SPFL round-up: Celtic slip up in Edinburgh as Rangers demolish Dons to close the gap
Devante Cole's strike against St Johnstone moves Motherwell clear of Aberdeen in third place. Photo by GettyImages/NurPhoto

Honours even at Easter Road as controversy reigns

Celtic’s perfect record ended in Edinburgh as they were held 1-1 by Hibs. The home side opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Christian's Doidge's cross was turned into his own goal by Kristoffer Ajer. Ryan Christie struck a controversial equaliser for the champions on 24 minutes. With play stopped after a challenge on James Forrest, Hibs' players were clearly expecting the ball to be returned to them. Celtic, however, took possession and Moritz Bauer crossed for Christie to head home. Paul Heckingbottom was sent to the stands protesting the decision to let the goal stand. Celtic had two strong penalties claims denied in the second half but failed to find the breakthrough, leaving the door open for Rangers to close the gap at the top.

Rangers crank up pressure on McInnes

Rangers crushed Aberdeen 5-0 at Ibrox to pile pressure on Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. James Tavernier opened to the scoring on 20 minutes with a penalty, before former Aberdeen loanee Greg Stewart tapped in five minutes before the break. Alfredo Morelos found himself all alone in the box on 50 minutes to make it 3-0, while Tavernier added a second penalty 20 minutes later. Jermaine Defoe finished from inside to box on 80 minutes to give Rangers a thoroughly deserved 5-0 win. While Aberdeen will point to their woefully long injury list, the Pittodrie side showed little imagination or fight throughout. Rangers, meanwhile, move to within a point of Celtic and will be setting their sights on a title push.

Accies steal it late against Livi

Hamilton came from behind to beat Livingston 2-1 at New Douglas Park. The visitors went in front on the quarter-hour through Alan Lithgow’s back-post header, but Accies rallied to go in level at the break when Alex Gogic’s long throw was met by Steve Davies, whose header was diverted in by Blair Alston. The visitors looked the more likely to win it in the second half, but Hamilton snatched all three points when Ross Stewart fouled Marios Ogkmpoe in the box with six minutes remaining, and Ross Cunningham fired home the penalty. The win moves Accies up to eighth in the league with eight points, level on points with Livi who sit in sixth on goal difference. 

Steelmen surge into third with Perth win

Motherwell moved up the table with a 1-0 win away to St Johnstone. The Lanarkshire side finished the match with 10 men, but move into third three points above Aberdeen, while winless Saints stay rooted to the bottom. Devante Cole made up for an incredible close-range miss towards the end of the first period by converting moments later on 41 minutes. The Perth side spurned a golden chance to equalise in the second half when Mark Gillespie saved Scott Tanser’s weak penalty, and not even Liam Donnelly’s late dismissal could prevent the points going Well’s way. With Stevie May yet to start firing - and in fact, missing a golden chance today - it is currently hard to see Saints moving off the foot of the SPFL

A point apiece in goalless Paisley clash 

St Mirren and Hearts fought out a 0-0 draw in Paisley. Tony Andreu thought he had scored for the Buddies in the first half, only to see his effort ruled out for offside. The visitors picked up injuries to Craig Halkett and Loic Damour, but if anything had the better of the match. Steven MacLean had a golden chance late on but was unable to direct Uche Ikpeazu’s cross on target. While Hearts will perhaps be the happier of the two sides following their excellent week, St Mirren will at least be glad to end their losing streak. 

Penalty miss and post deny Killie


Kilmarnock and Ross County took a point each from a goalless encounter at Rugby Park. Osman Sow spurned the best chance of the match when his poor penalty was comfortably saved by Ross Laidlaw in the County goal. Rory McKenzie also hit the post for the home side in the first half, but neither side was able to make the breakthrough. While Killie will be frustrated after undoubtedly having the better chances, a point moves them up to seventh in the table, a mere four points behind fourth place. County, meanwhile, will be delighted to both leave with a draw and to stay well in with the chasing pack on 11 points. 

Results

Hibernian 1-1 Celtic 

Hamilton 2-1 Livingston

Kilmarnock 0-0 Ross County

Rangers 5-0 Aberdeen

St Johnstone 0-1 Motherwell

St Mirren 0-0 Hearts 

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