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Morelos gets marching orders as Celtic pull clear – what we learned this weekend

Hibernian v Rangers – cinch Premiership – Easter Road
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

There were plenty of talking points in the fourth weekend of cinch Premiership action with 12 goals, six red cards, several late strikes and two controversial penalties.

Celtic moved two points clear after nine-man Rangers were by pegged back by Hibernian midfielder Josh Campbell’s stoppage-time equaliser and there were wins for Motherwell, Ross County, St Mirren and Aberdeen.

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

Celtic’s twin threats are firing

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Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis did not score in the same game until May 7 last season, and did so twice in the final three games of the campaign. They have now both hit the net in Celtic’s last two matches with each striker scoring in a 2-0 win over Hearts on Sunday.

Greece international Giakoumakis shows no signs of frustration over his current role as substitute and defences who cope with Furuhashi’s pace and movement for about an hour then have to deal with a more physical and equally prolific danger.

Hibernian are late-drama specialists

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If all of Hibs’ four league matches so far ended exactly on the 90-minute mark, they would have just one point to their name. Instead, after scoring three result-altering stoppage-time goals, they have accumulated five points.

The exhilarating effect of a late winner at St Johnstone combined with last-gasp equalisers at home to bitter rivals Hearts and Rangers has helped generate some positivity amid what remains a period of early-season transition under recently-installed boss Lee Johnson.

More dismay for dismal Dundee United

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United’s season went from bad to worse when they were beaten 3-0 at home by St Mirren, who had further chances. United have now lost 15 goals in four consecutive defeats and host Celtic next Sunday.

With one point from their opening four league games, Jack Ross has come in and presided over United’s worst start to a season since 2003, when they lost their opening four games against Hibernian, Celtic, Hearts and Rangers.

Aberdeen can win away

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Leighton Clarkson’s brilliant free-kick against St Johnstone was enough to earn the Dons their first three points of the road in 2022.

Their previous away victory also came in Perth on December 11 and they only collected four points from 11 away games in between.

Alfredo Morelos is becoming a problem for another manager

Alfredo Morelos

Alfredo Morelos after being sent off (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Colombian striker received the eighth red card of his Rangers career after landing a simultaneous kick on the shin and arm in the face of Marijan Cabraja.

Morelos tested Steven Gerrard’s patience to the limit at times with ill-discipline and a delayed return for pre-season training last year but seemed to have benefited from the arrival of Giovanni van Bronckhorst until suffering a thigh injury in March.

The former HJK Helsinki striker has found Antonio Colak in his place and did not even get off the bench in the Champions League play-off first leg against PSV Eindhoven.

With a two-match ban coming up, Morelos will miss out on the chance to boost his match fitness and likely watch Colak further establish himself as Rangers’ main striker.

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