Rangers 1-1 Hearts
League leaders Rangers were denied three points by a late Hearts equaliser at Ibrox as Craig Halkett’s header maintained his side’s unbeaten start.
— Heart of Midlothian FC (@JamTarts) October 16, 2021
The champions find themselves top of the league, but they continue to struggle to replicate the form of last season when they strolled to a title.
However, they looked to be well on their way to victory in a dominant first half.
Rangers peppered Craig Gordon’s goal with a series of efforts; Scott Wright’s effort was saved but the best chance was spurned by Alfredo Morelos whose angled shot went past the far post.
Rangers finally made the breakthrough five minutes before half-time, John Lundstram’s excellent curled shot was too powerful for Craig Gordon to seemingly send the Govan side on their way.
Rangers continued to create chances in the second half, Alfredo Morelos’s miserable afternoon continued as he wasted more chances include an open goal from barely six yards.
Hearts came into the game with Liam Boyce causing problems.
Gary Mackay-Steven came close and former Rangers midfielder Barrie McKay’s brilliant solo run should have been rewarded with a goal but Allan McGregor produced a typically strong save.
Into the closing stages and McGregor was again called upon to deny substitute Arnand Gnanduillet but it was the veteran goalkeeper who was at fault for the equaliser.
Mackay-Steven’s 90th minute corner was misjudged by McGregor, allowing Hearts defender Halkett to nod home at the back post to make it 1-1 and secure a potentially crucial point.
Motherwell 0-2 Celtic
Celtic narrowed the gap behind Rangers to four points after a largely comfortable 2-0 victory away to Motherwell.
The Lanarkshire side started the better, nearly taking advantage of visiting goalkeeper Joe Hart’s risk taking, and flashing crosses across Celtic’s goal but were unable to convert these to attempts on goal.
Celtic’s first real sight of goal came in the 17th minute; Tom Rogic played an excellent pass in behind the Motherwell defence and Jota raced in to take advantage of some questionable positioning by goalkeeper Liam Kelly to make it 1-0.
Celtic controlled the rest of the game as their opponents failed to register a shot on target.
It was largely much of the same in the second half. Ex-Motherwell midfielder David Turnbull made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute with a spectacular strike into the top corner from outside the box to effectively seal the win for Celtic.
Motherwell did not seriously threaten as Kevin Van Veen missed a half-chance, but the home side were unfortunate not to get a penalty when a clear handball by Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli went unpunished by the officials.
Hibernian 0-3 Dundee United
Dundee United were clinical as they eased past Hibs in the Capital to make it five without defeat. Nicky Clark’s smart curled shot a minute before half-time had the visitors on their way.
Ryan Edwards added a second seven minutes after the restart before Kieran Freeman wrapped up an impressive win with little over a quarter of an hour to go.
Dundee 2-1 Aberdeen
Dundee picked up their first league win of the season as Aberdeen continue to find themselves in trouble.
In the 49th minute, Leigh Griffiths scored his first goal since re-joining the club to put Dundee 1-0 ahead and Luke McCowan doubled the lead thirteen minutes later.
Within five minutes Aberdeen got themselves back into it through Christian Ramirez but the Dens club held on for the win.
Ross County 2-3 St Mirren
St Mirren secured a third victory in a row with a great away win at Ross County. Goals by Eamonn Brophy and Marcus Fraser had the visitors 2-0 up until Blair Spittal’s 37th minute free-kick got the Dingwall side back in the game.
However, a terrible County defensive error let Scott Tanser in a minute later. Alex Iacovitti’s 66th minute goal made it 3-2 but St Mirren survived to take home the points.
St Johnstone 0-3 Livingston
Livingston won only their second game of the season with an impressive performance in Perth against St Johnstone.
FT – St Johnstone 0-3 Livingston.
An emphatic win for the Lions thanks to goals from Bailey, Anderson and Pittman in our first away win of the season.
— Livingston FC (@LiviFCOfficial) October 16, 2021
Livi had their hosts to thank as Saints’ horrendous defensive mishaps gifted goals to Bruce Anderson in the 29th minute and Scott Pittman in the 66th minute to add to Odin Bailey’s third minute strike for the 3-0 win.
How it stands
Rangers remain top despite yet another questionable performance with Hearts hot on their heels a point and a place behind.
👀 A look at the #cinchSPFL league after all the weekend action!
Who impressed you this weekend? pic.twitter.com/LaRjCWtM42
— SPFL (@spfl) October 18, 2021
Dundee United are up to third place, a point ahead of Celtic. Hibs fall to fifth and Motherwell sixth, both pursued by St Mirren who lead the bottom six.
St Johnstone’s start-stop season has them in eighth and Aberdeen’s woeful form sees them stay ninth.
Livingston and Dundee have found some breathing space away from bottom club Ross County, who still still seek their first league win this season.