International

Celtic keep six-point lead as Rangers win thriller

2019-02-07 07:57
Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard (Gallo Images)

Glasgow - Celtic maintained their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 2-0 win over Hibernian, while Rangers kept in touch despite having two-goal star Alfredo Morelos sent off in their fractious 4-2 victory at Aberdeen on Wednesday.

Brendan Rodgers' side are six points clear of Glasgow rivals Rangers as the champions showcased their strength in depth at Parkhead.

Rodgers had a host of players unavailable, mostly through injuries, but they were still too strong for the visitors and led at the interval by midfielder Ryan Christie's 24th-minute drive.

Striker Oliver Burke, on loan from West Brom, doubled the home side's lead in the 64th minute with a deflected shot.

Celtic have won all six matches since the turn of the year without conceding a goal.

"It was a very good controlled performance. We scored a very good first goal," Rodgers said.

"We could have been cleaner in our passes in the first half but the control was a lot better in the second half. A very good three points for us."

At Pittodrie, Morelos saw red against Aberdeen for the third time this season but not before firing the double that effectively sealed the points for Steven Gerrard's Rangers.

The Colombian striker gave yet another demonstration of his undoubted talents as he extended his tally for the season to 23 goals with two clinical finishes.

But having been sent off on both previous Premiership encounters with Aberdeen, he let his temper get the better of him once again after getting embroiled in a confrontation with Scott McKenna that saw both men dismissed for kicking out at each other just after half-time.

Morelos' earlier indiscretions had proved costly, but this time captain James Tavernier tucked home the Gers' fifth penalty award in two games before a Jermain Defoe strike in stoppage time sealed a precious win.

Derek McInnes had enjoyed the upper hand on Gerrard in their three previous meetings, with two wins and an opening-day draw.

But while Sam Cosgrove also struck twice Aberdeen fall five points behind Gerrard's men.

"I think for Alfredo to go to the next level or to improve he will have to channel his aggression," Gerrard said.

I'm doing everything in my power to help the kid grow as a footballer and as a person."

Kilmarnock were unable to take full advantage of Aberdeen losing as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Dundee.

Andrew Nelson netted for the hosts either side of Conor McAleny's equaliser for Killie, who levelled things up again through Chris Burke's 54th-minute effort.

Kenny Miller had the chance to win it for Dundee deep into stoppage time but he saw his penalty saved by Daniel Bachmann.

Hearts drew 0-0 with Livingston, Motherwell won 2-1 at St Mirren and Hamilton defeated St Johnstone 2-1.

 

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