Jonathan Sutherland introduces highlights of the weekend's matches in the new SPFL Scottish Premiership, with comment on and analysis of the week's main talking points.
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Snodgrass fancies it. Tim Howard is equal to it. Just one Scottish
Premiership game at the weekend saw St Mirren beat Ross County by 2-1.
Scotland finds the net totally against the run of play! Very good
opposition. What a week it has been and what a weekend. Tonight, we
bring you the essence of football. The agony, the ecstasy and the
teenage sensation lighting up Scottish football right now. Billy
Dodds and Michael Stewart join me in the studio. Aberdeen had lost their
last 16 week matches in Glasgow's East End. At Celtic Park for us was
the McLeod. Commons and Samaras are back. Kris Commons has scored three
against the Dons. Aberdeen are without the injured Flood and
suspended Thomson. Hector moves into midfield.
The Irish man is back in the Aberdeen team today. He did not know
too much about that. Ambrose is dominating the situation. A good run
from him. Very good, he just did not have the finish to match. Forgiven
for getting a nose bleed then. Right into the Aberdeen penalty area.
Izaguirre, Samaras. Celtic working to preserve their unbeaten record.
Langfield makes a save in unorthodox fashion. He scooped it away. Since
their last league win here, Aberdeen, it is 16 games and 16
defeats against Celtic. Not their favourite fixture. Commons turns it
into the net! It is a cheap call from an Aberdeen point of view but
Kris Commons scores yet again against Aberdeen. They are his
favourite opposition. Nine minutes from the interval, it is the
champions who strike first. Cons are dying, Zola. It is turned in. Begin!
-- Niall McGinn in first-half stoppage time draws Aberdeen level.
Forster did not get the, Naill McGinn did. Celtic have started the
second half very well. They are bright. Ledley goes down. He wants a
penalty but he is not getting one. Izaguirre appealed one in the first
half. Good backflip from Kris Commons. The Dons have been so well
organised to date. Lately! -- lately. -- Ledley. Samaras goes all
the way through. The goalkeeper was beaten but the Celtic Park would
work denies Celtic going in front. Kris Commons. It is a terrific save
from Langfield. He has been on the receiving end so often at Celtic
Park. He has won here before but that was with Dundee. That is the
tremendous piece of goalkeeping. Izaguirre. McGinn. What a save from
Forster that was. Right at the end of the match here. Naill McGinn must
have thought he had won it for Aberdeen. Forster bought the
slightest touch onto it. The Charlie Mulgrew corner kick. Derek
Boerrigter has turned it in and has surely won the game for Celtic. The
Dutch man with his first goal for the club. It is a devastated
Aberdeen now. Samaras. Celtic looking for another one just to put
icing on the cake. The Aberdeen fans dotted up the other side of the
ground. -- batted. Celtic could have lost this game but in 93 minutes
they have put in a third goal. The unbeaten run continues. Kris
Commons. We did very well. We dominated the game in PDF 's. We had
a good response in the second half. Over all I think we thoroughly
deserved our win against the very resolute Aberdeen team. It was
nothing against the players. It was not quality that undone us. It was
determination that defeated us today. We have to make sure it is
our team who win the game. I could Neil Lennon was talking about his
goalkeeper. I think he was culpable here. It is a ball he cannot win.
This is something Fraser Forster struggles with at times. That was a
wonder save. It is a great save, is it not? That is world-class. It is
amazing how somebody of his height struggles sometimes. He does not
handle cross balls or high balls. He is six foot four, he is world-class
at stopping it. Yesterday they could have gone 2-1 down. He is still a
great goalkeeper but has to get better at the cross balls. There
have been some nightmare situations at Celtic Park. There were a lot of
good moments. This man is good, he clears the area. This is the first
goal where he comes. He clears the box. He could have reacted quicker
they are. With this strike, quite a few good few moments in the game.
This one with Kris Commons through on goal. He gets a good touch on
that. This one, I am just not sure. He has put it into the middle of
goal in injury time. He good maybe get it further away. The game is
already finished. I think we are talking about them because of the
high standards this is in. They have been excellent, the two of them.
