Uche Ikpeazu once again ruffled a few feathers at the weekend during a 1-1 draw against Rangers as the Hearts man showed the best version of himself.
The striker ran the Rangers backline ragged at the weekend as the Jambos claimed a very decent point against the Ibrox side.
Ikpeazu’s performance was a big part of this.
Ikpeazu Hearts performance must be continued following draw
Nikola Katic isn’t a small figure, standing at way over six foot tall, but Ikpeazu made him look very small at Tynecastle.
The game was played direct and at high intensity in some parts, perfectly suited to Ikpeazu’s game. Up against Katic and sometimes Connor Goldson, the striker was able to provide a focal point for the Jambos attack.
Ikpeazu is the Hearts man for the big occasion. Two goals in Edinburgh derby, The opener in a Scottish Cup semi-final and four efforts against top six Premiership sides prove this.
Again, whilst he didn’t score, Ikpeazu inspired his teammates to rise to the occasion. Every loose ball was contested, every header was fought for and his hold up play was excellent again.
He didn’t give the Rangers backline room to breathe and was instrumental to the high press Craig Levein was trying to implement, throwing himself into challenges whenever he could.
Questions remains over Ikpeazu’s goalscoring ability given that he’s scored 10 goals in 38 appearances, but what you can’t take away from him is overall impact on a game. When the forward is on it, he’s hard to stop.
This has to continue now. Performances like this are all for nothing if you can’t deliver against teams that you’re expected to beat. With Livingston, St Johnstone and St Mirren up next in the league, this style has to be implemented by Ikpeazu again and again.
With goals to his game Ikpeazu will become one of Scotland’s feared strikers. It’s important that his Rangers display is followed up by impressive performances in winnable Hearts matches over the next few weeks.