Highlights of the day's matches, including Aberdeen v Inverness, Dundee Utd v Motherwell, Hamilton v Kilmarnock, Partick Thistle v Johnstone and Ross County v Dundee.
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Good afternoon and welcome to a results show Christmas special.
All right, so it's nothing special, but it is Christmas.
Football-flavoured fun furnished by our reporters around the country,
with banter brought to you by Pat Nevin and Michael
Now before we start our Boxing Day bounce around the grounds,
I'll tell you about some matches that have been postponed
Among them the Premiership matches between Dundee United
and Motherwell, and Partick Thistle and St Johnstone are off,
as is the Championship game between Raith and Alloa.
Right, to the festive fixtures that are afoot.
We will start at Pittodrie. Second Aberdeen are playing Internet.
Let's hear from Scott Davie. It is 2-1 to Inverness Caley Thistle.
Aberdeen have a chance to go top if they win. They are coming back into
it after losing goals to Liam Polworth under Greg Tansey penalty.
Niall McGinn has brought them back into the match. A bad mistake by the
central defence, allowing Niall McGinn to score. The pressure is now
on. There will be quite a bit of injury time because Owain Fon
Williams, the Caley Thistle goalkeeper, getting as serious head
injury. He is playing on with his head in bandages. Can Aberdeen
managed to rescue themselves? Off we go to Dingwall. Ross County
and Dundee. Plenty of excitement. What a game.
Craig Stewart set up Kane Hemmings for the opener. Liam Boyce got the
equaliser. In the second half, Kane Hemmings again. Michael Gardini
equalised and then Jackson Irving gave them the lead.
-- Jackson Irvine. Plenty of goals there. Jonathan Sutherland is
watching Kilmarnock and Hamilton. One goal in this match. It was a
freaking loopy effort, it has to be seen to be believed. The match is
getting lively towards the end., niqab never won at New Douglas Park.
Could today be the day? We will also find out what is happening in the
Championship match between Falkirk and Dumbarton. It is 1- 04 Falkirk.
The home fans are full of these festive spirit thanks to Blair
Alston's straight in the first half. The home side dominating in dreadful
conditions. A nice Christmas message from Brian
McLauchlin. Let's see of Charlie Mann can philosopher the festive
cheer. He is in Paisley Western men are playing Livingston.
Not for St Mirren funds. St Mirren Park is make Paisley nightmare is
continuing. They have not won at home in the legal season and they
are losing to Livingston, 4-1. If the score stays the same, St
Mirren will be second bottom. We will talk about that later. Michael,
you are not pleased, Aberdeen are trailing Inverness, 2-1. I did not
see that coming. This is the result that will ruin Christmas. Aberdeen
have been a bean on a terrific run. They had great support today,
nudging towards 20,000. If they lose, the supporters will feel let
down. They are putting on a late rally, Niall McGinn getting a goal
back. It sounds great from Inverness, they will be backing the
top six if it stays like this. Everyone knows how it is in the
bottom of the league up to the middle. If Aberdeen are losing 2-0
and they managed to scrape a draw, psychologically it will not be a bad
position. Celtic have a tough game coming up going away to Hearts. That
is not given by any manner of means. Ross County are up on Dundee, 4-2.
They are going great guns, county. They have had a sticky spell of
late. Yes, but they have got goal-scorers. Billy Dodds was a
striker. He spends as much time organising that as anyone else. Liam
Boyce is scoring lots of goals for them just now. He has got 12. If you
are scoring for Michael goals at home, generally you will get a
victory from that. They are a team with a lot of confidence. They have
had our ups and downs, but since that difficult time when they first
took over, it has been a very good job from them. Killie are winning
1-0 away to Hamilton. Both sides need a victory, Watmore put -- but
Killie have been under real pressure, Gary Locke in particular.
Neither team has been winning recently. Hamilton Academical have
one now on in nine. Gary Locke is under pressure. If they can hang on,
it will relieve some of that. Speaking of pressure, are Falkirk
are playing some pressure on Hibs and Rangers? They are not that far
out of it. I heard about it on BBC radio this week, that Falkirk are on
a good run. They have got a game today and begin midweek as well.
