01/04/2012 Sportscene


BBC Scotland's round-up of all the action from the weekend's Clydesdale Bank Premier League games.

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The SPL prizes have still to be handed out. Celtic are in touching


distance of the title burr European places have yet to be sorted and


the battle for survival goes on. All the latest action coming your


way in the next 45 minutes, including 22 goals and John Hartson


will have his say. We were both at Celtic Park today, but yesterday's


result at Fir Park meant the Celtic game couldn't quite be the title


clincher. Matthews was left out. In came Hooper, commons and Loovens.


St Johnstone were again without three injuries. Steve Lomas went


their first here. Stoke's, Commons. He would have loved that to go in.


Without a goal all season Chris Johnstone. Continued the good work.


Mannus is under pressure. It is off the line. Away by Frazer Wright who


was the man in the right place at the right time. Commons swept the


free-kick in. It was difficult to defend. There was Frazer Wright and


there he was again. Georgios title last weekend. They can't do


it today. St Johnstone are doing all they can to maintain their fine


form. They are currently fifth. trying to bend it past the keeper.


They quickly got the game back under way. That is moneys and that


is Mannus. -- Commons. He was dipping under the bar. Sam goes


down. McCracken made the challenge. Commons and Samaras again. Strong


play from the kpwreebg striker. He eventually does get the free-kick.


McCracken made this challenge initially. No penalty. But it is a


free-kick to Celtic. It is Commons who takes. Samaras with a header


and it is 1-0. It is his seventh goal of the season. And Georgios


Samaras breaks what was a stalemate at Celtic Park. The title is well


within their grasp. No penalty. Sandaza wants the spot kick. There


maybe a case. That may well have gone their way that time. St


Johnstone come again. It is Frazer Wright, the centre half, right on


the edge of the six yard box. Couldn't take advantage. That was


Lee Croft. There is a corner. Saints have refused to let their


hepdz go down, despite being denied a penalty-kick. They are still


coming at Celtic. -- heads go down. Craig. He was taken out late.


Celtic will play on. The referee is not interested in awarding the


free-kick. Celtic will continue. What a switch of play that was.


Samaras made himself available. 2- 0! Chris Millar turns past his own


keeper. And Celtic are two to the good. They go to Kilmarnock next


Saturday. They will need just a point from that to be crowned SPL


champions, they were feeling aggrieved they didn't get the free-


Johnstone's last chance of get back in to this game have gone over the


bar with the shot from Craig. So bar with the shot from Craig. So


Celtic almost there. But it was more than a football match today.


We were both there and tens of thousands of people had the chance


to say get well soon to Radek Stepanek -- Stilian Petrov. This


This was fantastic support. I am sure he would have been watching it


and felt touched. He was a great player, part of the family, played


alongside myself and Neil, and he was a great, you know, he is a


great player, great balance, fantastic engine, and more than


anything else, he is, you know he has handed me the Scottish Cup


there, and that was a great moment for him and myself. Just a


wonderful boy, you know, in general, he is much loved. He is suffering


from leukaemia, you had a chance to speak to him tonight, how is he?


Strangely enough he is quite up beat. He is one of those lads, he


wanted to take this head on, you know and attack the treatment, and


he is very strong, his fitness I am sure will help him. He knows, you


know, that he has so much support from all throughout football, not


just Celtic, and he will get messages of support and it will


help him. He needs a bit of lung, like you always do with any illness,


but he is up beat, and he's, you know, he's, as I said, he is going


to meet the treatment, I think he starts it tomorrow, and it's a big


few weeks for him. You obviously know exactly what he is about to go


through, having fought your own battle against cancer. Yes, a lot


of it is psychological. Ou have to Troy and get your head round what


is happening, and deal with it. As openly as you can, and you know,


your family is very important to you, his wife, his two children,


and you know, you do know there is a lot of support out there when you


battling a near death experience like I did, he knows he has his


support from fellow peer, and his family, which will be very very


important to him. It was a lovely moment today, get well Stilian


Petrov. Celtic had a couple of chance first half. It wasn't great.


