SPL Weekend Wrap Up

by Martin Campbell

Celtic extended their lead at the top of the league to eight points with an easy 3-0 win over rivals Rangers at Celtic Park.

Two first half goals from Gary Hooper and a second half strike for Kris Commons put a lacklustre Rangers to the sword.

Rangers looked like they were suffering the effects of Thursday’s match against Sporting Lisbon and, although the first ten minutes were even and pretty scrappy, Celtic soon asserted themselves particularly in midfield with Brown, Commons and Kayal impressing. The high pressing game from Celtic gave little time for Rangers players to settle and it was no surprise when Celtic opened the scoring after 17 minutes

Hooper, lurking at the edge of the box took a cross from Commons in his stride before strolling past Davie Weir and firing through the legs of the onrushing McGregor.

It got worse for Rangers when Celtic and Hooper scored a second. A great run down the left from the impressive Emilio Izaguirre, culminated in the Honduran firing in a great cross that the onrushing Hooper dispatched past McGregor from 6 yards or so.

Rangers offered little going forward the whole game with Jelavic, an isolated figure upfront on his own, devoid of service. They were put out of their misery with 20 minutes to go when Commons gathered the ball on the edge of the box, checked onto his right foot and fired past, or rather through McGregor from the edge of the box.

Elsewhere Dundee Utd lost 2-1 to in form Hearts at Tynecastle. United started well enough and took the lead after only 6 minutes through Barry Douglas’ first goal for the Terrors. Hearts hit back though and Rudi Skacel netted a scrappy equaliser from close in on the stroke of half time. A scrappy second half came to life with only three minutes remaining as Zaliukas scored what proved to be the winner, bulleting home a header from a corner to put Hearts 2-1 up.

United blew a great chance to grab a point when David Goodwillie missed a penalty in injury time, awarded after a Palazuelos foul on Robertson. The Hearts player was sent off for his sins.

Aberdeen got back on the victory trail with a 5-0 victory against Kilmarnock at Pittodrie. With the on loan Robert Milson returning to the midfield and Sone Aluko back on the wing after injury The Dons look a markedly better side. After a couple of Eremenko freekicks early on which threatened to give Killie the lead, the home side stepped on the gas with Scott Vernon and Aluko scoring in the first half.

A second half penalty from Chris Maguire was followed by a Rory McArdle header from close range. John Magennis’ first league goal completed the scoring. After a shocking first half to the season Aberdeen are now only 10 points of fourth place with a game in hand.

Hamilton look increasingly doomed at the bottom of the league after defeat in the Lanarkshire derby to Motherwell at Fir Park. John Sutton scored the only goal of the game from the penalty sport after he was downed in the box by Martin Canning.

Motherwell were the better team throughout and Accies keeper Cerny pulled of a number of saves to keep the score down. Accies best chance fell to McAlister who headed over when he should have scored.

Hamilton remain 5 points behind second bottom St Mirren who went down 1-0 at home to Hibernian. A scrappy game devoid of much creativity was settled with a backpost header from Francis Dickoh. The win marked Hibs third win on the bounce.

Inverness recorded a deserved 2-0 victory at home against St Johnstone, their first win in 12 games. Ross Tokely headed home a corner from Aaron Doran with 28 minutes on the clock to give Caley the lead. Russell Duncan settled the match midway through the second half, firing home from close range.

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