Weekly round-up of action from the weekend's Clydesdale Bank Premier League games, including the first Old Firm derby of the season. With guest, Scotland Manager Craig Levein.
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Good morning, and it's Old Firm day in Glasgow. Neil Lennon hoping his
Celtic side... Yes, good morning. Manager Ally McCoist says it's
something out of the ordinary to win the game.
# So when you're ready, come on # Bring it on
# Come on, bring it on # Yeah
# Because I'm a winner # And the winner stays on, stays on
# So when you're ready # Come on
# Turn it on # Bring it on
# Come on, bring it on # Yeah, yeah
# Because I'm a winner # And the winner stays on
# Stays on # Because I'm a winner, and the
winner # Stays on
Yes, time for an Old Firm get- together, the first this season
after seven Rangers-Celtics games last season. Six goals from Ibrox
coming up, plus 17 from the SPL's other five matches. We'll hear from
Scotland's manager. Even by Old Firm standards it has been a wacky
week. The very existence of Rangers being cast into doubt, Celtic in
Madrid for game they weren't entirely sure would be played, none
of which mattered at 12.30pm today. Striker Nikica Jelavic returned for
Rangers after injury left back Papac after illness, Goyan playing
in his first Old Firm match. Skipper Scott Brown over his latest
injury absence and Giorgio Sammaras prever preferred to Stokes.
Celtic determined to get the title off them the season. The hosts
looking for a fourth in a row. It all starts here really. He was
siding down Steven Naismith. This looks like it's going to be worth a
yellow card to Charlie Mulgrew. He was very late. That's exactly the
punishment. Neil Lennon undefeated as Celtic boss at Ibrox. He was
looking to keep it that way. Laffergr. -- Lafferty. Rangers have
started positively. Lafferty - here, Wilson - Naismith!
APPLAUSE First blood, Rangers. And it's
Naismith who has begun the season in smart fashion. A smart finish
here. There was nothing they could Celtic to go in behind. This is
Scott Brown back in the team. He's a man who thrives on these
occasions, scored a remarkable goal here in the Scottish Cup meeting
last season, the 2-2 game. That's a fantastic ball for Gary Hooper.
It's 1-1. Celtic back on terms thanks to Gary Hooper. And this is
a can-finish, a fantastic pass, and look at that. He's actually put
bend on this low shot, passed the Celtic skipper back on the ball
now. Key, ElDaouri. He's gone for goal. He's found it. A massive
blunder from McGreggor, and Celtic have turned this game upside down,
and it looks like they will go in in front at the interval. Cadouri,
he's hit that with expectation, but Allan McGregor - how often do you
see that? It's been a good start to the second half by Rangers. Wild -
Stevens! A wonderful strike from Davis. Denied by the thickness of
the cross-back. Papac. Lafferty, Naismith, Jelovic. Lafferty -
offside. It ain't going to count. He cannot believe this. It wasn't
debut as a manager. Celtic reeling from the free kick. This looks like
it's going to come back at them. Lafferty against Kaddouri. He gets
the corner. Rangers in a hurry. Still plenty of the match to go. It
will be Davis to take the Rangers corner. That's Jelovci, and that's
2-2. They deserve that given the start to the second half they have
made, but this is very cheap from Celtic's point of view. Martin Jol
-- Jelovic with a downward hitter. Naismith. The champions look like
they're in the mood here. Jelovic. That's Lafferty. That should have
been 3-2. Couldn't even get this on target, the northern Irishman. Wild,
good skill, Wilson, Mark Wilson, that is, headed away by Kaddouri.
Celtic have done very little attacking up to this point of the
second half. Papac. Kaddouri - oh, it's Lafferty. That would have been
a gift. Kaddouri, what was he thinking? Certain for Neil Lennon
and Alan Thomason. Loamans! Now Celtic hit the good work.
And suddenly it's topsy-turvy again at Ibrox. Plenty of options in the
middle for Mulgrew to find. It goes right through the ball. A couple of
green and white jerseys looked offside, but what a chance that was.
Hooper. He was trying to thread in Scott Brown. Now he perhaps can
just scamper forward on the break. Davis to Wild. I it is Wild's Ball.
