5 things we learned from Scottish football this weekend
Champions-elect Celtic took another step closer to the title as they beat Kilmarnock 1-0 on Saturday.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the things we learned from the weekend’s Ladbrokes Premiership action:
1. Some things are written in the stars
It was an emotional day at Celtic Park on Saturday, following the death of Billy McNeill, the man who captained the side that won the European Cup in 1967 and who later went on to manage the club. Interim Hoops’ boss Neil Lennon, along with skipper Scott Brown laid a wreath at McNeill’s statue outside the stadium before the game and there was a 67 seconds round of applause before kick-off. Celtic had numerous and mostly inaccurate efforts on goal until defender Jozo Simunovic – wearing the number five so closely associated with McNeill – headed in a Callum McGregor cross with 67 minutes showing on the clock for a 1-0 win to take the home side another step closer to the title.
2. Second prize proof of progress but Steven Gerrard wants more
The Ibrox boss was lured north last summer in the hope he could restore the club back to their former position of power. Sunday’s 2-0 win over Aberdeen ends the Dons’ four-year claim on being the country’s second best team but finishing as runners-up to Celtic will satisfy nobody at Ibrox and Gerrard knows his team must put up a better fight next term.
3. Paul Heckingbottom loses temper
The Yorkshireman has had little to rile him during his first few months in charge at Hibernian and stretched his unbeaten run to 10 Ladbrokes Premiership games with a 1-1 draw against Hearts. But the former Barnsley and Leeds manager had to be restrained when approaching fourth official Gavin Duncan during the first half and later claimed the official had sworn at him, adding: “I’d have knocked his teeth out if it was anywhere else.”
4. Goalscoring is not Dundee’s only problem
After scoring just once in seven matches, Dundee hit three at Fir Park and still lost to 10-man Motherwell. A ninth consecutive defeat leaves them seven points adrift with three games left and staring down the barrel of relegation. The bulk of their fans had lost belief even before the game with only 302 travelling to Lanarkshire and next Saturday’s home game against Hamilton could see their fate sealed.
5. Danny Mullen strike could be crucial for St Mirren’s fight for survival
The Buddies’ appeared to be heading for a damaging defeat at home to St Johnstone when frontman Mullen produced a moment of magic, volleying into the top corner to hand Oran Kearney’s team a vital point. They now have a seven-point lead over Dundee in the automatic relegation slot but crucially keep pace with Hamilton two points ahead. With three games to go and Accies still due to visit Paisley it may yet be a result they come to savour.