SPFL Round-Up: Celtic and Rangers continue winning start
Neil Lennon's Celtic continued their perfect start to the season with a 3-1 win over Hearts. Photo by Mark Runnacles/GettyImages

SPFL Round-Up: Celtic and Rangers continue winning start

Celtic and Rangers are pulling ominously clear of the pack already, while Livingston continue their unbeaten start. 

gdav334
Graham Davidson

Champions continue perfect start

Celtic went into this game looking to build on their impressive midweek display against AIK and continue their 100% winning start to the SPFL season.

Hearts are finding it difficult in the SPFL this season, only being able to pick up one point from three games. Celtic continued their 100% start to the SPFL season in this impressive 3-1 win against Hearts who are now rooted to the bottom of the table.

Hearts were well-drilled and resilient until captain Christophe Berra got the last touch on a pristine Ryan Christie cross which put it into his own net to make it 1-0 Celtic. Callum McGregor made it 2-0 with a wonder-strike from just outside the box 10 minutes after the restart. Debut starter Vakoun Issouf Bayo made it 3-0 with a tap in from a low cross by Kristoffer Ajer.

Finally, Hearts got a consolation goal in the 80th minute, Conor Washington scoring from a rebounded penalty after Scott Brown fouled Sean Clare. Celtic remain atop of the SPFL, but Hearts have plenty of work to do, despite showing plenty of heart.

Rangers keep the pace with win in Paisley

Borna Barisic’s first goal for Rangers set his side up for a big week ahead, as they picked up all three points against St Mirren in Paisley.

An organised St Mirren side set out to make life difficult for Steven Gerrard’s men but almost allowed them an early lead when Jermaine Defoe, in scoring form, shot wide. The home side took heart as they shut the Gers out and almost took the lead when Jonathan Obika directed a ball that touched the post.

In the second half, Croatian Barisic curled in a free-kick to make the breakthrough. St Mirren will feel disappointed with the defeat, but it means the Ibrox side maintain their 100% record ahead of their Europa League clash with Legia Warsaw on Thursday and going into the Glasgow derby on Sunday.

Lions roar in the Highlands

Livingston produced an explosive opening period in Dingwall to record their first league win of the season.

Despite being tipped by many for relegation, Livi moved on to five points from three games after strikes from Jon Guthrie, Steven Lawless and Lyndon Dykes gave them an unassailable lead over Ross County before the half-hour. Although Ross Stewart pulled one back for the hosts just before the break, on-loan Sheffield Wednesday winger Jack Stobbs marked his debut with the best goal of the match to give Livingston a 4-1 away win.

Despite this being their first league win so far, Livi has not lost in eight competitive matches this term, scoring 18 goals in the process. 

Stalemate at Rugby Park

Kilmarnock and Aberdeen claimed a point each in a largely lifeless 0-0 draw.

Killie had the best opening, with Chris Burke rounding Joe Lewis but inexplicably missing the target, while Aberdeen’s closest effort came from a Lewis Ferguson free-kick. Both sides lost players to injury, with Kirk Broadfoot and more importantly for Scotland Scott McKenna both going off in the first half.

Angelo Alessio was the happier of the two managers, telling BBC Sport “I saw a good performance”, while Derek McInnes lamented that the result was “not a good point for us”. 

Steelmen take the points in Lanarkshire derby

Motherwell defeated 10-man Hamilton to claim their first win of the season, with much of the action coming in an incredible eight-minute first-half spell.

Peter Hartley gave the visitors the lead on 16 minutes before Accies had Jamie Hamilton sent off for handball on the line soon after. Liam Donnelly converted the subsequent penalty before Ross Cunningham then halved the deficit from the spot on 24 minutes.

An early second-half strike from Christopher Long restored Motherwell’s two-goal cushion, allowing Stephen Robinson’s side to comfortably see out the game to take the derby honours. 

Honours even in the Capital 

A controversial injury-time goal gave St Johnstone a deserved share of the points at Easter Road.

Hibs took the league through Adam Jackson after 25 minutes, before Michael O’Halloran deservedly brought Saints level on the hour. Parity lasted for a mere 60 seconds, however, as Florian Kamberi resorted the lead almost straight from the re-start. The hosts held the lead until Jason Kerr’s 94th-minute strike, described by Paul Heckingbottom as “clearly offside”.

Tommy Wright was clearly the happier of the two managers afterwards, telling BBC Sport that "A point was the least we deserved, in fact, there's no question we should have got all three points."

Results

Saturday 24th August

Hamilton 1-3 Motherwell

Hibernian 2-2 St Johnstone

Kilmarnock 0-0 Aberdeen

Ross County1-4 Livingston

Sunday 25th August

Celtic 3-1 Hearts 

St Mirren 0-1 Rangers

VAVEL Logo