Scottish Premiership Review: Champions stunned at Livingston as Rangers move top
Rangers currently sit top of the Scottish Premiership under Gerrard's guidance (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Scottish Premiership Review: Champions stunned at Livingston as Rangers move top

A key weekend in the race to either confirm or deny 10 in a row took a Sunday afternoon twist as Celtic were beaten by a determined Livingston, leaving Gerrard's Rangers to cruise to the summit heading into the International break.

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Barry Spence

Scotland's European Qualifying group campaign may be run but there is a lot of life left in the top domestic league if the opening few matches are anything to go by.

It was at the Tony Macaroni Arena where Celtic came unstuck in the early Sunday kick-off.

This season’s standout performer Ryan Christie saw red midway through the opening 45 minutes for a high challenge and from that point on it felt like the Champions were always going to struggle against the hardworking Lothian outfit.

Second-half goals from Scott Robinson and Lyndon Dykes secured the victory, the latter was a particularly exquisite finish with Dykes calmly lobbing the ball over the on-loan Fraser Forster to kill the game.

Gary Holt, who led his Lions to history with their first-ever win over the 'treble treble' winners was delighted with the outcome and the performance of his players. Speaking after the game he said “Those records are there to be broken and defeating Celtic is another tick in the box. I’m over the moon.

“I asked them before the game to go toe to toe with their opposite number, look them in the eye and let them know they were going to be in a battle today, all the time asking them if they wanted it.”

Celtic manager Neil Lennon stressed Livingston posed a "dangerous" threat before this game and he was proven correct. There is now a two-week break for the Northern Irishman to rally his troops to regain a title they feel is theirs.  

The result from Livingston presented Rangers with an early-season opportunity to send a message and they didn’t disappoint.

Former England international Jermain Defoe netted a hat-trick in a dominant 5-0 victory. It now means Rangers have won their last three league outings by an aggregate score of 14-0.

The Blues’ other goals on the day were scored by defender Conor Goldson and the ever-improving Borna Barisic.

The full-time whistle at Ibrox signalled another three points that saw them move above their City rivals and confirmed their seventh win in eight matches this league campaign, their only defeat came to Celtic a few weeks ago.

Gerrard, however, wasn’t interested in any talk of titles post-match: "We have still got to improve. We have still got to grow, it's October and there's no point worrying about where we stand in the league or getting carried away."

Chasing Well keeping up the pace

High-flying Motherwell moved into third place making them the best of the rest contender at this stage.

James Scott's edge of the area strike and Christopher Long's cooly-taken finish clinched a win that also opens up a four-point gap over Aberdeen after a fifth win in six games.

The hosts were denied several times by the impressive St Mirren goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky as Kyle Magennis went close for Saints in what was a small bright note for the travelling fans.

Manager Stephen Robinson is sure to be on many a radar for a bigger job should one become available for his continued good work at Fir Park.

After the game he was full of praise stating "I was really happy with the first half. That was as good as we've played this season. We should have been out of sight. Second-half, it was just scrappy. There was a 20-minute spell where we needed a wee bit more game management."

St Mirren remain in 11th and occupy that forever familiar play-off spot.

Nine-man Aberdeen rescue a point

Derek McInnes has his Dons side sitting 4th in the Scottish Premiership but this game was selected for planned protest from the clubs supporters, with many believing that the former midfielder has taken the club as far as he can during his time in the hot seat.

The home gaffer would have been mightily relieved to see talisman Sam Cosgrove net a late equaliser against a Hibernian side with their own early-season troubles.

Ryan Porteous has fired the away side into the lead shortly after the break with Aberdeen striker Curtis Main seeing a straight red just moments after.

With time running out and Paul Heckingbottom looking to take a vital win back to the capital Cosgrove rose to head home a Niall McGinn cross.

There was still time for another home man to be sent for an early bath, Lewis Ferguson this time the guilty party.

Elsewhere Kilmarnock continued their mini-resurgence under Angelo Alessio, a 1-0 victory away at the continuously struggling Heart of Midlothian.

Veteran Chris Burke’s header was the difference between the sides as Killie move into the top six, Hearts remain down in ninth with only the comfort of seeing Hibs sit below them to keep them cheerful.

Finally to the clash in the Highlands as newly promoted Ross County entertained St. Johnstone. The game finished up in a 2-2 stalemate with a point proving of more worth to the Staggies than their visitors.

In a game that could have gone either way with each taking their turn to lead in the match, it ended as many would have predicted.

Goals from Joe Chalmers and Ben Spittal for County and Stevie May and Matty Kennedy for the travelling Perth side.

Full Results

Aberdeen 1-1 Hibernian

Hearts 0-1 Kilmarnock

Motherwell 2-0 St Mirren

Ross County 2-2 St Johnstone

Livingston 2-0 Celtic

Rangers 5-0 Hamilton

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