SILENCING the home support after collecting the ball from the sky to score Rangers’ second goal, Joe Aribo’s finger to the lips spoke volumes.

The ground with a reputation for Old Firm downfalls, which the previous regime was a victim of, conquered by the 13-minute mark. Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s unfazed team selection affirmed his belief that three points would be achieved by winning the game, not the battle. Refusing to bow to the emotion of an occasion that still holds scar tissue for supporters.

Instead of playing with two sitting midfielders, he chose one – it seems maximising the attacking ability on-pitch superseded the need for greater protection. Even when the temptation to bring on a more defensive-minded player arose early in the second half, faith in the starting XI was shown.

There was no 'combative' midfield focused on containment. Or straying from the principles which have proved productive recently. Aribo was not shoehorned to play from the right but unleashed centrally. Both wingers picked for their offensive credentials. 

Fight was required, so too was a dose of luck once Aribo added to Alfredo Morelos’ opening goal. But it wasn’t what dictated the outcome. Standing with an air of vindicated aloofness after that opening period, the travelling manager had done it his way to great effect.

The home side were aggressors from kick-off. Josh Ginnelly clattered into Borna Barisic within seconds of the first whistle. Liam Boyce’s lobbed effort needed stopping, as did a succession of corners before the opener.

Either goal saw moves from back to front tear through the hosts. As in midweek, play circulated around the defence while quarterback Connor Goldson awaited the prime moment to play a damaging diagonal.

With Ryan Kent fulfilling the role of the receiver wide left, he fainted to turn Taylor Moore before hitting the byline and crossing – the entire move a simplification of his best assets. Fashion Sakala was equally hard to pin down on the right and danced beyond Stephen Kingsley before assisting the opener. Morelos pumped his chest with roars of emotion after striking the net.

READ MORE: Joe Aribo's Rangers liberation and the midfield simplicity that is blowing away Steven Gerrard era rigidity

A 2-1 win over Hearts in late 2019 had coincided with Morelos' peak year to this point in Scotland – in which his bulldozing, combative approach was the deciding factor in so many games. While more refined, and still featuring the odd midfield overload, yesterday gave further oxygen to the murmurs that he is en-route to finding his best self again.

The second goal didn’t require a similar involvement from Kent, he was however indirectly involved. Width in high areas, a principle inseparable from Van Bronckhorst’s early weeks at the helm, made a gap between Moore and John Souttar suffice for Aribo to exploit. The midfielder was quicker than Hearts’ No.4 and showed composure to beat Craig Gordon from an angle, having cushioned into his path another Goldson pass arrowed through defensive banks.

The direct approach employed by the league leaders dotted in between neat combination play, threatened to further expose the space Hearts’ vacated in hope of a route back. Allan McGregor was called upon before the break to maintain parity aswell. Emotion bubbled over at points, with Nick Walsh the target of great home iration. All throughout Van Bronckhorst remained uninvolved, focusing solely on the football.

Having lost the first half in moments, Robbie Neilson’s team had started to dominate but had no real route through. “It’s the most important thing today,” said Van Bronckhorst commenting on his team’s timely game management, which did require the crossbar’s intervention twice along with some more McGregor magic.

The leadership displayed by James Tavernier throughout this period was crucial. Defending his post admirably, even when the more forward-thinking Sakala was stationed ahead of him, he knew how important it was that his side continued to push momentum back towards Gordon.

“Should be early” he bellowed as his goalkeeper pondered playing the ball wide in a bid to eat up some more time.

Brief flurries of frustration seeped out of the largely collected Van Bronckhorst. He had to usher Sakala back into position and grew irate after Souttar was permitted a carry through the midfield one too many times.

His trust was rewarded with a growing control in the final stages. Ginnelly’s red card was all but the final whistle. By that point, the travelling manager was relaxed enough to enjoy Calvin Bassey’s adventure upfield in injury time. The defender, who has performed so admirably in the centre of defence, evidently missing his forays at full-back.

READ MORE: Detailed Rangers player ratings as Alfredo Morelos' bulldozing Tynecastle rewind steals limelight

Six unbeaten games in, and with three winnable home ties to come, the momentum garnered since a new dawn has been remarkable. It should not be forgotten that only three weeks ago Edinbrugh’s other side inflicted a devastating cup defeat at Hampden. Even the most optimistic of fans would have struggled to envision today’s picture back then.

The previous two trips to Tynecastle brought defeat. Against a side that was poor enough to be relegated but good enough to twice win the battle. Van Bronckhorst’s approach in the capital gave a far better Hearts’ side no such luxury yesterday. He did it his way.