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5 things we learned from the Scottish Premiership this weekend

Rangers v Ross County – Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Rangers returned to the Scottish Premiership summit after victory over Ross County, but Celtic are only a point behind having played a game less after their win at St Johnstone.

Here, the PA news agency look at five things we learned from the weekend’s top-flight action.

Tavernier is spot on again for Rangers

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Ibrox skipper James Tavernier was taken off penalties by Steven Gerrard last season after a string of missed efforts but, since reassuming spot-kick responsibility against Willem II last month, the full-back can not stop scoring from 12 yards. He has now converted four in four games after he followed up a double against Motherwell last week with the opener in the Light Blues’ 2-0 win over Ross County.

Griffiths is back

Celtic manger Neil Lennon (right) congratulates Leigh Griffiths after his goal rescued victory for the Hoops

Celtic manger Neil Lennon (right) congratulates Leigh Griffiths after his goal rescued victory for the Hoops (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Neil Lennon was not happy with the condition in which Leigh Griffiths returned from the close season break. His mood was not helped when the striker then picked up a calf injury, but, back to fitness, he showed why he is worth persevering with at McDiarmid Park. The Scotland international had not played since March but was one of five substitutions made by Lennon as Celtic struggled. In the final minute, just when it looked like Saints would take a point, Griffiths headed in a cross from Hatem Elhamed, with fellow substitute Patryk Klimala adding a second in added time.

Livingston can win on grass

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Alan Forrest’s late goal earned Livi a 2-1 win at Tannadice and their first victory on grass since beating Ross County in August 2019. Their only other Premiership away win last season came on Hamilton’s artificial surface.

Killie face a sweat

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The SPFL launched an investigation after having no choice but to agree to Kilmarnock’s request to postpone their clash with Motherwell. Killie’s entire squad were instructed to self-isolate after six players tested positive for Covid-19 and their remaining youth-team players could not play because they had not been tested. League chief executive Neil Doncaster confirmed Killie could be deducted points if the probe and any resulting disciplinary hearing shows they failed to follow protocols. The prospect of similar postponements is the last thing the league needs amid a packed fixture list and the potential for more stoppages.

Joe Newell plays too much golf for Jack Ross’s liking

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The Hibernian midfielder went off with a shoulder injury during their 3-2 win over Hamilton, but head coach Ross was able to find a silver lining. “Joe’s arm is in a sling at the moment but there’s no dislocation, so I think he’s maybe just got some muscular damage around the shoulder,” he said. “We have two weeks until the next league game so hopefully that will give it enough time to settle. It should also keep him off the golf course in the meantime, which is a plus.”