Immediately after the interval St Johnstone has a couple of


opportunity, didn't they, which they were unable to take, and as


the visiting team these are the the visiting team these are the


ones you have to take. He gets across Loovens and again, Sandaza,


they were two big six foot centre forwards, they are not going to go


in behind you too often. They get hold of the ball and they take


pressure off, and you know, they pressure off, and you know, they


can play as well. They have good feet, and, they are had a couple of


opportunities but I thought over the 90 minutes I thought Celtic,


they had one off the line, you know, and I just felt over the 90 minutes


I thought they ran out worthy winner, they got on better, scoring


both goals in the second half. were relieved to get the opening


goal because it took a while and maybe their two best playerers


Chris Commons with the delivery and Georgios Samaras. Chris Commons has


a fantastic left foot. Georgios Samaras when he does that, he is


six foot four. When he jumps like that and he is as powerful as he is.


You wonder why he can't do that more often. You know, if he did and


he pulled off his man and attacks the ball, he is unplayable when he


can jump like that. Steve Lomas was raging after the match bg, today,


two decision, two big decision. He has every right to be raging this


is a penalty. You look at this Loovens here, doesn't get any of


the ball. That for me is anywhere else on the pitch that is a foul.


So tell tick get a break there. They get a big, big piece of lung


here, look. There. Takes the man out and that is a penalty, but that


is a bit lucky. Commons come ace cross and fouls Liam Craig. It is a


foul, the referee doesn't give it. They want Celtic to kick it out of


play but Liam Craig is back on his feet. Celtic decide to carry on,


play, Samaras, great ball in and it is an own goal unfortunately for


the defender, you see these, you can get away with that as a striker,


you can steal a couple of yards, you see that a lot. The defender


facing his own goal. That is is a foul, and... Just to rub in he


books Liam Craig, I don't know if he has spoke to him or swore at him


or whatever, I thought I thought St Johnstone and Stevie Lomas could


have felt aggrieved at one or two decisions, clutching at straws at


times but you never know, St Johnstone could is got a penalty,


Celtic in the second half got better. They looked stronger. They


All other irissues to deal with. I think he has handled it. At times


where he may look back and think I coiled have handled things


differently. But no, he is a good young manager, progressing,


learning all the time, and you know, he will look to bring in new faces


in the summer I am sure. One or two will go, one or two will come in,


and he will be learning all the time, as a young manager, you are


always learning. Rangers were looking to do some more party


prevention at Fir Park yesterday, having stopped Celtic in their


title tracks in last Sunday's Old Firm match. This is Rangers's


biggest game of the season. A magnificent goal. Celtic down to


ten. It was two feeted. Celtic are down to nine men. It is 2-0. Celtic


will win the title but the Old Firm bragging rights are with Rangers.


Motherwell were bidding to get back on level terms with Rangers in


second spot. They had Lasley back and Motherwell still very much in


contention, as Chris Humphrey goes the ideal start -- and it is in.


There was no stopping Chris Humphrey here. He had a few yards


on Perry and there was no chance but defender was catching him. And


Henrik Ojamaa had a simple task. McGregor came out to dry and


smothered the ball. A great start quickly. Whitaker got there, inches


deceived Randolph. That is a fine finish by Steven Whittaker. And a


quick fire equaliser for Rangers. Steven Whittaker bus shot wrong


foots the Motherwell keeper. -- Steven Whittaker's shop. It moves


in the air and Rangers back on level terms three minutes after


Tim Clancy reacting angrily to Steven Whittaker here. He could be


in trouble. Plan C seemed to throw his head into the chest of the


Whittaker are not amused by that. He certainly goes in with the boot


up a but Tim Clancy retaliate with a head into the chest. --


lovely passing move by the home taken down there? A yellow card


comes out, it is going to be poor can't believe it. Tim Clancy didn't


deal with it. He was definitely caught. Darren Randolph with his


boot on the shin guard. That is a poor decision by the referee, it


Terrific shot by Lasley. McGregor claiming he was impeded by the


position of Michael Higdon, who was McGregor. Higdon must have thought


he had put his side back in front. -- what a save. But he didn't take


into account the Rangers No. 1. What to stop that is. -- What a


McCulloch tucks it in the X back and surely Rangers have a winning


goal in the dying minutes. Lee McCulloch earns all three points.


