Rangers came from behind to snatch a remarkable win over Hearts at Ibrox as Philippe Clement saw his side cut their deficit to Celtic in the Premiership title race.

Lawrence Shankland looked to have won it for Hearts with an early header. James Tavernier missed from 12 yards just before the break as Ibrox vented its fury once again.

But Tavernier made no mistake with his second spot-kick with just minutes to go before Danilo nodded home an injury-time winner. The mood around the ground was very different at the final whistle.

Premiership deficit cut at the first attempt

They say that it is the hope that kills you. For so much of a largely dreadful performance, it was the hope that was fading for Rangers.

But their title dreams are alive and kicking after this incredible victory saw Clement’s side move to within five points of Celtic. Time will tell just how important this win is.

Celtic’s stumble at Easter Road on Saturday opened the door for Rangers and this was, quite simply, a match that they could not fail to win. Somehow, they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

The fine header from Shankland, as he rose about Ridvan Yilmaz and beat Jack Butland, stunned Ibrox. The reaction thereafter was not what was expected or required but Rangers got there in the end as Tavernier scored from the spot and Danilo won it on what could prove to be a pivotal afternoon.

This is a squad that still have so much to prove in terms of their character and their quality. They are still hopeful challengers rather than potential champions and there are many more hurdles that must be overcome before the biggest test of them all at Parkhead in a couple of months.

But this was a huge win for Clement, make no mistake about that. As the whistle blew, the Belgian turned to the Main Stand and let out a visceral roar with a series of fist pumps. The title race is on.

The jeers turn to cheers at Ibrox

Clement would have been well aware of how furious the fans have been at times this season after watching previous Premiership encounters before and after his appointment. This was his first taste of it in person, though, as the support left his players in no doubt about what they thought of their efforts during a woeful 45 minutes.

It wasn’t quite as bad as the pitiful performance that was served up in Prague. But it was one that was always going to provoke an outcry from those who had rightly turned up expecting far better.

Clement spoke about the ‘synergy’ between the fans and the players last weekend. This was another rollercoaster of emotions in terms of that particular relationship.

The cacophony of boos and jeers that permeated the final weeks of Michael Beale’s reign were back with a vengeance at the break.

There had been sporadic outbursts of frustration throughout the opening half an hour, but the decibel level was raised when Kenneth Vargas fired just wide on the angle and Hearts came close to doubling their lead. After that, every misplaced pass was pounced upon as the pressure piled on a team who have still to prove that they can handle it.

Had Tavernier slotted home from the spot, the edge would have been taken off the reaction at the whistle. When his strike hit the woodwork, the outcome was obvious and a support that have been let down too often were right to make their feelings perfectly clear.

Ibrox finally found its voice in a positive manner when Tavernier scored with his second spot-kick and nine minutes of added time were signalled. Within seconds, the place erupted as Danilo headed home the winner.

The celebrations told their own story. Three points had been secured. Ibrox had perhaps been won over.

Danilo is the Rangers hero

Rangers were greeted with a roar of encouragement as they made their way back onto the field. The loudest reception was saved for the last man to emerge as Danilo entered the action.

The board from the fourth official read ‘999’ as Cyriel Dessers was replaced by the Brazilian. Clement had called for help and needed Danilo to deliver in a hugely significant second half.

Clement had revealed on Friday that Danilo was still some way off being able to play 90 minutes as he continues to work his way back up to speed following the serious facial injury he sustained against St Johnstone. After a couple of cameos against Hibernian and Sparta, this was a case of needs must as the man in the mask was asked to be the Rangers hero.

With Hearts camped in and defending deep, time and space was always going to be hard to come by for Danilo. A header just after the hour mark was his first real chance but Zander Clark was untroubled.

A neat ball from substitute Ross McCausland – on in place of Todd Cantwell in a switch that bemused the home crowd – found Danilo in the area. A poor touch denied him the chance to get a shot away.

His moment would come with just minutes to spare. A dinked cross from Tavernier found Danilo at the back post and a clinical header clinched the win in quite remarkable circumstances.

Dessers and Lammers targets once again

Dessers rightly paid the price for his first half efforts and had to watch the second period from the stands. Lammers was lucky that he wasn’t asked to seat alongside his fellow summer signing.

The pair have become the lighting rods for the support this season. With each week that goes on, it becomes even more difficult to understand just what Beale saw in them and why fees totalling around £8million were paid.

The debate amongst supporters is now over which of them is the worst player and the biggest waste of money. At some point, they have to reach the point of no return and this was another dreadful afternoon for two forwards that carry no threat at all.

Dessers offered nothing as the focal point of the attack. Lammers, meanwhile, was culpable time after time of allowing moves to break down as sloppy touches were taken and passes failed to find their intended target.

A wild effort that he ballooned high over the bar summed up his contribution to that stage and a miss from closer range shortly after the break provoked another outcry of unfriendly fire. He wasn’t exactly applauded and thanked for his endeavours when he was replaced by Ryan Jack with eight minutes remaining.

Both Lammers and Dessers have had enough time to settle and to show what they are all about. There are no excuses for their performance levels at this stage and Clement simply cannot persist with them when every outing is surely only further damaging confidence levels of two players who have come up to encapsulate the wastefulness of Beale’s recruitment drive.