03/01/2012 Sportscene


Round-up of action from the weekend's Clydesdale Bank Premier League games, presented by Rob Maclean.

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The SPL story continues into a New Year. The first action of 2012


coming up. And Scotland manager, Craig Levein, is here. Craig was at


Easter Road yesterday for the second Edinburgh Derby of the


season. And there's been plenty going on since the first one.


Hearts lead the Edinburgh Derby. Ince had sacked manager, Colin


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Calderwood. The does not a first his first win as the boss.


Griffiths went down under pressure least it should have been on target.


He began the move himself. Hibernian just a point from the


time. The Hibernian masters of their own downfall. Stack brought


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Vigil goes on between Black and the first time this season. Was


Stephen Elliott interfering with play? In an offside position as


retaliation. It is 1-1. Zaliukas! This has come off the Hearts


skipper. It was all about the power it. He was the closest that the


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front it would just six minutes to go. Could this be the Derby winner?


He Verney in have tried their best. They may be in trouble. --


They say he cannot play away from home. Hearts of scored as many


games away from home as they have Nine Derby's unbeaten for your al


team. Are you impressed with what the manager has been able to do


with the team, bearing in mind the sideshow going on away from the


pitch? He deserves enormous credit, as to the players, they have


managed to focus on their football. There will be some men on big money,


but a lot of the guys rely very much on their wage coming in. All


credit to the manager and the players to keep their focus.


penalty which Hibernian conceded to offer hearts the chance to take the


lead was typical of what happened to them. A couple of individual


errors? They are lacking in confidence. There has been a lot of


upheaval at the club. No doubt the manager will get it right and turn


it round. Booth is a smashing player, but in a team that is


struggling it is difficult for young boy to carry other team mates.


It is difficult for him. The team itself is struggling for confidence.


Stack made up for his mistake with the penalty save. A blatant offside


for the opening goal? At the game, I did not realise because you're


looking from a poor ball. When I see this again, is he interfering


with the goalkeeper's line of sight and the answer is yes. So for me,


it is offside. It Stephen Elliott was not there, there is every


chance Stack saves that. I think Hibernian were hard done by. If the


assistant and the referee had got together they may have decided he


was in a line of fire and maybe a few feet offside? At the game, it


just looked like there were bodies in the box. When you see it like


that, it was blatant. At the time is the perception looking at the


side for the officials is difficult to tell. It is probably a


combination to try to work out, is he in the line of sight, is he


offside? Between the two of them. What should have been good for


Hibernian is that they hit back immediately? They did. At the start


of the second half they played so much better. They look positive and


this is a dangerous ball four any defender to deal with. It is on the


goal side, when you are coming back towards the goal. It is a difficult


one, particularly when the ball has bounced in front of him. I have


seen that happen and I have done it a few times myself. It is a great


ball across the face of the goal. They Benin had struggled for


confidence and to get a goal so quickly after they lost a goal must


have been great for the players and their manager. Hearts first and


second goals owed much to the presence of set pieces? It was


interesting for me, in the first half they did not use this tactic


more often. Sutton was on by this time of course. His physical


presence in the box allow them to get an opportunity. It is a great


finish. This was the icing on the cake. Hibernian or pushing to try


to get back in the game. It is a great ball from John Sutton. He has


scored a lot of important goals in his time for Hearts. At that stage


in the game, it was all or nothing and had then you have to push.


MacGowan be hearing from the compliance officer? He gets irate


because of the tackle from Sproule. It was a silly thing to do. I saw a


similar situation with Scott Brown and Lafferty, head-butted into the


midriff. What about the role of the compliance officer, does it


undermined the officials? No, it is the transparency and the clubs


agreed before this new system was put in place that it was a better


system. They have been teething problems, of course, but the idea


behind it is to move things a little bit quicker and also to be


fair. It was bottom against top at East


End Park. Celtic had overhauled title rivals Rangers in the last


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because of illness and Jason Thomson has gone back to Hearts.


