Motherwell’s 6-0 roasting at Tynecastle on Saturday was a nightmare for ’Well as the pedestrian visitors were steamrollered by a much slicker, stronger and more clinical side.
The hosts went ahead after 12 minutes when Billy King’s corner from the left was headed home by Igor Rossi. Motherwell’s Josh Law headed the ball clear from near the goal-line but standside linesman Brian Templeton raised his flag to signal a goal.
Motherwell wasted a chance to equalise when the returning Lionel Ainsworth shot straight at Neil Alexander after a great move involving Scott McDonald and Louis Moult.
They paid for that miss when Osman Sow shot home from 20 yards at the other end after a Prince Buaben pass.
It was almost 3-0 straight away when ’Well’s Stevie Hammell – playing in an unfamiliar right back role – was short with a backpass and Sow’s shot was blocked by the legs of keeper Connor Ripley.
But the third goal was only delayed until the 21st minute when Ripley was booked for bringing down Gavin Reilly in the box and the Hearts striker picked himself up to shoot home from the penalty spot.
’Well’s Marvin Johnson shot wildly over a Moult pass five minutes later, before Hearts fans gave the ’Well winger a hostile reception when he went to ground after apparently being elbowed in the face by Callum Paterson.
Sow had a fourth ‘goal’ diallowed for offside before Motherwell’s Stephen McManus was booked for a foul on the same player.
’Well started the second half much better, with Moult heading an Ainsworth free-kick over before the striker was booked for elbowing Hearts’ Alim Ozturk.
Stephen Pearson flicked the ball wide after a great 64th minute cross by Ainsworth, before McDonald somehow missed the target from close range after brilliant work on the right by Johnson.
And ’Well substitute Wes Fletcher also failed to score after dispossessing Miguel Pallardo, when his shot was stopped by Alexander.
After Law had been booked for a foul, Hearts killed off any lingering hopes of a comeback when the outstanding Paterson shot home with the away defence static.
Hammell’s 80th minute free-kick was headed straight at Alexander by Ben Hall before Hammell was yellow carded for a foul on Dario Zanatta.
Hearts scored two further goals late on via a Juanma shot and a stoppage time Djoum penalty after a foul by ’Well sub David Clarkson on the same player.