There were great saves yesterday but some sloppiness as well. Obviously
Aberdeen are looking at the long-term project. We are talking
about the stability and balance to the playing side. They are having a
good season. A couple of dodgy results in the past couple of weeks
but overall the Aberdeen situation is in a much better place. Because
that will feel sore, he could have got something out of that. Celtic
are still unbeaten in the league. That is impressive in itself. Very
impressive. It is difficult to continue to get yourself up for
these games. Champions' League games deal with themselves but to be at
this situation in the league is impressive. In the United and
Partick Thistle have been this season's intervenors. -- Dundee
United. That is wonderful! Dundee United are
unchanged from the impressive win at Motherwell. Thistle lost 3-0 against
St Mirren. The first start for Jordan McMillan.
The chance of an opening goal. Inside two minutes, Dundee United
are ahead! A wonderful move. The finish was clinical. Gary
Mackay-Steven taking this well and drilling it back past Scott Fox.
Jeff G, Osborne ahead of him. -- Cifci. That is heavy from Balatoni.
He is getting a yellow card. He was late with his tackle. Armstrong. It
is a great ball through. Gary Mackay-Steven for the second. He
chipped setup. Clears it off the line. Excellent defending. Great
play by Partick Thistle. Onto Forbes. Forbes brilliantly away from
Wilson. That is a good call by the referee. He tried to block it and
his arm came up. You can see the arm out. Thistle have a chance equalise.
Muirhead. That is a calmly struck penalty from Aaron Muirhead. Gold.
What a finish from Andrew Robertson. Dundee United back ahead. He
hammered it across the goalkeeper. What a finish. Armstrong. Knocked
away. Down to John Rankin. Off the base of the post. What a great shot.
Balatoni has to be careful. He has taken him down. He is off. Gary
Mackay-Steven one way and then the other. Intercepted. Gary
Mackay-Steven, this 43-1. It is another good finish for Gary
Mackay-Steven. Then the United with another classy goal. Thistle are
beaten. This could be perfect for Brian Graham on his birthday. His
first Dundee United goal is his present to himself. All four than
the United goals have been set up by the youngster. They have taken
advantage of Thistle being down to ten men. They finished top class.
That was a bad tackle. Stuart Bannigan is refusing to go to the
referee, that will not help his cause. The referee takes a look, it
is a red card. And the referee decided that was a red card.
Are you concerned you were only one up at the break? Yes, that gives us
a lift in the match. The 20 minute they came into it, they get a
penalty which was disappointed. They had -- they had our tails up, but we
showed good character to come back and to get a win we fully deserved.
You mentioned in the press this week you have free-flowing football and
another debuts in four goals, what do you have to do? We are working on
the back four every day and we will keep working away.
I would watch Dundee United over Barcelona any day of the week. How
was that from the wunderkind? The nominal. The watching the highlights
and you cannot eulogise about the guy enough -- you are watching.
Close control, awareness, for somebody so young, it is
frightening. And he is always in space coming he knows how to get
away from players. And now when he gets on the ball, he is attracting
so many opposition players that it is opening up space for the
opposition and for his team-mates. Through balls, creating goals,
creating and scoring, great player. He has a special ability to see
things before anyone else. It is natural and I would not like to be
playing against Dundee United at the moment. Gary Mackay-Steven,
Armstrong, and we do talk about those things because we would love
to what them. It is the other side. -- to watch them. They struggled
early in the season but since they put Rankin in, other players have
struggled. Rankin has helped free the boys up and they are taking
teams to the cleaners. How difficult is it to handle this kind of talent
as a manager? He was not binding pockets where there were plenty of
space -- bases available. -- spaces. Do you nurture that talent and make
sure he does not play too many games? United are so strong in that
forward area that they can afford to pull him out of games. He might
beginning a rest. The swagger is summed up by this moment from
Souter, such a highly rated defender and this says everything. Confidence
is blowing and it is great to see. You enjoyed these things. --
blowing. Dundee are 18 supporters will love to watch. -- ATEAM.
The time for talking was over as Terry Butcher began in earnest as
the manager of Hibs. More from Terry Butcher later, but
all is not lost yet for Hearts. Victory at Aberdeen before the
international rake keeping alive the hope that relegation can be avoided.
-- the international rake. On the field, Callum Paterson and Ryan
Stevenson their best chance to get goals. Ross County looking for a
win, on a run of three straight defeats.
