Steven Naismith maintained Rangers' perfect start to their defence of the Scottish Premier League title as his last-gasp goal clinched a 2-1 win against Hearts.
Walter Smith's side, who had won their first six domestic matches this season, were heading for defeat when Rudi Skacel put the hosts ahead in the first half at Tynecastle. Skacel was making his first Hearts start following his move back to Edinburgh after four years away, but he was denied a winning return when Kyle Lafferty netted ten minutes from full time and then Naismith popped up to bag a dramatic stoppage-time winner for the champions.
Rangers are now three points in front of Celtic ahead of their Glasgow rivals' home game against Hamilton. Smith made two changes from the midweek UEFA Champions League victory over Bursaspor as Nikica Jelavic and Vladimir Weiss were restored to the team. Jelavic was quickly into the action as his shot was blocked by goalkeeper Marian Kello. The rebound fell to Steven Davis but he was denied when Ismael Bouzid cleared his shot from the edge of the area off the line.
That narrow escape sparked Hearts into life and Jim Jefferies' side took a surprise lead in the 12th minute. Kevin Kyle flicked into the path of Skacel and a mix-up between Madjid Bougherra and goalkeeper Allan McGregor allowed the Czech midfielder enough space to bundle the ball into the net.
Referee Craig Thompson frustrated Rangers when he turned down their penalty appeals after Kenny Miller was sent crashing to the turf in the Hearts box. Smith's side went close to an equaliser when Sasa Papac's cross was touched on to Jelavic but the Croatian's overhead kick was pushed over by Kello.
Hearts nearly doubled their advantage after the restart when Calum Elliot shrugged off David Weir and tried his luck with a shot that flashed just past a post. Lafferty was sent on for Jelavic with 15 minutes to go and the Northern Ireland striker had an immediate impact.
In the 80th minute, Darren Barr was booked for fouling Naismith and Lafferty stepped up to smash home the free-kick. Hearts should have restored their lead moments later when Kyle met a cross from Craig Thomson, only to squander a great chance by nodding over from six yards.
But it was Naismith, the match-winner against Bursaspor, who made the decisive contribution again when he embarked on a solo run before sending a left-foot shot past Kello in stoppage time.