There may have been an armour the back of Tim Clancy. Ian Bright had


a good view of it -- an arm in the back. And Lee McCulloch swept it


into the back of the net. Sheer joy into the back of the net. Sheer joy


for Rangers. The club under major pressure at


the moment because of what is happening off the pitch, but a


great couple of back-to-back wins, beating Celtic and Motherwell.


have had a good week. They lost their last away game to Dundee


United. Motherwell was there tough game for them, going for second


place as well, so to keep going and having a few decisions against them,


they kept going and battling away. From a range has point of view,


that is what they have got to do, they had to go to Motherwell and a


try and pick up three points and prolong the season. Makes Celtic


way to in terms of lifting the title. It is a formality, which


Celtic can do next weekend at Kilmarnock, but Rangers did all


they could do, they went and got the three points. Some interesting


the three points. Some interesting refereeing decisions. The Tim


Clancy head but, he was shown yellow for this, should it have


been read? -- red. He reacts to Whitaker, it is a moment of madness.


I have seen players sent off for a lot worse than this. He puts his


head into the chest and referees will send players off well. This


one, Sone Aluko goes through, so quick. The referee has got a great


view of it, he is in a fantastic position. And for some reason...


There was contact, it is proved. On the shin pad. And he actually books


are Sone Aluko for what he thinks is a guide, but there was contact.


So Rangers could feel aggrieved. That is made the reputation of Sone


Aluko going before him, because he was done earlier in the season by


the compliance officer for simulation and that is the referee


thinking it is him again. And it was a bit theatrical, but we are


talking about a decision that should have been a penalty, we


cannot blame the players. There is contact there, there is a kick from


the goalkeeper that has caught him on the shin, it was proven there


was contact and a penalty should have been given. The referee got a


few decisions wrong. Did you see anything wrong with the Rangers


winning goal from Lee McCulloch? Could do little nudge of Sone Aluko


been pulled up? -- Could the. not sure. What is a terrible is the


defending. You cannot let bad ball bounce. If it does, you want your


goalkeeper to deal with it. Yes, there is a little nudge, but the


referee would be brave to disallow referee would be brave to disallow


that goal. But Stuart McCall would be happy from the goalkeeper, the


centre-half. You cannot let from a throw-in, the ball bounce ideas


six-yard line. You have to clear it. But credit to Rangers, they kept


going, the desire was there to get three points and that is exactly


what they did. They deserved it, they went right to the end. Lee


McCulloch has had a good week, a new position as centre forward,


with his power in the air and he got his reward. A tall order for


relegation-threatened Dunfermline yesterday at Tannadice pitch face


Scottish football's form team, call Gary Mackay Stephen at Lionel


Jefferies' Dunfermline. It is all about staving off relegation.


Scoring goals as the problem and with Mrs like this, you can


understand why. -- a mess like this. Dundee United, the form team, on


the hunt for their 6th league win a row. Chris Smith denying them. Into


the second half and it is not every day you see a flying scissor kick


from Jon Daly. The United skipper opening the scoring at, his 16th


SPL goal of the season. Sensing blood, United burst forward again.


The effort this time from Jon Daly at had less spectacular. But after


from stout defending in the first half, Dunfermline looking less


assured. -- after some. By now, the United forward players were queuing


up to terrorise the Dunfermline defence. John Lee Russell's header


balloon high into the stands. As for the tangerine messy, and Gary


Mackay Stephen was trying out some new tricks. Bass line on message.