It was a vital game for both clubs as they strive towards premiership
survival. It was a 330 mile round trip and everybody inside Tynecastle
had their moneys worth. -- money 's with. County did not win in the
league since beating Aberdeen at the tawdry and they were gifted a goal
in the first half. This perfect pass to Graham Carey. He could scarcely
believe his good fortune and took all advantage with a clinical
finish. -- all advantage. The lead lasted five minutes, this corner
eventually falling to Callum Paterson. A fine finish by the young
striker allowed space and time for this volley. Jamie Walker was
proving to be a thorn in the Ross County defence. On this occasion,
the captain Richard Brittain wrestled him to the ground, getting
a yellow card to have consequences later in the game. Chances again for
Ross County, it to refit effort from Quinn. -- a great effort. Ball was
clearly not crossing the goal line. Then another effort, the Dutch
striker given an opportunity here. Jamie McDonald saved the day. One
final chance in the opening period for Ross County. Gary Glen setting
up Quinn, but Hearts County -- but the Hearts keeper came out on top.
They found their way out on top early in the second-half will stop
Glen set up his team-mate. But Melvin De Leeuw fired the ball home
from 16 yards. Nine defenders around the 18 yard box for Hearts but still
De Leeuw had time to control the ball before firing home. Then a
pivotal moment, eight challenge on Walker by Richard Brittain. -- a
challenge. And a second yellow card and an early bath. Little doubt in
the mind of the referee about the decision. And with three minutes
left, Hearts made an extra man pay off. This had from Danny Wilson
ended up in the back of the net. -- header. Ryan Stevenson and Brian
Maclean challenged for the ball that went in off the post. Another chance
for Hearts in stoppage time, Callum Paterson with the header, which came
off the crossbar and this shot was wide of target. So close to a winner
at one point it -- but one point each after an alternating afternoon
at Tynecastle. -- and exciting afternoon. It has
been a difficult season but if we can eradicate our past couple of
games, we have a chance because they did not have to work too hard today.
Our best performance of the season so far, offensively and defensively
we were good, because Hearts put a lot of balls into the box like they
do. Overall, it horrific -- a great afternoon for Scottish book all.
It seems Hearts are making problems for themselves that they do not
need. Making defensive mistakes that have been punished throughout the
season. We have highlighted this, the first goal, terrible mistake.
Plenty of time and space, no opposition. They have options. He
tries to play it to the right back and he passes it straight to the
Ross County player. The second goal, defensively, nine players around the
box. They do not clear it, they are not mocking anybody. It is not good
defensive work and they are getting punished. -- marking. It is a great
finish, take nothing away from Ross County, but poor defending when you
have nine in the box. And there is this incident, why does he not play
it back to the centre half rather than the goalkeeper? That was more
fortunate. It has happened throughout the season for Hearts
that they have been punished with. We see this with Saint Mirren,
nobody! These are against teams they have been competing with at the
bottom of the table. To get out of trouble, they have to make sure they
are defeating teams. At Kilmarnock, simple straight ball up the pitch
should and Kris Boyd does the damage. -- up the pitch. Hearts were
better going forward and created opportunities, 20 of goalmouth
action, and a what of positives. -- plenty. Surely they need to be doing
something special to be getting the points rather than what they are
doing and making mistakes? After watching the game, I am more
confident they have the possibility to get out of trouble. Offensively,
they looked a lot better. At the start of the season, you wondered
whether goals would come from without a street -- without a
strike. I think they have a chance. You want offensive and defensive and
if they can sort it out at the back, they will score goals. They have got
it down to 12 points now and four wins and that has not been the case
for a lot of the season, so they are hanging in. Christmas comes early
next weekend with a fourth round of the Scottish cup. We will be keeping
you abreast of Abe breathless Saturday afternoon -- a breathless.
And on Saturday night, a round-up of the highlights of the day 's action.
And it gets even better on Sunday afternoon. We live at Tynecastle as
Celtic faced 2012 winners Hearts. And we are back again on Sunday
night with more highlights to round off the weekend.
Hibs finally got their man, would we see a different game with Terry
Butcher in charge? After a two match ban, he took his place in the dugout
away to St Mirren. A 10th manager in 16 years for Hibs.
