Rangers slipped up as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Motherwell on Sunday but it did little good to Celtic, who remain 21 points adrift of their rivals having also stumbled against Livingston the day before.
Here, PA highlights five things we learned from the latest round of Scottish Premiership action.
1. Itten Well pleased with latest Gers goal
Rangers hitman Cedric Itten must wish he could play Motherwell every week. The big Swiss striker grabbed his first goals for the Ibrox club at Fir Park back in September and netted another against the Steelmen last month. Now he has made it four goals in three outings against the Lanarkshire outfit as he climbed off the bench to rescue a point for the league leaders.
2. Alexander’s side make an important point
New Motherwell boss Graham Alexander has kicked off his Fir Park reign with two 1-1 draws and while it may not be getting the Lanarkshire faithful overly excited, they could yet prove to be vital come the last day of the season. Saturday’s stalemate with Rangers has moved Motherwell off the bottom of the table on goal difference but Alexander will have fresh frustration after seeing Itten net from a marginally offside position, having seen referee Bobby Madden deny him a debut win against St Mirren last week with a ridiculous penalty award in Paisley.
3. No happy ending for Celtic after calamitous week
It has been the week from hell for Celtic. Boss Neil Lennon, assistant John Kennedy and 13 first-team players had to self-isolate as close contacts of injured Christopher Jullien who was confirmed to have contracted Covid-19 after returning from a controversial training camp in Dubai, for which chief executive Peter Lawwell admitted was “a mistake” in his apology to Celtic fans. First-team coach Gavin Strachan was in the technical area for the 1-1 home draw against Hibernian last Monday night and again for the visit of in-form Livingston on Saturday where an equally uninspiring goalless draw dented title hopes further.
4. Alex Gogic can hit a shot
The Cypriot midfielder has played a major role in Hibernian’s improved defensive play this season and was not brought to Easter Road for his goalscoring – he only netted two in more than three years at Hamilton. But his tremendous strike in a 2-0 win over Kilmarnock, his first goal for Hibs, showed everyone he could hit a ball sweetly. Head coach Jack Ross joked: “I would like to say that I’ve seen him do that in training regularly, but I don’t. He quite often gets chased out of the finishing drills when he tries to get involved.”
5. Ross County are on the up
A 4-1 win over Aberdeen got County off the bottom. The recently-appointed John Hughes has now led them to two victories in their last four games, more league wins than they had managed since the first week in August. Hughes appears to be getting the best out of attacking players such as Oli Shaw, Charlie Lakin and Jermaine Hylton, while Ross Stewart could be back from injury next weekend.
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