Lafferty is going to get a second bite at this, and Rangers are back
in front in a thriller. He's been denied a few times, Kyle
Lafferty, by an offside flag. He's missed a couple of chances, but
finally he gets off the mark for was booked in the first half, and
he knows his fate here. He's off. He's been lucky on a couple of
occasions, Charlie Mulgrew, in this game - there have been challenges
he's made that have gone unpunished. This one didn't. Davis takes -
right across from Goyan. Looking for his first Rangers goal. What a
time to get it it would have been. It was always going to be an uphill
task for Celtic when they went down to ten men. Naismith now - Forester
spilt it. Davis collects, and Celtic will clear eventually.
Naismith, who opened the scoring in the first half -
APPLAUSE So close, Ally McCoist, so close.
He could almost touch it. Nick Wild wasting a bit of time. Davis,
Naismith! And the man who started it is the man that finishes it! I'm
not sure how much could be read into the first Old Firm game of the
season. There is a long way to go, but Rangers have been so impressive
in this game. He scored a few of them in his time against Celtic,
didn't he? I didn't think there was an awful lot between the teams in
the first half, to be honest. I am not sure we deserved to be 2-1 down,
but that's what we were faced with. We just asked the boys for a
reaction in the second half, and boy did we get it, a tremendous
reaction, and some great goals - hit the bar, and a great second
half. We were pleased to go in front at halftime. You know, it was
a bonus, but I would have been pleased at 1-1 because it felt
comfortable, but we made the players very wary of what to expect
in the second half. We didn't deal with it at all well.
authorities were keen we focus on football because of the touchline
tantrums last season. The game pretty much came up with the goods.
It wasn't a better of a first half, but overall, it was a lot of
quality football. I thought particularly in the second half. I
did feel at halftime, it was quites by A really, because there was two
real quality moments. That was obviously the goal from Naismith
and then an equaliser from Gary Hooper. In the first half, it was
competitive, but I think there was a touch of nerves throughout the
match, which was understandable, but the second half there was a lot
of good football played. For me, it was a great advert for Scottish
football. The three goals in the first half all had a Scotland
first half all had a Scotland connection. You maybe didn't enjoy
the third one too much, but the first two goals - real quality
about the finishes. I think this is an error by Wilson. This is the
thing about Steven Naismith - he's one of the most improved players in
Scotland, maybe the UK, in the last few years. He gets himself into
positions to score goals. That is a great knack to have. This year was
great to see Brown getting involved, the reverse pass and the sublime
finish. He gives him the eyes there, and, you know, that's a great angle,
isn't it, to see the ball going into the net? This one is an error
- will be disappointed, but knowing him, it will be forgotten by now, I
his book, but Rangers made up for it in the second half. There seemed
to be a change of tempo, and Celtic struggled to cope with it. That's
exactly what happened. Rangers came out in the second half, and you
could sense almost the speed of the ball moving from player to player
were increased. The switches were quicker. There was more aggression
in their play. I don't think Celtic ever got to grips with that in the
second half. Rangers came out of the traps very quickly. It was
quite - not a fortune about it, but their early pressure resulted in
getting a goal, which, of course, adds to the momentum that was
already built, so I thought Rangers were good in the second half, and I
felt worthy of their win. Let's have a look at that goal that
squared the game. An element of zonal marking about this, but you
better talk me through it. There was. The guys that were under the
penalty spot, the Celtic players, were blockers, to stop their
players getting momentum. The only thing that was wrong with Celtic's
set-up is players two and three in the six yard line should be further
out, staggered, because it's a right-footed taker, so you know the
right ball is getting swung out of the way. It's extremely hard to
make up the ball from the six yard box to the penalty spot. That gives
them chance. You'll see it perfect here. Jelavic gets blocked. He
doesn't have momentum. Rubens just cannot quite get out to the ball
because his starting position was on the six yard line. If he had
been a yard or two out, it's a perfect example, you can't get
there. Jelovic has a run at him, don't want to take anything away
from him, a fantastic header, powerful, down on the ground,
extremely difficult for the goalkeeper. Zonal marking - I am a
fan of that, you know, because I think nowadays man-to-man blocking
you get blocked too easily. The only thing there was the staggering
the line. The match encapsulated what Kyle Lafferty was all about,
scored a really important goal, the fifth of the game. Before that,
there was bad finishing from him thinking. Maybe he thought it was
another player that headed straight into an offside position, I'm not
sure. Kyle Lafferty, he gets involved in the gamer. He's always
involved no matter what happens, he gets himself in some fantastic
positions. Here, he probably shouldn't have been able to have
two attempts at it. He's got too much time in the penalty box to
have a first strike. You've got to give credit to Lafferty for that.
