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5 things we learned from this weekend’s Ladbrokes Premiership matches

Celtic and Rangers continue to set the pace in the Ladbrokes Premiership, with the Hoops ahead of their rivals on goal difference.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at five things we learned from the weekend’s action.

1. Numbers adding up for Ryan Kent

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The Rangers winger is under pressure to justify the £7million it cost Steven Gerrard to lure him back to Ibrox from Liverpool. There were times last year when he was the Light Blues’ most influential player but he did not always back that up with hard figures. His opening campaign saw him score just six goals, which does not fully explain his importance to the team. But with form and fitness starting to recover after a hamstring injury derailed his reintroduction to Gerrard’s team, he has now re-opened his Gers goals account with two strikes – the first a thing of beauty – during Sunday’s 3-1 win over Hamilton.

2. Celtic continue racking up the wins after only defeat

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Celtic resumed domestic duties after the international break with a commanding 4-0 win over Livingston at Parkhead. The Hoops had lost in West Lothian last month but there was no danger of another shock on Saturday. Neil Lennon’s side have won eight successive games in all competitions since their only domestic defeat of the season and are in terrific form ahead of their Europa League match against Rennes on Thursday night.

3. Jack Ross offers fresh hope for Hibs

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It has been a bleak campaign so far for the Easter Road faithful, with former boss Paul Heckingbottom paying with his job for a woeful run that saw them win just once in their opening 11 league games. But it is now back-to-back wins after new manager Ross followed up caretaker Eddie May’s win over St Johnstone a fortnight ago with victory over Motherwell in his first game in charge. The 3-1 triumph moves Hibs back into the top six and fans will be optimistic they will be there to stay.

4. Austin MacPhee’s rant fails to fire up Hearts

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The interim Hearts boss let rip at pundit Allan Preston on Friday, claiming the former Hearts defender had told “lies” while dismissing him as a contender to replace Craig Levein during a discussion on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound show before this month’s 5-2 win over St Mirren. But MacPhee’s prospects of landing the Jambos job are not looking too healthy after his shambolic side sank 3-0 to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

5. Solid home foundations might just save St Mirren

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The Buddies climbed off the foot of the table after Sam Foley’s last-gasp strike secured a vital 2-1 win over Ross County. Jim Goodwin’s team had to fight back from a goal down with Sean McLoughlin’s equaliser after Brian Graham had put the Staggies ahead. Graham’s strike is only the second goal Saints have conceded at home this term in the league and if they can maintain that mean defensive record they might just do enough to beat the drop.