Three burning issues as Rangers clinch Scottish Cup with Hampden win over Hearts

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Rangers' Ryan Jack celebrates with James Tavernier after scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park
Rangers' Ryan Jack celebrates with James Tavernier after scoring their side's first goal of the game during the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park

RANGERS put their Europa League heartache behind them at Hampden and ended the campaign in style with a Scottish Cup success.

Extra time goals from Ryan Jack and Scott Wright were enough for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side as Rangers lifted the silverware for the first time since 2009.

It represents a first major trophy for Van Bronckhorst and ensured he ended his debut campaign in charge on a high note after the disappointing Premiership and European finales.

CHARACTER SHINES THROUGH FOR RANGERS

The mental and physical exertions of Wednesday evening must have taken a huge toll on Rangers. You wouldn’t have known it here.

This victory may have come late but it was thoroughly deserved and Van Bronckhorst can be proud of the effort of his players as they once again went the distance in this remarkable season.

Chance after chance was spurned during regulation time but the thunderous strike from Jack and neat finish from Wright were just rewards for their character and their quality at Hampden.

It was a heroic effort from a side that have been through the ringer this season but have shown that they will, time after time, keep coming back for more and the spirit within the group cannot be questioned.

It remains to be seen how many are still at Ibrox next term. This was a fitting way for many to bow out, though, as Rangers had a reason to celebrate at the end of a difficult week.

BASSEY CATCHES THE EYE AT HAMPDEN

The rise and rise of Calvin Bassey has been one of the success stories of the season for Rangers and the defender ended his campaign with another positive personal performance.

Bassey earned huge acclaim for his showing in Seville at centre-back. Here, he replaced Borna Barisic at left-back and looked just as comfortable.

Strong in the tackle and quick across the ground, he has become a formidable force in the Rangers defence and he was a stand-out once again as he rose to the cup occasion.

A low shot at the end of a driving run was the closest he came to scoring but a handful of teasing crosses from the flanks should have been rewarded with an assist.

Securing the 22-year-old on a new long-term contract is now a priority for Rangers and Bassey can certainly hold his head up high at the end of his second Ibrox campaign.

COLLUM AT THE CENTRE OF THE CONTROVERSY. AGAIN.

Cup finals are moments where big players come to the fore, when heroes are crowned and villains are castigated. The referee should be an irrelevance.

Step forward Willie Collum. The man in the middle who just can’t help himself become the centre of attention.

This was a truly baffling afternoon from Collum. Given his track record, it really shouldn’t have been a surprise to see him produce such an abject showing.

Failing to award Bassey a free-kick when wiped out by Andy Halliday was top of the list of misdemeanours. Closely followed by the moment he failed to spot Joe Aribo’s shirt being pulled by Nat Atkinson before the midfielder’s shot was saved by Craig Gordon.

Add in the usual array of picky calls and general inconsistency and it amounted to a haphazard day at the office. Or Saturday as Collum calls it.

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