He was involved in everything. He missed some good chances, he scored
a great goal which was disallowed, but is there to score a goal.
was fitting that Stephen Naismith applied the icing to the cake. He
scored important Scotland goals, Champions League goals and he
hadn't got one before today but now he's got two Old Firm goals. That
is top quality. I think he's thinking about heading it. He
stoops a little bit, it's a one- touch, past the goalkeeper, it's no
chance. The goal against Lithuania, he gets into the box unmarked and
gets that wanted quality finish. People tend to jump off the depend
about old firm out comes with only the 31 games to go. The Celtic have
defensive issues to address on the back up today? I don't know if Neil
has 100 % but his best starting line-up available for him, I'm not
sure what that is. I didn't feel it was a huge problem for Celtic today.
I thought Rangers played very well today, particularly in the second
half. I'm sure Neil has got other players available for him. I'm sure
he will get sorted out and Celtic will see this as a slight hiccup,
and that's all. There's a long way to go yet. Celtic's next opponents
will bring back bad memories for them. You can see their Scottish
communities League Cup tie against Ross County on Wednesday at 7pm.
Motherwell have got off to a pretty impressive start. They were early-
season league leaders, and they were looking to kick on again at
Fir Park yesterday against St Motherwell goal. A combination of
play from the St Johnstone forward his name, aiming for his first in
deflected. The opening goal has come off the Phi of Tim Clancy.
put through his own goal. St Johnstone had just one goal in four
meetings against Motherwell last through. Along angled ball.
Jennings has and scored since left hand side. The goalkeeper gets
Just took that extra touch and curled it towards the top corner.
Adams couldn't respond with a He still has work to do, and he
does it with aplomb of. Sandaza punishes Stevie Hammell of
Motherwell. It St Johnstone who lead by two-0. Randolph was
committed outside his goal, Sandaza didn't break sweat. Hammell breaks
the cardinal rule, never play across your own box if you are not
up from St Johnstone. Higgins involved, Sandaza took on Clancy
with a clever little food pass. -- ft pass. St Johnstone looked set
for their biggest away League win since their return to the SPL.
That St Johnstone happened to the top six. Things have a bit more
encouraging for them. They are unbeaten away from home, two wins
and two drawers. Those two wins coming at difficult places. Celtic
Park doesn't get that much more difficult. And now this one
yesterday. There's a touch of Fortune to this, a deflected goal.
But they certainly had plenty of bodies in the box. They have a
situation earlier where they did look like they were going to score
goals. But the introduction of this guide, Sandaza, I think it's made a
huge difference to the team. I'm a great fan of his. He's had a lot of
bad luck with injuries but it's good to see him back playing again.
St Johnstone will be a threat because they've always been a team
that are pretty difficult to beat defensively. They are always well
organised and strong. To get those two victories really catches your
retention. You can win at Celtic Park and then you go to high-flying
Motherwell and win as well, I think it's pretty impressive.
mentioned at Sandaza, he seems to be developing a good partnership
with Sheridan. He picked up a few injuries and maybe you threw him
into the tame -- team a bit too early. I felt that. He played in
mid- to late June in a play-off game with Spain, he was back at the
end of the pre-season because he'd only just finished playing. One
thing happened after another. But when he played he was excellent and
scored some fantastic goals. He had a double hernia operation and the
whole thing didn't work out for him. But it's great to see him back at
was the installation of former Hearts assistant manager as number
two at Hibs. His first game in his new role was at East End Park
Dunfermline trying to make them for Keddie. It's the wrong man in
the right place. No doubt about that. He even had time to take a
Sproule. A hand ball doesn't matter. Hibs are in front. Sproule gets his
first SPL: his return to the Easter around pretty well in this game.
expecting Garry O'Connor to rip the net Open here. Gallacher somehow
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 70 seconds
flexion -- deflection, Hibernian it. Within a minute! Ryan Thomson
scored as a sub at Rugby Park last weekend in the 3-2 defeat. He's
the Dunfermline sub on for Andy do too. Jason Thomson takes the
credit but this has got to be an own-goal. It came off Paul Hamlyn.