Jon Potter came in at the back and able to saved that, it is a corner


curling effort. Anthony Stokes without a goal in his last seven


matches set Celtic ahead. It came down from Samaras. The control was


perfect. He tipped it into the corner and left the goalkeeper with


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defending from Dunfermline. He the volley past the goalkeeper. The


Kenny got caught out and Celtic are Dunfermline to test the Celtic


takers to finish off the run from James Forrest. His Scottish


international was putting it on a not done that too often this


should have dealt with this one. Got caught out flat footed at


almost. Celtic get a simple goal from all groups. Number four for


goalkeeper. The goalkeeper has So 10 straight wins from Celtic,


but Dunfermline defending was not a terrific? When you are struggling


you don't want to be playing against a rampant Celtic team. You


can't afford to give him a sort of time on the penalty box to pick his


spot. His marker was attracted to the ball, which is a danger when it


is a man on man-marking. Does this opened the defending debate?


does, but man marking, there is always a danger of getting blocked.


Ledley gives Killie a nudge. So it is enough to get a couple of yards


of space. Great delivery and a great finish. The third goal, it


charlie his lethal from these situations. Smith will look at that


and think maybe he should have done better. The Old Firm win for Celtic


round an amazing turnaround at the top of the SPL. How significant do


you think this win it will prove to be? Were Celtic take some stopping


in their race towards the title? They have momentum and it is a huge


thing. I was having real problems, financial problems at Rangers were


as at the same time Neil Lennon, after the Kilmarnock game when they


were 3-0 down at half-time, and he galvanised the troops. I looked at


the strength of their squad. I was going through the substitutes,


Kevin Wilson, fruiter macro, quality on the bench. If you of the


national players. Bash macro fruiter macro unless Rangers can


come up as some money, it will be difficult to keep tabs on what I


say is a rampant Celtic side. It is grim for Dunfermline. The facts and


figures don't make good feeling for their fans. Not winning at home in


10 opportunities, just four points The goals against column tells a


story. You cannot give away three and four goals most weeks and


expect to win matches. They need to tighten up and get a couple of


draws. Jim Macintyre is working with his hands tied behind his back,


and it is extremely difficult for managers. And getting good players


in, in January is not easy. He has got a tough job. But he will relish


the challenge. Is it heads against Dunfermline for the drop and can


had spent their way out of it? -- can Hibs? I think Hibs will spend


money in January. I am not sure whether Dunfermline can. Inverness


maybe just creeping into trouble, just five or so points in front of


Hibs. It is early days. It looks like heads on Dunfermline. -- it


looks like Hibs, or Dunfermline, but if any of those teams can


Pickup two victories, then the picture changes. Rangers faced


Motherwell at Ibrox. Nikica Jelavic was not in the Rangers team, and


was said to be injured, although France their speculation continues.


David Healy came in for his second David Healy came in for his second


start of the season. Stuart McCall chose Tim Clancy in defence or the


attacking qualities of Omar Daley. A minute's silence in memory of


those who died in the Ibrox the top of the SPL. It is important


that Rangers return to winning ways. Good play from Sone Aluko. This


looks dangerous. And off his line comes Darren Randolph, the


Motherwell goalkeeper making a good save. Some appeals for offside from


away from Stephen Hughes. And what a chance for a David Healy to get


Rangers in front. I don't think he can quite believe he managed to get


Hutchinson, in fur David Healy, and it is 1-0. In his first SPL start


of the season, his first goal of the season. Hutcheon soon should


have done better. And even with his back to goal, David Healy knew


exactly what to do. Rangers ahead, We have seen little from them, so


far. And that is Michael Higdon. They have had so little of the


match, Motherwell, but they might have squared the game here. Michael


Higdon, unable to hit the target. Stuart McCall looks pretty


deflected in that under it. And from Sone Aluko, and they header


from Carlos Bocanegra, cleared off the line by Tom Hateley. Former


Rangers manager Walter Smith is watching. Good work from Maurice


ego, so industrious. Now, it is opening up for a Sone Aluko, it is


2-0! 10 minutes into the second half, and Sone Aluko scores his


first goal Rangers. Good build up and then a gap appeared, for Sone


Aluko to fire past Darren Randolph, and you would not think there was


any way back, for Motherwell. Steven Davis gets it back from


David Healy. And that is a good strike from the Rangers captain.