He showed some serious pace to burst through the fence before


cutting back for Scott Robertson to kill off the game -- through the


defence. Two-nil with 10 minutes to play. But three minutes after that,


John Lee Russell did this set-up work for Jon Daly. He struck home


his 17th goal of the season. He is top of the SPL scoring charts. It


truly is an Arab Spring, que Dundee United clinch that second Champions


League spot -- could? League spot -- could?


Nine games unbeaten and they are rendered really good form.


Certainly, skipper Jon Daly is on top form. That is 20 goals for the


season in all competitions now. This was a bit special, wasn't it?


It was. You don't see them often, technically it was a great goal. We


look at other goals he has scored, gets in front of his man against


Rangers. A great folly there. Another one, a bullet header, so he


has got an array of course. I have always liked him, he is strong, he


holds the ball up well. 17 goals, along with John Lee Russell and


along with John Lee Russell and Mackay Stephen, you look at that


list and I'm sure he is very happy that he is top of the list. You


look at the players, he has done well. 17 goals and counting.


last Dundee United player to be top scorer in the top flight was Andy


Gray in the 1970s, that tells a story. It is not often a non Old


Firm player who tops the charts. Firm player who tops the charts.


is not, and it is credit to United, they didn't start the season


particularly well, but they have cemented their place in the top six.