Stack didn't to do nearly enough. He was under pressure, to be fair.
know much about it, did he? It was the back heel. Dunfermline turning
One of the bright things for Hibs, and I don't think their fans see
too many bright things, are the goals of Garry O'Connor. He has
scored five. It's almost like a flash back in time to his first
spell at Hibs. He's had a great start to the season. There is
absolutely no doubt he's a top- quality player. He's had his
troubles, which have been well documented, and I think it's doing
him some good to get back to Hibs, settle down, play some football,
and you can see from these pictures we're watching just how much
quality he has, and let's all hope he can get back to where he was
three or four years ago. If these goals are anything to go by, then
he's certainly headed in the right direction. They were distraught
they couldn't hold on to a 2-0 advantage. It's a manager's
nightmare. You get 2-0 in front. It's a tricky score. As soon as you
lose one, people start to get a bit scared. All credit to Dunfermline
because watching those clips this - I didn't see the game yesterday -
every time the ball comes into the box, the Dunfermline have four or
five players attempting to get in and have an impact. It looks like
with that kind of mentality, they deserve to have goals. The problem
they don't have at the moment is scoring goals because they have
scored two in each of their last three games, but maybe the
significant statistic, the worrying one for them at the minute, is they
have bate taken only a point from those games. They're scoring goals
but leaking goals as well. We watched their opening game opening
night against St Mirren at East End Park. You did worry for them, but
scoring goals isn't a problem for them by the looks of this. No. I am
not 100% up to speed of that night. They played two up front, which is
unusual in the SPL with just strikers. I know if you do go with
two strikers, it makes you more vulnerable in those areas. Just
going on to the point I made previously, the amount of players
they do get forward, and because of that, they do get goals. Maybe
you're right they need to tighten up a little bit. I haven't seen a
lot of the game, so I hesitate sometimes to try to pretend I am an
expert in these things, but certainly I would be encouraged
they're getting goals. Highlights for other matches coming up,
Aberdeen-Kilmarnock. Jonathan time. This time Kilmarnock were 1-0
up within 15 minutes. Paul Heffernan with the goal. Question
marks over the goal keeping from Jason Brown and defending. Dean
Shiels will assist Paul Heffernan with his fifth goal of the season.
Kilmarnock looked like they were enjoying the wide open spaces of
the Aberdeen mid field. The pass, and Dean Shiels with the finish -
just under half an hour played, and Kilmarnock 2-0 in front. And the
afternoon already looking decidedly bleak for goal-shy Aberdeen. It
would get worse before it got better. A cheeky dent from a new
signing, but a tackle averted the danger. The booking for diving was
probably a touch on the harsh side. Just before halftime, a glimmer of
hope for Aberdeen - the keeper punched at the ball, but there was
the perfect finish - not enough to cheer Craig Brown up, but enough to
give the Dons hope at the break, and crucially, get the home fans
behind the team. Aberdeen then took a leaf out of
the Stoke City book, the long throw and Malweni put the ball into the
net eight minutes into the second half. Shoddy Kilmarnock defending,
and the French defender didn't even have to jump to head the ball home.
And suddenly Aberdeen looked like they'd win this match. Fallon with
the header off the bar. Kilmarnock now looking for that full-time
whistle. Aberdeen dominated in terms of chances and possession.
Chris Clark with a shot wide, but first SPL home win of the season.
They would come under the early the post. Then a nice Dundee United
passing move right through the middle of the Inverness defence,
and Valley hit the perfect shot, the 20-year-old Finn on loan with
his first goal since surviving at Tannadice Park - the goal coming in
the 13th minute. But Inverness wasted no time in drawing level.