Terry Butcher is the new man at the helm. Just one change. St Mirren
skipper missing and replaced in midfield. The first Hibs selection
for Terry Butcher sees a couple of players dropped.
Four straight defeats for Hibs. They need an improvement and quickly.
Kenny McLean. Steven Thomson! What a chance after 2.5 minutes to open the
scoring. And he cannot quite believe that he has not taken this chance.
He took a couple of touches but he took too long.
A bit of room for handling. Back after a long absence. A flashing
header from Collins, an early replacement. And that is progress
for Hibs, and effort on target. -- and effort. -- an effort.
The cross is deflected. Collins! Down goes Collins, looking for a
penalty. And no joy. The referee turns down the appeal. Was their
contact? It certainly looks like it. -- was their contact. This is a good
shout for a penalty, not given. Kenny McLean 's corner. And it goes
off the line. Not good defensively from Hibs. Maclean is prompting.
That is a good all in. -- ball. That is a good strong left hand from Ben
Williams. The initial threat was dealt with. And the goalkeeper
wrapped the ball that time. -- wrapped. Still goalless in Paisley.
That was tenacious stuff. Deflection. And straight in to the
gloves of Williams. He tries to turn away from Foster.
That was a great strike! And the head in hands held you everything
from the St Mirren midfielder. It was close.
Early in the season, those games we would not have come away with any
point so that is important, and it takes is the six out of seven
undefeated. So that is very good momentum. For me, they all he heroes
because they are under massive pressure having lost four and coming
to a team that has won five out of six. -- they all heroes. There is a
lot of pressure and everybody is expecting miracles so it is not
revolution as evolution. I think it is fair to say that under
Pat Fenlon Hibernian where a bit flaky at times. What do you think of
Terry Butcher? Yes, they have to build confidence. You can see
throughout the first half they were not sure. Every single one of them,
they improved by second half. Hibernian were the second -- the
better team in the second half. They took the game to St Mirren. The work
ethic was the and that is where Terry Butcher is starting. It is
slow progress but the confidence will come and then the results will
come. You were never convinced by Pat Fenlon, is Terry Butcher the man
for you? If he does what he did that Inverness the fans will not be
complaining. He is going to make them hard to beat and getting things
right off the ball, as time progresses they will get things
right on the ball. I thought with this, the sun was in my eyes, I was
at the other end, but I received a text from a BBC colleague who said
it was never a penalty. That was Richard Gordon. It was never given.
I think that was a penalty. Regardless of weight it is on the
pitch you have to give a free kick Audie penalty. -- weighed it is. And
that Rugby Park. Things have been difficult for the Kilmarnock
manager. With Darren Barr and Jackson Irvin suspended, youngsters
Johnstone and Slater, then. -- come in. Paul Lawson and McFadden
returned to midfield for Motherwell. All are getting into a fine goal. It
is Moors and an early chance beer for Motherwell. Kilmarnock just not
able to clear the lines. Moo unable to punish them. This man has done
well. It is a good all in. So is Moors. You are looking for the
striker to hit the target. Lawson. Moore is in again. Craig Moore is
finding the openings in the Kilmarnock rearguard. There is the
header. There is care. Sutton. A great save from Sampson. To deny
John Sutton. Concerning times for Alan Johnson at the moment. Can dine
linking well with Boyd. Still Boyd. That shot is tidied away by Nielsen.
Cleared away by McManus. That is a good delivery. Aims worth is looking
for support in the centre. Good delivery back in by bikers and
Sutton opens the scoring for Motherwell. Ten minutes into the
second half. It is the goal of the season and Kilmarnock are exposed
again. Great counter attack by the visitors. A lovely shimmy of the
feet and into wards Boyd. Parried by Nielsen. Tess Salah and it still
will not go for Allan Johnston's side. A touch by Michael Gardyne.
Here is Boyd. That should have been the equaliser. Kris Boyd knows he
should have done better. Eagle leading myths from the Scotland
striker. -- E bleeding mess. -- a glaring miss. And that ties up the
win for Motherwell with two wins remaining. Everybody is really
frustrated because once again it is the same problems. In the second
half we have got to defend better. There is not the lot in this
division. If you defend well and are properly organised we have the team
who can create goals. We are pleased with a really good the's work. A
good day for Motherwell. We were talking about the frailties of
Kilmarnock. They are a club who have suffered this season defensively.