They have been on a great run. They have lost David Goodwillie and one


or two other players but replaced them with good players. When you


have a strike on 20 goals, you have had a good season. With Dunfermline


no better off after their trip to Tayside, Hibernian headed to the


Highlands today to boost their bid for SPL survival. Paul Mitchell has


way from Leigh Griffiths. -- get goalkeeper will not be happy that


the cross came in and evaded so many players, but he was there to


power. Graham Stack turns it over the top. Wonderful pass out wide,


opening goal. And he rattled the woodwork. What they passed through


from Johnny Hayes. Billy McKay steadied himself, beat the


goalkeeper but struck the post. Terry Butcher smiling from the


penalty. An hour gone and Hibernian have conceded a penalty, it is Paul


Hamlyn adjudged to have taken their Billy McKay. Terry Butcher


mentioned his side had not been score from the first time in the


penalty spot in the SPL since put Hibs further behind. It is a


great save. And then the overhead kick left much to be desired. This


was a great chance, deflected into the path of the Frenchman and


through he went but Graham Stack stood tall and went down at the


Paul Hamlyn has equalised. -- better header. It is his first goal


of the season and it is a timely one. He conceded the penalty and


now he secures the equaliser. Joy for Paul Hamlyn. This game really


O'Connor. 2-1 Hibs. They have come from behind and Garry O'Connor is


three out of three against Cally Thistle this season. Matt Doherty


overlapping well. O'Connor with a simple finish. Hibs have come from


behind to lead with 15 minutes to play. Hayes. He will try and get


the cross in. He sent it across, he scored! Uninten sunnal but not


inconsequential and Johnny Hayes his cross has yielded an equaliser


with seven minutes to play. He certainly didn't mean it, but he


has put his side back on level has put his side back on level


scores! Hibs retake the lead in Griffiths came in, O'Connor was


available, didn't need him. This could be a significant step to SPL


could be a significant step to SPL survival for Hibs. A timely win


that for Hibs, six points aHome Office done Ferrell Lynn, six games


to go. That was massive win. To go up to Inverness which is not easy


to get a win, Terry Butcher's teams they are normally big and strong


and they defend well, but some of the defending from Inverness was


schoolboy stuff. That gives Hibs six points now ahead of Dunfermline


and Dunfermline will have to put a good run together. Gary O'Connor


scored against inhaveness every time they played them. Do you hoe


you are going to score? Sometimes you get lucky against team, other


teams you can't scoe, but Gary Connor there, he pulls away, he


tucks this in very nicely. Makes good contact with it. This is Matt


Doherty on loan from Wolves. A good strong run. O'Connor does the right


thing. Pulls away. These are the two previous games against Cally


Thistle and he did it both team -- times. He shows great ability. He


can take free-kick, he is much travelled but he is in great shape,


you know, he looks after himself in terms of his physique. He has


played in Russia, down to Birmingham, so with strikers


sometimes you have to put an arm round them and show them you trust


them, and tell them how good they are and they will come back with


goals. I doesn't matter how much trouble they give you away from the


training ground or pitch, if they are scoring goals you sometimes


allow strikers to get away with other players. We have spent time


with Mr Butcher. He said he has a back four from hell today and they


were embarrassing to watch. It was, it was schoolboy stuff at times.


One of the goals there, players getting pushed off the ball. You


have to be stronger there and stand your ground, and, Terry was a


master at it. Sometimes as a defender you have to be clever. You


have to try and win foul, and you know, and he would have been


disappointed with some of the defending today. Oh I think he was!


A chance for Hearts the seal their place the top six. They were up


against an Aberdeen team that will finish in the bottom half of the


finish in the bottom half of the kick of the match. In it comes.


Hearts have the opening goal, before the half hour mark. Danny


grain je's corner kick nodded down by McGowan. The defence nowhere


near it. -- Grainger's. Hearts looking to cement this top six


place, a win would confirm that one. Even a draw. That would do the job.


This is Beattie. Aberdeen seem to switch off there, it came to


Beattie. It seemed an ternty to adjust himself and get the shot


away. No changes for either side at half-time. Rudi Skacel. He is going


for it. What a goal that is! Hearts second, comes in stunning fashion


but not for the first time from Rudi Skacel. Not quite in the top


corner. But he had enough power and accuracy to beat Jason Brown. Good


skill. Rudi Skacel. And somehow it stays out. It perhaps was the elbow


of Considine. Didn't know much about it. Anderson, for a second


debut for Aberdeen, the first game in January 1997, he is back after


that lengthy spell out. Five years in England. Hughs with a pree kick.


That is Vernon. He has got score. - - free-kick. That would have make


it -- made it an interesting finale if Vernon found the target as he


normally does from that kind of area. There is no flag against Gary


glen. -- Glen. Skacel is waiting in the middle. Driver. Still he has it.


Aberdeen have the opportunity to clear the lines now. It has not


been a good day at the office for then. That is 3-0. Another from the


magician and Hearts are 3-0 up. Skacel is so deadly ch and again


Hearts are putting Aberdeen to the Hearts are putting Aberdeen to the


sword in the capital. Rudi Skacel contract is up at the end of the


season. I hope that he stays on, because he is so good to watch.


is a different class, when he can do things like this, he has been a


talisman for Hearts. Most good things that Hearts do, he is really


evolved in them, -- involved in them. Look at this for technique.


He seems to go right foot, left foot. That is 35 yards, he is past


the keeper before he attempts to go for it. He has 13 goals this season.


Although he is not a striker he is the top scorer. His goals tend to


be special. Again that is great technique. Half-volley. Another one


outside the box with his left foot. He is predominantly left sided but


he can score... You don't need a right one if you can score like


that. He shoots across the ball. Himself and bait Beattie would be a


handful for a lot of teams. Craig likes to get behind and he is


direct. He started his Hearts career well, he scored in the derby


game. It is a shame for the supporters when you don't tie your


players down. He is out of contract and it looks like, you know, there


won't be a shortage of takers for Skacel because he is talented.


Three months into 2012 St Mirren tried for their first League One


win of the year. Kilmarnock was in first win in 12 in the SPL. It is


not a good run of form. Good win gives it away to Gary Harkins. That


is so close to the opening goal, inside the first minute. Gary


Harkins clipping the edge of the post. Sheils slips it through for


Hay. The opening goal for Kilmarnock has been on the cards.