Just three minutes later, a cross from Andrew Shenni, and Nick Ross
puts it in to make it 1-1. Paul Dixon, the United defender, just
unaware of Ross's late run, and now the side is level. But the quick
passing of United soon cut Cally Thistle open once again. Daniel
Swanson with the effort just wide of the post.
Right before halftime, Gregg gave away possession in the middle of
the park. A mistake from the defender, and there was something
almost Robbie Keane-like the way Swanson finished off this chance -
no somersault, though, but real assuredness from Swanson, great
chest control, the lob over Nessen, and United now 2-1 in twomt. Daniel
Swanson suddenly on top of his game. The 24-year-old running dangerously
with the ball at his feet. The other team running scared. In the
71st minute, a deflected cross led to Jon Daly making the score 3-1.
APPLAUSE The striker sealing the victory.
Daniel Swanson played a big part for Dundee United. He's player you,
of course, signed, as Jonathan said, from Rangers three years ago. Is he
coming back to his best now? looks like it. I thank the
supporters and Danny himself. I am a huge admirer of him on a regular
basis. He's without a doubt the most talented player I have worked
with. He's had so many problems that - and he hasn't really had
chance in the last year or so to get regular football - as regular
as he would like, you know? When he and Conway worked together on the
United team, you can see from these goals he was a fantastic player. He
and Conway were playing at the top of their game. United were almost
unbeatable. Look at the skill he's got. He's an exciting player.
People try and create opportunities - some young guy there.
LAUGHTER The pressure! Yeah. But Daniel
Swanson is one you would like to get into the Scotland squad. I had
plans to get him involved the tail end of last year, but he had
injuries again, so touch wood, he can get to run at it and, you know,
he's one I think has got the potential to be an international
football player. It was good to see him with a smile on his face.
That's important. It was a weekend of comebacks from two down to get a
point. Aberdeen managed it as well at Pittodrie against Kilmarnock.
This had shades of an old Alec McLeish goal. A final it was?
Similar. The right foot, he curled it into the top corner. It was a
great finish, actually, because his weaker foot has take and decent
touch there and he managed to ooh scoop it back around into the top
corner. This could be really important for Craig Brown and
Aberdeen because he will hope at getting back from a game they were
fearing losing might just trigger a revival in their fortunes because
they're at the wrong end at the moment. They are. Malweni gets a
goal there. They have a lot of good young players on the team, Aberdeen.
They could do with some experience. I think Fallon will be quite an
astute signing for them. Harts and St Mirren got together last season.
Their previous meeting had been a They look set to take all three
path of Thomason. Good strike. And watch the goalkeeper. This looked
deceptively straight forward. Hearts moving well. Oh, from 25
yards, a decent dipping strike which produced a good save from
Sampson. Danny Grangeers in the corner - a big chance to make the
breakthrough, scored with a header at Ibrox on the opening day,
offtarget this time to the disappointment of Pallo Sergio.
That's right across goal. So inviting. All it needed was a tap-
in, but sadly for St Mirren, no-one on the same wavelength. Granger.
He's in! And he has been taken out. And that wasn't a tough decision
for referee Charlie Richmond. It's a penalty as the Dutch Moroccan
defender lunged in, and a chance for Hearts to hit the front. It's
Jimmy Hammel, and it's 1-0. Two minutes from halftime. He's become
a very accomplished penalty taker, has Hammel, no mistake. That's Mare,
doesn't deal with it, and now Goodwood in trouble. That's
dangerous, and Oboe is in. Sampson makes the save. He knows he should
have scored and punished this indecision of the defence from St
got the break of the ball. St Mirren forcing away. Good play -
and that's a cross goal - Ryan Stevenson was so close to applying
the finishing touch. Hearts know they need a second goal to make
things safe against Danny Lennon, St Mirren. Blacks, free kick. It's
Granger. In goes Steven Elliot and in as well I think went Lee Mair.
That looks like an own goal. It's a the Hearts players. He looks to set
something up for Elliot, and the striker was just a fraction away
from making it 3-0. Hearts Climb up the table. They're now to within
third place, where they feel they should be based on good home
results since losing at home to Dundee United in their first game
at home, they have won the next three. These are goals from those
three games. If you're in Hearts, you want Tynecastle to be a
fortress. It always has been. Generally, teams would look at -
talking about Old Firm teams as well - would look at going to
Tynecastle as one of the most difficult fixtures on the calendar.
