0
Moult is booked as he and Ozturk go for a header. Not a lot in that.
52′ | 3-0
From the free-kick, Moult heads just over the bar. Decent chance!
51′ | 3-0
Buaben booked for handball on the edge of the box.
Both teams back out, Law and Pearson get the second 45 underway.
HT: Hearts 3 – 0 Motherwell #HMFCvMFC
41′ | 3-0
Buaben stings Ripley’s palms with a good strike from 25 yards.
37′ | 3-0
McManus booked for a robust challenge on Sow, about 20 yards out.
33′ | 3-0
Sow has the ball in the net again, but this time the linesman’s flag is up and offside is given.
31′ | 3-0
Paterson’s deep cross finds Buaben at the back post. He takes a touch but his curled shot goes well over the bar.
27′ | 3-0
Moult slides it wide to Johnson about 20 yards out but he loses his footing as he pulls the trigger and it sails well over.
21′ | 3-0
Goal – Reilly steps up and fires low beyond Ripley. Horrible start.
20′ | 2-0
Penalty to Hearts! Ripley booked in the process for hauling down Reilly.
15′ | 2-0
Goal – It’s 2-0 to Heart, Sow with a low shot beyond Ripley into the bottom corner.
11′ | 1-0
Goal – Rossi heads the ball goalwards and after some thought, linesman says it was over the line. 1-0 to Hearts.
4′ | 0-0
Djoum takes no chances and knocks Ainsworth’s cross out for a corner…..Set-piece is worked short but Hearts clear.
3′ | 0-0
Hearts work the ball to Paterson about 30 yards out. He shoots, but Ripley looks comfortable as it flies past his post.
Reilly and Sow get the game underway at a sold out Tynecastle. COYW!!!!
Out come the teams……..and out comes the snow.
Motherwell manager Mark McGhee:
“The forced shuffle was part of it. I didn’t really have any choice. We asked Josh Law to play in the middle of the park, and Pearo (Stephen Pearson) was asked to play almost as a sitting playmaker and he is not that but we had no choice so that possibly affected us.
“I was disappointed obviously, I think we were a pale imitation of what we have been. I don’t think we were at it anywhere, all over the park they were quicker to the ball, better in possession and obviously in finishing, everything about them was better than us.
“It wasn’t us at our best playing Hearts at their best, it was Hearts at their best playing us who were a poor imitation of what we were capable of. But Hearts were excellent.”
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson:
“I felt a wee bit for Mark as he lost Lasley to suspension and Grimshaw, one of their best players this season, got sent back so they had a void that they had to try to fill and we managed to expose it a wee bit.
“Coming off the Aberdeen game, such a high-profile game, there was a worry that we wouldn’t start the same way as we left off last week. The players did. We started the first 10 or 15 minutes positive, getting in behind people and causing them problems and that won us the game.
“After 22 minutes we were 3-0 up but you are always worried if they get a goal. I heard Mark saying that if they can get a goal then it gives them something to chase in the second-half but we managed to be the ones who scored in the second-half and it was a convincing win.”