Plenty of power behind this, pushed that is clawed away by the


goalkeeper. It could so easily have middle, from Morrissey do. And Lee


Wallace charging down the line. -- from Maurice Edu. Still trouble


here for Motherwell. And that is an own goal. Flashed into his own net,


of the boot of Stephen Craigan. And Rangers have a 3-0 lead. Lee


Wallace forced this back in be on the back post. And in it goes, or


Stephen Craigan. -- off Stephen Craigan. Desperate defending by


Motherwell, and Sone Aluko hits his shot, wide. Damage limitation at


this stage. For Motherwell, conceding three goals has probably


It was important Rangers got themselves back on track. That was


a potentially awkward game against Motherwell who have been doing so


well. I do not think anyone could have expected the one-way traffic


that it turned out to be. I have only seen a highways but it looked


like one-way traffic. They have managed to put on a good


performance, after the Old Firm game. Motherwell have played some


fantastic stuff and a are likely Inter place in the league. But they


just did not turn up. Lee Wallace is good on one side of the pitch,


Sone Aluko on the other. That is good news for Scotland? Yes, Lee


Wallace, in recent games, he looks like he is finding form, which is


important. He is earmarked for being involved in the national team.


We are just waiting on him finding that level of consistency and form.


Good to see David Healey getting a goal after sitting on the sidelines.


Rangers lost Kyle Lafferty with a hamstring injury after eight


minutes. He was stretchered off and it looks like six weeks minimum, he


is going to be out. Nikica Jelavic did not play, allegedly because of


injury, Steven Naismith out for the season, there is a lack of striking


options, there. A bench, Fleck, Mackay, Macmillan, Salim Kerkar.


Yes, I would not, could anything at this stage in the season between


the Old Firm, Rangers going into the second half of the season with


that group of players on the bench, they cannot compete with the


strength in depth that Celtic have got. That is a packed. Unless there


is more money available for bringing in better players. And if


they get they offer for Nikica Jelavic in the transfer window, you


would imagine, given the chance their -- financial predicament,


they would have to take it. Yes, they might have to take the offer,


if it comes. Other McCoist is not Wigan manager, I was going to say


Jong - he is inexperienced. And that is a difficult situation. The


starting 11 it are good players, but their strength in depth, it is


a worry. Kilmarnock and St Mirren have played some of the best


football in the SPL this season and they are chasing a place in the top


That was a teasing ball in from Dixon, and that is turned in by Jon


Daly. It opens up and he dips that in perfectly. It is a lovely ball


across, and that is a great header. Here is Steve Mackie, unmarked, off


the line and back in by Murray Davidson and his son does it. --


there is Francisco son does a, 2-0. Gary Harkins broke his ankle in


training and does it for six weeks for St Mirren, replaced by


helping the goalkeeper. It stayed in glee. And it sits up nicely for


Thomson. Punched away by Cammy Bell. Kilmarnock eventually clear the


danger. That is a lovely pass up to the chest of Heffernan. He was


poised to shoot. Good defending. Kenny Shiels, will wrap up for this,


as his side defence. And McAusland, off the crossbar. The danger not


still clear. And another corner kick for St Mirren. Great pressure


early on from the visitors. Coming so close with that effort. Lee


Mair! And, this time, it is a goal! St Mirren have been threatening and


they have the opening goal. Cammy Bell could not keep it out, the


powerful their there from -- powerful header from Mair. That is


a magnificent save by Craig Samson to deny Dean Shiels. Nice trickery


from the forwards. And a brilliant hand by Sampson to divert it wide.


