Heart of Midlothian 0-2 Rangers
Two goals in a clinical first thirteen minutes saw Rangers take all three points from the Capital.
Hearts were looking to preserve their unbeaten home record this season against a Rangers side high in confidence at the top of the league. Robbie Neilson’s men started brightly, Liam Boyce forcing Allan McGregor into an excellent early save. However, the home side were vulnerable defensively and Rangers capitalised, scoring twice in four minutes. Alfredo Morelos made it 1-0 after finishing off Sakala’s build up play, before Joe Aribo latched onto Connor Goldson’s long ball to double the lead.
Hearts created chances in the second half, Rangers’ defender Calvin Bassey deflecting Ginnelly’s cross onto his own bar and Stephen Kingsley’s spectacular free-kick also hitting the woodwork. Hearts’ hopes of a comeback were all but extinguished when Josh Ginnelly received a second yellow card, needlessly squaring up to Borna Barisic. A day to forget for Hearts.
Celtic 1-0 Motherwell
Celtic came out on top in a hard-fought encounter.
Tom Rogic’s finish from a Celtic set-piece deep into first half stoppage-time proved to be the winner, after Rogic had an earlier effort blocked by Bevis Mugabi. James Forrest had Celtic’s first opportunity, but it was well saved by Liam Kelly. Celtic did not have it all their own way, Callum Slattery hit the bar, whilst Joe Hart needed to be at his best to prevent Sean Goss’s deflected shot and Tony Watts’ follow up from putting the Lanarkshire side ahead. Three minutes into time added on, Celtic took advantage in a lapse of Motherwell concentration, David Turnbull teeing up Tom Rogic to blast home from thirteen yards – the visitors unhappy with the award of the free-kick.
There was plenty Celtic pressure after the break, but few clear-cut chances. Motherwell made things nervy at the end for Celtic, but the Glasgow side keep up the pressure on their city rivals at the top.
Ross County 3-2 Dundee
County claim vital win in Dingwall.
After Luke McCowan had put Dundee 1-0 in front with a well-executed finish, the home side were level less than 10 minutes later as Dominic Samuel eventually bundled home a rebound. Dundee, having missed a chance to go two up before County’s equaliser, regained the lead after 37 minutes, Luke McCowan again with the finish, after a well worked move down the left wing.
McCowan nearly had his hat-trick in the second half, latching onto a wayward Jack Baldwin pass in the Ross County defence, but Ashley Maynard Brewer saved well. After 64 minutes, it was level again, Legzdins making a mess of catching Reagan Charles-Cook’s corner, which was knocked into his own net by the helpless Danny Mullen. Mullen hit the post for Dundee and County’s Harry Clarke had an attempt cleared off the line before Reagan Charles-Cook scored the winner; Dundee failing to clear their lines and Charles-Cook was at the back post, his shot squirming under the hand of Legzdins.
St Mirren 1-1 Hibernian
St Mirren’s late equaliser denies Hibs the victory in their first game since the departure of manager Jack Ross.
The visitors finally did take the lead, seven minutes after the restart. Jamie Murphy again involved, his powerful run providing the opportunity for Martin Boyle to fire across goal, and Josh Campbell was ready to pass the ball into the net. It was a lead Hibs held until the 87th minute, Scott Tanser’s cross expertly finished by defender Joe Shaughnessy.
St Johnstone 0-1 Aberdeen
Aberdeen’s controversial late winner enough to win the points, as St Johnstone’s slump continues.
Shaun Rooney tested Joe Lewis from thirty yards as the Perth Saints tried to exert more influence on the game. Chris Kane hit the post for Saints and Marley Watkins’ weak finish was a let off for the hosts, but the controversial winner arrived after 83 minutes as Teddy Jenks fired a shot low into the corner after the ball clearly hit his arm. Christian Ramirez almost added a spectacular second goal, but his long-range strike hit the side netting.
Dundee United 0-1 Livingston
Dundee United make it three defeats in a row, three games without a goal, and one win in eight games after falling to a second half Livingston penalty. Substitute Andrew Shinnie was fouled in the box after Dundee United had played themselves into trouble at the back, Jeando Fuchs conceding both possession and the penalty, awarded despite substantial Dundee United complaints. Livingston defender Ayo Obileye stepped up to convert the penalty after sixty-six minutes, to continue Livi’s recent rise up the table.
The Big Picture: A look at the table
Rangers remain four points clear of second placed Celtic, but the gap to Hearts in third has opened up to eight points. Dundee United, with one win in eight, and Motherwell remain in fourth and fifth respectively after their defeats, Aberdeen are a point behind in sixth. Hibs remain in seventh, with one win in ten league games. Livingston’s back-to-back wins has them in eighth place as they leapfrog ninth placed St Mirren. Dundee are in 10th, but Ross County have finally moved off the bottom of the table on goal difference as St Johnstone’s controversial defeat leaves them in 12th.
— SPFL (@spfl) December 12, 2021