Knowing that Hibernian are playing against Rangers at Ibrox, someone
will drop points. They have every chance of getting back into it.
People have said it is Rangers against a burning. Falkirk are
loving the fact they are tucked in nicely. Michael, can you read St
Mirren out of the play-offs in the Championship? Rate them out of the
division! That is Alex rev's first proper match in charge, picking the
team. It is at home, in Paisley, and you're losing 4-1 to the team that
started the day in second bottom. St Mirren look like a club that it does
not matter what they do, it does not work for them. They have been
relegated last season and they could go through this division as well.
That would be catastrophic for the infrastructure of the club and its
finances. Just because of the income that gets cut off if you're outside
the top two divisions. Merry Christmas to you as well. Let's go
to the Premiership and get more details on the matches. We will
start at Pittodrie and Scott Davie. It is still 2- for Caley Thistle.
There are a few minutes of stoppage time. Perhaps five minutes. Quite a
long time for Inverness to hang on. Aberdeen are trying to salvage
something from a game they have dominated in terms of territory.
They have failed to create much. Much more hurried and more thought
going into things now. Niall McGinn drives in a shot. It has gone
whistling past the post. Lovely improvisation from Niall McGinn who
has brought his side back into the game. His 57th goal from the club.
It was a bad mistake by Warren, the captain of Inverness. You try to
clear his lines and did not take the opportunity. Niall McGinn pinch the
ball and slid it into the back of the net to bring Aberdeen into a
game. Liam Polworth got his second goal of the season, his second in
successive games. Good play by Ross Draper, reinstated after injury. He
outmuscled Paul Quinn and pulled it back for a Liam Polworth to score.
Then more disaster for Quinn as he needlessly push Ross Draper over. It
was a penalty, Greg Tansey scoring from that. Aberdeen showing lots of
character, for eating for everything. -- fighting for
everything. The referee is going to get the yellow carded for Jonny
Hayes who has taken his complaints to fire. It has been a fiery
encounter in a terrible day for football.
Nicely poised right now. Off to Victoria Park and Dingwall.
An update from channels. No advance on 4-2. I do not like cliches but
Christmas cracker is unavoidable. The game started at full tilt with
county providing the early pressure but Bundy opened the scoring when
Greg Stewart provided Kane Hemmings with a pinpoint through ball and he
headed in from 12 yards. County had the ball in the Dundee box but there
were no takers before Stewart pulled a great save out of the keeper at
the other end. On the half hour, County equalised through Liam Boyce
and a through ball from Andy Davies. He rolled it into an empty net.
Again, Stewart set up Hemmings before a spectacular equaliser from
Michael Gardyne. Jackson Irvine put the ball into the net just seconds
after coming on to the park but there was debate as to whether it
crossed the line. Then another from Liam Boyce.
It is 4-2. After New Douglas Park. Last we heard, Killie were leading,
1-0. The away side looks like taking another goal. They have had a boost
in confidence since that strike which put them ahead, a weirdo,
looked effort which Michael McGovern could not keep out. That was midway
through the second half. It will give Gary Locke boost. He has been
under severe pressure after some heavy home defeats in recent weeks,
notably against Aberdeen and Partick Thistle. Hamilton are not out of
this match, going on the attack with Carlton Morris. Well saved. Hamilton
tried to test, nick defence from the. A shot from the centre circle.
He perhaps finds his chances given the bad form of the, no defence, but
the keeper saved comfortably. Then Conrad Balatoni clearing off the
line from Dougie Imrie after he had beaten the keeper with a close range
shot. It was stunning from Balatoni. One to be seen on the highlights
programme tomorrow. In the second half, Josh Magennis looked like he
might have given, nick the lead, but again, McGovern with a fantastic
save. A lengthy dilate as Lucas Tagliapietra was carried from this
field. Idlib citing injury for the Hamilton Central defender. Then a
moment of hope for, nick. Be bold looked into the net. , nick are
trying to take a 2-0 lead. If they get a victory today, it will be
massive four, neck and Gary Locke. Will it be enough to satisfy the
Kamara board? 1-0. I was waiting to see we could
get the third mention of his own show in there.