Can Kilmarnock find an equaliser? It is scrappy. And it is an


equaliser. It is Paul Heffernan. No surprise that it is the Irishman


scoring for, Mark. St Mirren could not clear their lines. And Paul


Heffernan, in a crowded penalty box, and also passed Craig Samson. --


angles past Greg Samson. It was Liam Kelly with the challenge. That


looked to have the-50, didn't it? - - looked to be 50-today. -- 50-50.


Bobby Madden, the referee, sees nothing amiss with that challenge.


Paul McGowan was found outside the area, but having said that it


probably was not a free-kick. Not great defending. Moy With the final


shot match should have hit the target from this distance. That is


a decent opportunity. St Mirren advance again. Steven Thomson has


done well. Another penalty claim from St Mirren, and another one


that has fallen on deaf ears from the officials. He tries to pull his


arm away, is that ball to hand, or hand to ball? St Mirren feeling


hard done by, in terms of the That was an easy take or Cammy Bell.


It was a hefty clearance from there Kilmarnock goalkeeper to stop that


could cause problems. Can he find room for the shot? What a fantastic


goal! He surely wins it for Kilmarnock! Look at this, for skill.


It might have just deflected off David van Zanten, but takes nothing


away from the technique, and, Kilmarnock wrapping up all three


St Mirren reckoned they should have won a penalty when Stephen


Thomson's cross was handled. What do you think? I wonder whether he


deliberately handled the ball. Whether it is just his running


movement and he has tried to take his hand away at the last minute.


This is the corresponding game, the same two players. It was given on


that occasion. But it was not given yesterday. His arm was behind him


yesterday, how do you differentiate? For me, it is very


difficult. In the second one, his hands behind him. But it is given.


I do think he is trying to remove his hand, to get it out of the way.


The ball was heading into the six- yard box. I don't know if that has


any bearing on the rules, as such. Honestly, I don't know. Whether


Portstewart up been penalties, or neither of them penalties. --


whether both of them should have been penalties. It was a special


goal to win the game from Raki. What a moment of composure this was.


I don't think he will ever score a goal as good as this. Great


composure inside the box. His awareness of where the goalkeeper


was, and where he was, and the discipline to finish. A sand iron,


a little bit of backspin? Yes, and it ends up in the goal. In recent


weeks, this shot from him was touched on to the post by petering


common. And at 2-0 down at Celtic Park he scored a cracker. Maybe he


proves that Aires calling the lower leagues in England. Yes, Kenny


Shiels is good at. He digs up players also Paul Heffernan has


come up from down south. He does well to go searching through the


Law League's. You can find players restricted to the end of her


neighbourly, physical game who can come up here, and the football has


better up your, technically, deems to try to play. We have seen a lot


of that this year. And he will not see many better technical skills


than from Raki there. Aberdeen against Dundee United at Tannadice


pulled and a crowd of 14,500. pulled and a crowd of 14,500.


Jonathan Sutherland lost it. The cross from Johnnie Russell bounced


across the face of the Aberdeen goalkeeper, Jason Brown. It would


have been more painful if it had been an own goal. No doubt about it.