When you make the -- mistakes like they are you will get punished.
Young Johnson is highlighted, picking up Sutton, that is a
mismatch. Seeing that they live someone near, it is not where he
wants to be. Roles reversed. I am the same. We are having a go at
defenders tonight. We do not want to be harsh on young or harder but he
has got to learn quickly. He did not have his best they. He has come into
the team that are not performing. These are elementary mistakes you do
not want to see anybody making. It is difficult to step in to a team
that is not performing well. Here is a nice beach. With experience you
know how to handle that situation better. Every week we talk here
about exasperation and here being ruled out in terms of defensive
problems this team has got, what do you think? He works hard. He has
gone the year to a club that is in a bit of turmoil. It is hard to get
results. If he does not get results the punters turn on him. He should
be given time. He has proven he is a good manager. He will get it right
if he is given time. The punters are giving him a hard time but it is not
all his fault. Speaking of Kenny Shiels, we continue managerless at
Inverness. Yesterday it was Duncan Shearer who took the side for the
visit of St Johnstone. St Johnstone would be a tough nut to crack. The
Perth side on a format running when. -- four match running win. The first
proper match of the post-butcher either. It was pretty much business
as usual. A goal for Inverness. His 10th Premiership strike of the
season. Good work here with the cross and Mackay doing what he does
best. Perhaps that full-time job would not be so bad after all. Aaron
Doran the next to try his luck. As force in Johnstone, after the recent
run of stunning form, Hasselbank and may at the best. Nothing wrong with
the cutting-edge of Billy McKay. He got a shot on target but Alan
McManus made the save. A well rounded performance from Inverness,
by no means a classic but they were the better side. This chance was
squandered to make it 2-0. As for Inverness, not bad for a rudderless
ship. The win might have been more comfortable but three points
nonetheless and Inverness Caledonian Thistle stay within sight of league
leaders Celtic. That man again, Billy McKay, he's caused when he
wants but I wish he would score more! We were hanging on at 1-0 to
be fair to St Johnstone. They put us under pressure. If we can restrict
teams like St Johnstone from getting balls into the box we have done
something with our style of play. It was not poor effort or attitude just
that we lacked a little bit of attitude today. -- lacked quality.
Kenny Shiels is the hot tip for the Inverness manager hot seat. You are
right, he does not want the pressure. He has been the before. In
terms of managerial, who knows, it is being kept under wraps. I think
they have gone about it in the right way in terms of not letting anything
leaked out. I think the club have handled it well and they will get
the right manager. It is a difficult one to call. It is unusual in
football, it has been kept quiet. If he keeps winning they will meet
Duncan Shearer keep the job or do you think it is Kenny Shiels? It is
difficult to say because it has been kept quiet. The chairman is the only
one who will know. Is Kenny Shiels the perfect fit? There are loads out
there. Kenny Shiels you could see, Craig Levein has the right stature.
Kenny Shiels knows all be players. There are positives for a few
candidates. I think Kenny Cameron has done it exactly right, take your
time and get the right man. And as we can see from the Scottish
Premiership table Inverness Caley Thistle stay five points behind
Celtic. Aberdeen slip to fifth place. Hearts are now 12 points
behind Kilmarnock at the bottom. Time now for a quickly at the back
pages tomorrow. Toiling Milan on brink of crisis ahead of Celtic game
says the Scotsman. They drew 1-1 with Genoa on Tuesday night.
Balotelli not looking very happy about things. When is he ever? He
missed the penalty, that is why he is unhappy. I do not think Celtic
have anything to fear. Celtic have handled themselves better this
season. The results have not been as good but they deserve to be at this
stage now. I am confident they will get a win. Here is an expectation
now that Celtic will go out and perhaps beat Milan? We know what can
happen at Parkhead. They have to, it is the only chance to go and beat
Milan. Take it to the last game. We have said all along it would be a
tight group, Barcelona against everybody really. Celtic have got
every chance to go and win it. Thank you very much. That is your lot this
week. The Scottish Premiership takes a winter nap next weekend which
means we get a double dollop of Sportscene highlights on Saturday
and Sunday night. Join us for all of that. Good night.