He is cheeky. Like Ted to Falkirk Stadium.
Brian McLauchlin. It is 1-0 four Falkirk. This game has been
dominated by the home side since the outset. In the first-half John Baird
had a shot on the angle from 12 yards out. The goalkeeper did well
to parry it away. Eventually the breakthrough came and what a strike.
A short free kick taken to Blair Alston. He took the ball across his
body and fired in a shot from 22 yards. It rivalled beyond Mark Brown
and into the net. So close to a second just seconds into the second
half. Blair Alston said his team-mates through on goal. The bold
looked to be destined for the bottom corner only for a terrific block by
Frazer Wright at the heart of the Dumbarton defence. One-way traffic
towards the Dumbarton goal. Beard looked certain to score but he
delayed his effort and the defence got back to score. Seconds ago,
again, the ball was knocked down and the striker find the target, but the
goalkeeper saved. Just a few minutes left for play. It looks like Falkirk
are destined to go to within three points at the top of the
Championship this evening. And the points in Paisley are
destined to go the way of Livingston. It was 4-1 for
Livingston the last we heard. Any change? No change. Five minutes
left in Paisley. St Mirren are destined to go second bottom of each
and pinch a table this afternoon. They are losing 4-1 to Livingston.
They have been very poorest throughout the 90 minutes,
particularly in the second half. Defensive problems all over the
place. Livingston 2-0 up after 30 minutes. The first from Liam
Buchanan, the second from Ben Gordon. Lawrence Shankland gave St
Mirren hope on 41 minutes with a goal. In the second half,
defensiveness takes again, particularly on 54 minutes. It was a
free kick and a terrific goal. High into the back of the net, but Jack
Baird in advance of that had a very bad patch and a clumsy challenge to
give away the free kick. Then Liam Buchanan on 66 minutes. A simple
through ball, away from the defenders, cool and collected under
the goalkeeper. If I were a St Mirren Fran, I would be afraid. --
St Mirren Fran. I am saying nothing. We are going to
Victoria Park now. What a game this is. It's 5-2. Boyce
completed a hat trick. Ross County 5, Dunne key 2. -- country tee. I
was looking at that earlier and thinking Ross County and Dundee.
Hemmings scored a couple for Dundee, I was thinking can he score
back-to-back hat tricks? He has been upstaged by Liam Boyce. Yeah,
they're strong at home a lot of the time. He is on fire. If a striker
goes on a run they - the goal looks about 20 feet wide as if they can't
miss anything. Boyce is having that sort of game today. It's odd, we
feel that a about a lot of teams but Dundee maybe specifically above
anyone else, I have no idea week to week what they're going to do. I
would never bet on them one way or another. There was a while you could
bet on them having a draw and 1-1 at that. That's bucked the trend. 4-0
winners last week. Then 5-2, could have been six. You have no idea
where it's going to come to. The good thing is we have seen a lot of
goals with them involved. Before the game I would have put money on Ross
County for this one purely because they've got scorers. We are
unpredictable on this show, as well. We are going to the English Premier
League for the lunchtime match today. Stoke City against Manchester
United. Let's get the details on that one.
Stoke 2, Manchester United 0. There have been a lot of defy apt talk
from Manchester United, in particular, Louis Van Gaal, but all
that fire was quickly extinguished in a display in which Stoke were too
good. Arnautovic should have added a third. The decision to leave Wayne
Rooney out of the starting 11 was reversed at half-time. The visitors
did rally. Buckland making a couple of excellent saves. In the truth, it
was really Stoke's day. A victory for them and a United performance
which will have done little to alter the raft of back page headlines that
have so upset Louis Van Gaal. Right now there is an incident. There is
six minutes of stoppage time. The referee has given a penalty. Rooney
so good from the spot, of course, looking to convert what will be his
14th goal of the season. Rooney steps up and scores! Sends the
goalkeeper one way. The ball into the corner of the net the other way.