It's an intention, I am sure, to get back to that situation where
everybody is scared to go there because they think it's going to be
a difficult game. They look as if they're gradually getting things
together. I was at the game at Tottenham. He looks like he's
getting things together. difficult is it for Sergio taking
on a game two, three weeks into the season, wherever it was, the time
was spent signing players. Yeah, sometimes you wonder about
decisions made, but he was just an out-of-work manager who was looking
for a job. It's not his fault the situation that occurred at Hearts
with him losing his job. He just has gone in and tried to do the
best he can. He'll be happy with that result. Let's check on the
Clydesdale Bank Premiere League few minutes of the programme.
Looking ahead to two big gains in less than three weeks,
Liechtenstein and Spain away from home, on the back of the double-
header that you played recently. Firstly, the Czech Republic game
followed by Lithuania. When you look back on this, and they know
you have looked back in depth, obviously in the end it came down
to two dodgy decisions, two bad refereeing decisions. Worse
governed good enough on the day, did they play well enough?
results will tell you everything. We didn't win the match. You have
to look at extenuating circumstances. Once we lost that
first goal, the lads had more in their locker. They responded in a
manner after losing the goal immediately on the front foot and
realise they have to get themselves back in the game. Then this happens,
we get the very dodgy decision from the referee. The killer for me is
the timing. We responded twice, we even responded after the penalty.
We got ourselves back in a position to get in the box and maybe create
something. But we've no time to get back into the game. I know these
players and I am convinced that if there were 20 minutes left in the
match when that happened we would have been able to go again. That's
infuriating, because we didn't have a chance to get back in the game.
The lads showed great determination in both games, they played some
great stuff in the second half. have to get over that one quickly
because Lithuania on the back of that. You created loads of chances.
It could have been about 4-0. should have won the game
comfortably. We didn't score early. Stephen Naismith's goal, it was a
wanted to finish against Celtic earlier Ron, very similar. I'm
hugely optimistic about our prospects in the next two games and
going forward. The let's have a look at the group table. You can
talk me through both this and the coming fixtures. I guess on the
back of the Czech Republic result particularly there was a depression
which swept across the country, may be partially lifted by getting
three points against Lithuania. Let's have a look on the back of
that group table at the fixtures coming up, just underline what's
coming up. If the Friday night game for the Czech Republic at home to
Spain, Scotland and Liechtenstein. If the Czech Republic don't get
anything against Spain, your team wins Liechtenstein, then Scotland
are ahead going into that final, almost a shoot-out on the final
Tuesday. What we have to do now is make sure that we are in the best
position possible should the Czech Republic's Lippok at any point.
That for me means winning the game at Liechtenstein first and foremost.
On the Friday and again, if Spain do beat the Czech Republic then we
go ahead. That puts it back in our hands. We have a tough match in
Spain but the Czech Republic have already lost to Lithuania at home.
You just never know. We need to be ready, we need to be in position.
I'm greatly encouraged by my group of players, I'm very optimistic.
And there's no point looking back now, is there? We will learn from
every game that we play. We've played some good football just now.
I'm encouraged by what I see. We are getting better. We will do our
best in these matches. I'm really looking forward to both games.
it was a struggle to beat Liechtenstein at home, but are you
in a better place now anywhere for that game? We are a far better team
than we were a year ago. I think the players that we have, we've got
new players but also we've got some players who have improved
enormously in the last year. This will be a tough match. Lithuania
lost in Liechtenstein and they also only got a draw at home. The Czech
Republic also struggled to beat Liechtenstein as well. Our job is
to go there and get three points. And it could come down against
Spain. Yes. I want us to be in a position where our destiny is in
our own hands. What better way to do it than to go for Spain as well.
We wish you good luck. You can see both of those upcoming Scotland
Weekly round-up of action from the weekend's Clydesdale Bank Premier League games, including the first Old Firm derby of the season.
With special guest, Scotland Manager Craig Levein.