It's a well deserved breakthrough, and Van Tornhout with his first SPL


goal puts the visitors ahead. McAusland. That is a good run by


Thompson. The other Steven Thompson slides it past and St Mirren from


nothing have the equaliser. Against the run of play. And Steven


Thompson deadly in the box. Draws Terrific save from the Kilmarnock


keeper. A good bit of skill and good efrtd from Hasselbaink. --


effort. Such a tricky customer, McGowan, gets it across for


Hasselbaink. Forced wide once more but he has done well, off the line


by Nelson. Thompson wasn't far away from getting a crucial touch there.


Saind miles an hour have been a changed side -- St Mirren have been


a changed side since the equaliser went in. It is a good looking cross.


Steven Thompson arriving. St Mirren have turned this on its head! It is


Steven Thompson that rose highest, it was over the striker Thompson.


But Steven Thompson put St Mirren in front. McAusland bursting


forward. Kilmarnock tracking back though. Gordon gets the crucial


touch. Bundled over by Hasselbaink. Play allowed to continue. St Mirren


have a two goal lead. Nigel Hasselbaink knocking Sissoko to the


ground and the referee felt that was fair. He looked to barge him


over. Hasselbaink got away with it. And made the most of it. St Mirren


have found goals hard to combination recently. They have


three so far. Thompson. Curls one. That is a ball for Steven Thompson.


It is four for St Mirren. And the three points are secure, no doubt


about that. Lovely finish from Thompson. 12 goals for the season


for the striker. And St Mirren on easy veet now. A return to first


team football for Liam Kelly following the death of his father,


in the minutes that followed the League Cup Final win. Kilmarnock


started the game so well. They just fell right out of it. Here is


Sheils. Tries, what a lovely goal by Sheils. No more than a cons lai,


unfortunately for him. He really did take this one well. --


consolation. Kilmarnock pull one consolation. Kilmarnock pull one


back in the closing stages. It has ban weekend of hotly debated


refereeing decisions. Kenny Sheils was not happy as he demonstrated


there to the officials after, about this push by Nigel Hasselbaink on


Sissoko. First I think Sissoko should be kicking that out for the


throw in. He tries to take a chance there, he is last man. He has to be


stronger. Both players arms are out, and as a centre half, he has gone


over too simple. He has to be stronger there and first he put


himself in that position by being sloppy. Can you can't do thatdown


are last man. It is hard to believe that St Mirren's last win was


Christmas Eve. That is three months without winning. Their problem,


this is we go back here to December, I think it is Christmas Eve, it is


a great win against Rangers, here, they bat -- battled hard for it. 2-


1 they beat them. You think they got that first win and this was two


years ago the last time they scored four goals against Celtic, which


helped them up. It cost Tony Mowbray his job at Celtic, this


defeat. You can see that they got good attacking option now. They


brought in McGowan and Thomson, which will give them something else,


but their problem as been they just haven't simply scored enough goals.


That can get to you after a while, if you are playing good football


but not enough end product. That is right. You start blaming, the


striker, you start looking at other things and thinking maybe we need


goals from different areas, but now, as I say, they brought in Thomson,


McGowan, they will give them something different, Thompson is


experienced, played at the top level, and he will certainly go in


there and ruffle a few feathers for you. That is a team that could move


on a bit, probably Kilmarnock as well, you saw them in the League


Cup Final beating Celtic. That was a result that surprised me. I look


t at St Mirren's form, Kilmarnock been on a good run, won the cup


fine. They did well to win the cup but, to go and lose 4-2. I am sure


Kenny Sheils wasn't happy with the defender, but I was surprised that


Kilmarnock went down four there to St Mirren. Let us look at the


Clydesdale bang Premier League an one point required for Celtic to


win the title, they could do it next weekend. Rangers are six ahead


of Motherwell in second. Dundee and St Johnstone five point points off


third P Third. At the bottom of table Hibs are six ahead of


Dunfermline. SPL fixtures next The raps den Challenge Cup final


was played today at Livingston and Falkirk beat Hamilton by an early


Darren Dodds goal to nil. Silverware for Stephen Presley's


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