From 2-0 down, still five minutes of stoppage time to go here at
Pittodrie. Aberdeen still have a chance to go to the top of the table
if they can get another goal in this game. Aberdeen 2, Inverness Caley
Thistle 2. Feeling more relaxed, Michael? It's the natural order has
been restored. The natural order has not been restored at Manchester
United. They've lost 2-0 against Stoke. The headlines were that Louis
Van Gaal was for the chop. That was before today's match. The likelihood
is he will be. You need good results if you are a top club. It doesn't
look good enough. Also they're not playing an exciting brand of
football. A month ago they were top of the table. Exactly. But they
weren't playing brilliantly well. You could see the weaknesses there.
I don't think it's anything like you have lost the dressing room, one or
two players aren't suited to playing with him. In the end Manchester
United expect more. In a season where there is a great opportunity
to take the league, because everyone seems really keen to hand it to
everyone else, Leicester may be Arsenal apart, wasn't - I would say
one thing, certain teams are underestimated now. That result
against Stoke, I have been to see Stoke this season, it's not a
surprise to me, they're a fabulous team. They will continue to hammer
up that league, I am sure about it. You may disagree over what I am
going to say next, but van Gaal had a real go at the media this week,
Pat. A monologue at the beginning, criticising the media for stories
reported about him, some have proven to be thus far unfounded. You have a
lot of sympathy for him. I have sympathy for anyone in that
position. When you are in the headlights of what is a media
barrage, whatever it is, whether they're right, wrong, whether it's
opinion or not, it's incredibly hard to deal with for a family and
everyone around it. More often than not whoever it is, being it Mourinho
or van Gaal or whoever, be it myself now and again, it doesn't matter.
What happens behind the scenes, people don't know about and don't
seem to care. We don't seem to have the humanity to care about it. At
least he brought that humanity out and said this is hurting my family,
try and remember that. You know what, not that I disagree, he is not
doing well enough and probably will lose his job, but I liked the way he
brought the humanity in and says remember when you are doing this a
lot of people got hurt. A valid point, Michael? It is. I
vice-president seen what exactly Louis Van Gaal is upset about in
terms of the media coverage. -- haven't seen. We don't see the
editions of the newspapers here. It wouldn't happen here in this
country! It is an interesting point to what extent you get criticised
personally. If he thinks he will not get criticised for results and
performances and style of play at Manchester United he is kidding
himself on. He knew what he was coming into when he took the job. He
knows how big it is and knows you are going to get criticism if you go
seven games out a win. They're out of the Champions League and Carling
Cup, Capital One Cup. It's looking like he is going to go. Jose
Mourinho's availability doesn't help him either. Yeah, I am sympathetic
to his family and the rest but that comes with the territory and with
the pay cheque that you get. Bad day for him. Another good day for the
Falkirk manager Peter Houston. His side have won at home to Dunbaren
to. Let's get the details. -- Dumbarton. They're very much in the
championship title race. Three points off the top two teams,
Rangers and Hibernian who meet on Monday afternoon at Ibrox. Only goal
coming after 36 minutes. A screamer. He could have had a second. Decided
to pass the ball rather than play to goal himself and he played in Baird
who could have had a hat trick but for some terrific defending from the
Dumbarton defence. In truth, this was all about Falkirk this
afternoon. They managed to scrape the victory but much more
comfortable than the joer line was. It finished -- score line. It
finished Falkirk 1, Dumbarton 0. Charlie, over to you. It's the
opposite of what Brian was saying there. It's damp and bleak. But it's
not a happy stadium here. The fans of St Mirren booing the team off the
pitch because they've now gone to second bottom of the table. Their
terrible home league record continues. 4-1 they've been beaten
here this afternoon by Livingston who did a really number on St Mirren
here. It was a terrific game for Livingston, very poor for the home
side. Buchanah had Livingston in front at 23 minutes. Shankland
pulled a goal back for the home side. But the second half, St Mirren
were terrible in defence. A third goal for Livingston. Glenn with a
terrific free kick, 25 yards out, blasted the ball into the back of
the net after Baird had given the ball away and compounded that by
fouling his opposing player. Then 66 minutes, Buchanan ran away from the
home defence as easy to knock in his 8th goal of the season. Saints
nowhere in this game at all. They've real problems and St Mirren are
second bottom of the championship. Back to the Premier League. -- to
the premiership. Aberdeen blew a chance to go to the top of the table
on a rain-sodden afternoon at Pittodrie but showed character and
determination to come from two goals down to at least dig out a point in
a dramatic afternoon's football in the granite city. It was good
counterattacking play from Caley Thistle in the first half. Although
Aberdeen had a lot of the ball it was the counterattacking pace of
Storey that caused problems. Twice he was through but didn't make Ward
work hard enough. But on the counterattack in 41 minutes Polworth
gave the high landers the lead, it was great play by Draper getting to
the buyline. Quinn muscled out of possession. It was guided into the
bottom corner of the net. Quinn's afternoon didn't get better. Two
minutes after the restart he bundled into the back of Draper conceding a
needless penalty and Tansey stepped up and made a comfort job of taking
the spot kick. Then it was really a case of Caley Thistle defending
deeper trying to play on the counterattack with long balls.