Dundee United were the better team than the first half. This cross


from Paul Dixon might have lacked finesse, but Jason Brown had to


make sure it did not just under the crossbar. It looked like it was


shaping up to be a happy new year for the Tannadice side. United


fielded at the same starting 11 for the 4th match in a row. That


continuity look as if it was working for our Dome side. Finally,


the breakthrough came from Jon Daly, firing home his 14th goal of the


season, giving Dundee United 1-0 League that their overall play had


deserve. And then, things started to go wrong for Peter the son's


side. Johnny Russell went down in the box under a challenge from


Andrew Considine but there was no penalty award from referee Stephen


McLean. Russell denied a clear goalscoring opportunity and Andrew


Considine lucky to stay on the pitch. United then have a throw-in


decision given against them. Again, the assistant referee in the


spotlight. Normally getting a throw-in against you is not be end


of the world, but then Mahmood Chalali came on as a substitute for


Aberdeen and, with his very crossed touch of the ball, the Algerian


equalised for the away side. The throw-in decision now a major


problem for United boss, Peter Houston. To rub salt in the United


wins, jury Russell was then done the defender who had denied a bus


will be shot at goal, escaping a penalty and the red card, with a


fine block. Harsh words had been voiced at half-time in the away


dressing room, and Aberdeen come out much improved in the second


half. Or were caught 1,000 Aberdeen fans made the trip south. Four


minutes from time, they got their reward. This strike from Kari


Arnason from 35 yards, crashing in off the underside of the crossbar,


an absolute pile-driver, and there were the now, with a 2-1 lead. The


scoreline, harsh on Dundee United after all that it happened. All


three points headed up back north, to the granite City. Aberdeen now


10 points clear of bottom club, Peter Houston wasn't happy about


that. It should have been a red card as well? I have every sympathy.


The ball is out of his reach. He leans into him, so he cannot pull


the trigger. I think it is a penalty kick. I can understand


Peter Houston being angry. Maybe the quick break, the speed, the


officials could not keep up with it. It looked like a penalty to meet.


He was so angry about the penalty not being given he was getting


angry about the throw-ins. I would separate these things. The throw-in


results in a goal and the linesman should see that. It's came off Ryan


Jaques. There is still an opportunity to defend this. There


is still two touches before that goal. And it was Considine, coming


on as a substitute. It was a good decision. -- Chalali. This was


special as well from Arnason. was swerving, it was dipping and


difficult for the goalkeeper. You have to credit the player with that.


Do it was from 40 yards out, it is incredible. It will be 45 or 50 by


the time they stopped telling the story. There were more than 4,000


Aberdeen fans, fantastic travelling support. It shows you what is


possible for Aberdeen in the way of backing if they get back to a half


decent level? This fixture at New Year, always bring a lot of


supporters down. It has been disappointing for them over the


last few seasons, but hopefully Scotland, 2012 is a massive year


coming up. I am interesting -- interested about Darren Fletcher


who is out of action with Manchester United, how will that go


on? He needs for months complete rest. This isn't so long ago, and


he was suffering at this time. He is a fantastic example to the rest


of his team-mates about fortitude and desire. He wants to play every


single match. Probably to the detriment of his health. So for


Mons complete rest to allow his body to recover, and then reassess


and take things from there. Would you expect to have him for the


qualifiers? I am desperately hoping. He is such an important player, not


just on the field, but the way he behaves himself, his attitude on


the park and off. How he inspires all the players within a team. Him


being out is a huge Glass, not just his performances but the influence


he has. I'm sure there is another Fletcher you would like to have in


your squad, Steven Fletcher. He has been scoring lots of goals in the


English Premier League for Wolverhampton Wanderers. This is


his only Scotland goal. As soon as he indicates to me he wants to play


for Scotland, I will consider him. Can you not ask the question of


him? Presumably it will make your life easier if you have a great


penalty box goalscorer? The rules are there for everybody. It might


be he does not want to play for me, I do not know because I have not


had that conversation with him. All the correspondence I have had is


that he does not want to play for Scotland. Until he tells me


otherwise, things will stay as they are. It is simple. Look at the


ready for 2013. We do have a tough group. It is different from the


last group when we had Spain in the group. Everyone is expecting Spain


to win the group. I do believe in this group there is two places


available. Very good teams in the group. The teams supposedly below


us and a roundabout Thos stronger than we liked, and the top two


I will be hopeful going into December next year. You have made


progress. You have to take another step? The difficulty is working out


a pot four. A few seasons ago we were working out a pop two. I


firmly believe we have got players who are improving. Results are


improving, performances are improving and in September, the


players will be another 10 months older.


We've more Scottish football action for you this weekend. It's the


William Hill Scottish Cup 4th Round. Dundee against Kilmarnock is live


ties at 10:20. And the best of the ties at 10:20. And the best of the


Sunday Cup action at 10:00. You can get SPL highlights online any time


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