Rangers 1-0 Dundee United
The league leaders needed a penalty to see off a depleted Dundee United; the visitors hit by a Covid outbreak.
It was a subdued first half, Dundee United testing through Nicky Clark and Chris Mochrie – one of four teenagers in the starting 11 – whilst Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos dragged one effort wide before Trevor Carson in the United goal tipped a header over the bar.
Rangers started to create better chances in the second period, Alfredo Morelos again off-target and Trevor Carson produced an excellent save from close range to deny Scott Wright. The breakthrough arrived in the 71st minute from the penalty-spot, James Tavernier converting after his cross had been blocked by Scott McMann’s raised arm.
Alfredo Morelos had a goal ruled out as Rangers searched to put the game beyond Dundee United and Joe Aribo had a shot deflected wide. Dundee United almost earned a point in injury-time as Darren Watson’s header came back off the Rangers bar.
Dundee 0-1 Heart of Midlothian
Jamie Walker scored the only goal of the game 15 minutes from time to maintain Hearts’ position in third place.
Dundee went closest to scoring in the first half through Paul McGowan, before Ben Woodburn’s attempt for the visitors was too high.
Taylor Moore, Jamie Walker and Cammy Devlin all threatened for Hearts, and Walker did have the ball in the net, but after the referee had blown for a Hearts free kick. It was the Edinburgh side’s first attempt on target that proved decisive. Aaron McEneff’s shot was deflected onto the post and Walker was the first to react to finish from a tight angle. Dundee pursued an equaliser as the fog fell on Den’s Park, but neither Paul McGowan nor Danny Mullen could convert their chances.
Livingston 1-1 Ross County
Goals at the end of each half ensured the points were shared in Livingston, as Ross County the visitors were looking to move out of the relegation play-off place.
Ross County took the lead in first half injury time – David Cancola’s 25-yard shot going into the top corner despite Max Stryjek getting his hand to it.
Ross Callaghan nearly doubled County’s lead, but his shot hit the woodwork. Livi defender Ayo Obileye passed up a golden chance of an equaliser before his 89th minute header levelled the tie. Jason Holt nearly won the game for Livingston in injury-time, but the crossbar saved Livingston on this occasion.
Motherwell 2-0 St Johnstone
Dean Cornelius put the home side in front after 17 minutes with a well-placed shot from the edge of the box. Stephen O’Donnell had a shot deflected wide, while Liam Craig fizzed a powerful effort wide of the post.
The Lanarkshire side were 2-0 up after 55 minutes – Kevin van Veen finishing off a twisting and turning run to seal the points. St Johnstone failed to create any real chances as they find themselves adrift at the bottom.
What it all means: The big picture
There were only four games this week due to Celtic and Hibernian being in League Cup Final action. Rangers took advantage of the opportunity and move seven points clear at the top; Celtic remain eight points clear in second. Hearts maintain their position in third, Motherwell, Dundee United and Aberdeen make up the rest of the top six.
There is no change in the bottom six places: Hibs remain seventh; Livingston three points back in eighth – extending their lead over St Mirren to two points. Dundee remain 10th, Ross County are one point behind, but now one ahead of 12th St Johnstone.