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5 things we learned from the weekend in Scottish football

Hearts v Celtic – Scottish Cup – Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Celtic created more history but saw their deficit at the top of the Scottish Premiership further increase on another dramatic weekend in Scottish football.

The Hoops clinched another trophy after beating Hearts 4-3 on penalties after a 3-3 draw in last season’s delayed William Hill Scottish Cup final.

But they had fallen 16 points behind leaders Rangers, albeit with three games in hand, 24 hours earlier and sit level on points with Aberdeen ahead of the festive schedule.

Here are five things we learned from the weekend action.

Celtic are quadruple treble winners

Neil Lennon’s side set a new benchmark with their fourth consecutive clean sweep as they became the first team to win the Scottish Cup four years running. Their run of 12 successive trophies is unlikely to be beaten in the foreseeable future.

The Hoops’ defensive fragility remains

The Hampden clash was the sixth time in two months that Celtic have conceded three or more goals in a game. Celtic were two ahead and coasting at half-time but Shane Duffy again had a torrid afternoon as Celtic shipped three goals from crosses into the box. Goalkeeper Conor Hazard saved two penalties in the shoot-out but his poor efforts to deal with two set-pieces played a major role in the game going that far.

Hearts should bounce back first time

Robbie Neilson’s side recovered from a quiet first half to give Celtic real problems and showed strong spirit to fight back twice. With the experience and quality at their disposal, the performance showed they should have more than enough to clinch promotion at the first time of asking.

Rangers have character

Much was asked of the Gers squad’s temperament after their latest cup exit and Motherwell posed more questions after taking an early lead at Ibrox and frustrating their hosts with two banks of five players. Steven Gerrard’s side eventually found the answers to win 3-1 and go 16 points clear.

Stuart Kettlewell fronts up to anything

Kettlewell broke the news of his sacking to the media himself moments after being relieved of his duties in the aftermath of a 2-0 home defeat by Hamilton, which left County four points adrift at the foot of the table. With the news still raw, Kettlewell further underlined his class by saying: “I understand football and there is no ill-feeling from me towards the football club or the chairman.”