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5 things we learned from the weekend’s cinch Premiership action

Celtic v Dundee United – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Celtic slipped further behind in the cinch Premiership title race after a 1-1 draw with Dundee United, while the top four all won.

Rangers, Hearts, Hibernian and Motherwell consolidated their places in the upper reaches of the table, while St Mirren recorded their first victory.

Here are five things we learned from the weekend’s action.

Celtic need some players back

Celtic players

Celtic players applauded the fans that stayed behind to thank them for their efforts (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Hoops’ struggles on the road arrived at Parkhead as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Dundee United. With eight players already missing, they saw Josip Juranovic and James McCarthy go off injured. McCarthy had struggled before his knock, with Callum McGregor’s absence keenly felt. They are also in dire need of another option up front. Albian Ajeti not only lacked a presence up top, he also blazed well over from three yards in what is likely to be the miss of the season.

Motherwell can grind it out

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Graham Alexander’s side have had the minority of possession in all seven of their league games this season but have only lost once and sit two points off the top. Ross County enjoyed the bulk of the ball and the chances at Fir Park but a brilliant long-range strike by Callum Slattery and a classy diagonal ball from Ricki Lamie and emphatic finish from Tony Watt saw Well win 2-1 and stay fourth at the end of the weekend.

Dundee’s goal drought goes on

Dundee players

The Dundee strikers drew another blank (Jane Barlow/PA)

James McPake’s side looked set to end their barren spell when they were awarded a penalty against Rangers, but Jason Cummings hit a weak effort straight down the middle and Jon McLaughlin saved with his foot. They had other chances but their goal threat took another blow when Leigh Griffiths went off injured. Dundee have now gone five matches without a goal for the first time since 2012, in a season which ended with relegation from the top flight.

Stephen Glass needs a win

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The Aberdeen manager’s honeymoon period is well and truly over and a 3-2 defeat by St Mirren left his team without victory in eight matches. The Dons were ahead before Teddy Jenks was sent off but the strong early-season optimism of the Dons fans has now disappeared. They are now on their longest run without victory since an 11-match spell during Mark McGhee’s first season in charge in 2010. The Gothenburg Great did not see out the year as manager, getting sacked after a separate six-match losing streak.

The capital challenge continues

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Hearts and Hibernian remain the only unbeaten teams in the league after both won to maintain their places in the top three. The Jambos comfortably swept aside a jaded Livingston 3-0 while Hibs needed a controversial penalty to see off St Johnstone, but welcomed their first victory over the Perth side in six matches nonetheless.