Rangers 4-2 Ross County
Rangers again came from behind to defeat bottom-side Ross County on Sunday, in what turned out to be a comfortable win.
Ross County survived some early pressure before Joseph Hungbo gave the visitors a shock lead after six minutes, remaining onside to meet Reagan Charles-Cook’s pass to slot the ball under Allan McGregor.
The league leaders continued to pressurise Ashley Maynard-Brewers’ goal and the equaliser came in the 19th minute; Joe Aribo heading across the County ‘keeper and into the net. Eleven minutes later the returning Ryan Kent put the home side 2-1 in front with a spectacular dipping effort from distance.
Four minutes into the second half, Rangers increased their control of the game; Juninho Bacuna finishing well from just outside the box to make it 3-1. The Champions dominated County and the match was in danger of becoming a rout when Alex Iacovitti turned James Tavernier’s cross into his own net for Rangers’ fourth of the game with still half-an-hour remaining. However, it would be Ross County’s Jordan White who would conclude the scoring, finishing well to add an extra consolation to the score line in the 86th minute.
Dundee 2-4 Celtic
A double each for Jota and Kyogo secured Celtic’s comfortable win away to Dundee.
Celtic were in front after eight minutes; Anthony Ralston’s long-range shot hitting the post before Jota eventually fired into the net. Eleven minutes later, Kyogo made it 2-0 with a header after further involvement from Anthony Ralston. Dundee threatened to give Celtic an uncomfortable afternoon when Danny Mullen pulled a goal back within four minutes.
However, the game was effectively over within five minutes of the restart. Jota again scoring before turning provider as Kyogo made it 4-1. Lee Ashcroft pulled one back in the 67th minute but there was to be no further comeback from the home side.
Heart of Midlothian 5-2 Dundee United
The Edinburgh side recorded an impressive win in an eagerly anticipated clash between two of the league’s in-form teams.
In an exciting game with chances at both ends, it was Hearts who took control of the game in three first-half minutes. Ben Woodward’s angled shot squeezed under United ‘keeper Benjamin Siegrist with twenty-two minutes played, and Alex Cochrane doubled the lead with a powerful strike inside the penalty box. Dundee United got themselves back into the game as Ryan Edward’s thirty-five-yard shot was deflected into Craig Gordon’s net.
Five minutes into the second half Ben Woodward finished excellently, side footing the ball high into the corner of the United goal. However, with just under half an hour remaining, Nicky Clark found himself alone in the Hearts’ box to reduce the deficit to one goal, smartly heading beyond the Hearts ‘keeper. Hearts continued to press forward, and Stephen Kingsley appeared at the back post to head his side 4-2 home after Alex Cochrane’s set-piece delivery. This time there was no Dundee United reply and substitute Aaron McEneff took advantage of United conceding possession cheaply to lift the ball over Siegrist and round off an excellent day’s work.
Aberdeen 0-2 Motherwell
Motherwell were clinical in halting Aberdeen’s recent revival as two Kevin Van Veen goals took the points back to Lanarkshire.
Aberdeen had enjoyed home wins over Hibs and Hearts in recent weeks but paid the price for failing to turn chances into goals in the first half; Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly standing firm to all that was thrown at him.
After offering little by way of a threat in the first half, Motherwell made a flying start to the second; Kevin Van Veen given too much space to steer home a Sean Goss cross. Seven minutes later it was 2-0. A Sean Goss free-kick was headed across goal by Ricki Lamie as the Aberdeen defence once again lost the Dutch striker, who converted from close range. Aberdeen tried to find a way back into the game, but an excellent Liam Kelly double save after a dangerous free-kick helped the visitors along to a win and clean sheet.
St Johnstone 0-0 St Mirren
The away side had the better chances to win the stalemate in Perth, which saw the hosts finish with ten men after Chris Kane was shown two yellow cards. St Johnstone struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities, whilst St Mirren’s Curtis Main may feel he could have done better with a header inside the box as the game ended goalless.
Livingston v Hibernian
Hibs were again unable to field a team due to Covid cases in the squad and Saturday’s game was postponed.
What it means…
Rangers remain top – four points clear of rivals Celtic. Hearts move clear in third after their win over Dundee United. Motherwell sit in fifth having closed the gap to United to three points. Hibs are sixth with two games in hand after their recent postponements; level on points with Hibs are Aberdeen and St Mirren. A point further back in ninth is St Johnstone; Livingston remain 10th having not played and 11th placed Dundee remain four points ahead of bottom of the table Ross County.
A Look at the Scottish Championship
Kilmarnock remain top of the table despite losing 1-0 against Partick Thistle at home, thanks to a Zak Rudden goal. Thistle’s winner came in the third minute and looked to have a hint of offside about it. There was a curious pause to proceedings as a linesman could not continue after the break due to an injury and there was a search for a replacement official. The game continued after a twenty-minute delay, with the visitors holding on for the win.
The chasing pack in the play-off places all missed the chance to take full advantage of Killie’s defeat: Inverness Caledonian Thistle drawing 2-2 at Ayr United; Arbroath’s visit to Hamiton Academical tied at 1-1; Raith Rovers’ game away to Queen of the South also finishing 1-1. Just three points now separate the top four clubs.
Greenock Morton piled the misery onto bottom side Dunfermline Athletic – the visitors winning 3-1. Athletic are now four points adrift and without a league win.