SPL Wrap: Motherwell boost European hopes

Motherwell all but secured a UEFA Europa League qualifying berth with victory in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.

Third-placed Motherwell ended a three-game winless run by edging St Johnstone 2-1 at home.

Stephen McManus headed home the deciding goal before half-time to send Stuart McCall's side six points clear of fourth-placed Dundee United, who could only draw 1-1 at Inverness Caledonian Thistle due to a superb performance from home goalkeeper Dean Brill.

Motherwell only require one point from their final two outings to secure European football.

Champions Celtic ran out 5-2 winners against second-placed Aberdeen, who are now just a point above Motherwell.

Celtic have long since secured a third successive title, but required victory on Saturday to maintain their chances of breaking the 100-point barrier.

Neil Lennon's men ultimately triumphed at a canter, with Scott Brown and Kris Commons each grabbing two goals.

Gregg Wylde's 79th-minute thunderbolt earned St. Mirren a 1-0 win over Ross County, heightening the latter's relegation fears.

County are just a point above Kilmarnock, who visit Hearts on Sunday and currently occupy the relegation play-off place.

Hibernian and Partick Thistle each moved a point above Ross County following an entertaining 1-1 draw.

Kris Doolan's tap-in gave Partick an early lead, but Hibs avoided a seventh successive defeat - despite losing Michael Nelson to a red card - courtesy of Sam Stanton's late header.


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