by John Reid
Celtic stay top, contrasting fortunes for the Edinburgh clubs, and United take the derby spoils in this week’s round-up.
Celtic followed up their victory over Spartak Moscow with a comfortable 3-1 win at Kilmarnock, in one of their best domestic displays of the season. Brown, Ledley and Samaras with the goals, as Celtic showed no signs of the European ‘hangover’ which has dogged their domestic displays this season. Killie manager Kenny Shiels unsurprisingly did not play suspended Manu Pascali, even though he had threatened to.
Inverness stay three points behind after a comfortable 3-0 win over Hibs, with goals from Draper, Foran and the prolific Billy McKay. By contrast Hibs’s Edinburgh rivals Hearts had a morale boosting 2-0 win over Aberdeen, who are starting to slide down the table. Goals from Ryan Stevenson and Callum Paterson giving the Jambos the three points.
The most exciting game of the weekend probably came at Fir Park, as Motherwell edged Ross County by three goals to two, with the winner coming late on from Keith Lasley.
Performance of the weekend was by St. Johnstone, who played over twenty minutes with nine men yet were still able to get a point in a 1-1 draw with St. Mirren. This was the second time in recent years St. Mirren have failed to beat nine men, as they lost to Rangers 1-0 in the 2010 League Cup Final.
In the Dundee derby, United defeated Dundee 3-0 at Dens, but the game was hit by controversy over a penalty given for United and over one not given for Dundee. Nevertheless, United were well worthy of their win.
In the first division, joint leaders Partick Thistle had their trip to Cowdenbeath postponed, but Dunfermline were unable to take advantage as they went down 2-1 to Livingston. In the second division, only Arbroath’s game went ahead, and they warmed up for their cup replay against Celtic with a 2-2 draw against Stenhousemuir. In the third division, Rangers stayed top after a 2-0 win over Stirling Albion, David Templeton scoring on his return from injury.
Cup games dominate this midweek, with Motherwell against Aberdeen, the Highland derby and Celtic’s potential banana skin against Arbroath the most intriguing games.