Aberdeen piled the pressure on. Finally they did manage to get the
breakthrough on 73 minutes. McGinn claiming his 50th goal for the club
but it was a moment of real disaster for Gary Warren, went to clear the
ball, slipped, and McGinn pinched possession and slid it under the
body of the goalkeeper Williams who played for the last 25 minutes plus
stoppage time with his head in bandages after back-peddling to
gather a corner and cracking his head off the post. Williams was
actually booked for time wasting late on. By then Rooney had stepped
up and made his usual confident job from the penalty spot in the first
minute of stoppage time. A shot towards goal and the referee judging
there was deliberate handball and Rooney despatching the penalty kick
that puts them level with points, level on points with Celtic at the
top. Celtic with the superior goal difference and with two games in
hand. I think Derek will be relieved that his side managed to show the
character and determination to come back from that blow being two goals
down and show that they can scrap and battle away and maintain their
recent decent run of form. Aberdeen 2, Caley Thistle, 2. Let's chaer
from Charles at full-time Ross County and Dundee. -- hear. County
ran riot in the second half at Victoria park. Incredible game, it
started franticly. Stuart missed a chance of 2-0. County's equal icer
came when Davis returned a goal kick and Boyce found an empty net. Into
the second half, Stuart again set Hemmings for Dundee's second.
County's second equaliser. Boyce got County's 4th and Boyce completed a
hat trick to make the final score Ross County 5, Dundee 2. Full-time
at New Douglas Park. Over to Jonathan. Hamilton on 0, Kilmarnock
1. A huge victory this for Gary Lock, a first win for Kilmarnock in
over two months which has to ease some pressure that's been building
in recent weeks on the manager. Footballing success so often built
on narrow margins, Lock could have the winger to thank. A shot had
beaten MacDonald but right there on the line was Conrad who managed to
head away a clearance. It was spectacular and one to watch on the
highlights tomorrow night. Kilmarnock more lively, more
substance, overall. McGuinness looked like he had given Kilmarnock
the lead. A volleyed effort to the top corner somehow McGovern kept it
out. A worrying moment for fans as Petra went down injured, looked bad,
for about five minutes he was taken care of by the medical team. He was
stretchered from the field to a standing ovation. Let's hope it's
not too bad. The ball found Obadeyi in the box. It looped over the
Hamilton goalkeeper McGovern. He couldn't keep it out. The Kilmarnock
fans were on their feet as they saw the net billow. A huge moment for
Kilmarnock and it gave the team much needed confidence. That's how it
stayed. Gord hn a header that was well saved by MacDonald. It was
almost 2-0 in front but it ended 1-0. Hamilton one win from the last
ten games. Kilmarnock move to within a point of Motherwell. Ten points
clear now of Dundee United. That match sounds as if it's worth
catching in the highlights programme tomorrow night. Not sure. You said
he got a ht trick? Well done. He never got any plugs in for his show
last week, he made up for it today! Certainly worth watching if you are
a Kilmarnock fan, Michael. First win since October 24th. After all the
plugs were out of the way the last point Jonathan made was they're ten
points clear of Dundee United which obviously United didn't play today
so they've a game in hand but that's beginning to look really significant
for both clubs. But ominous for United. The other thing you have to
look at Kilmarnock are up object 20 points... I know what you are
saying. They're close to the top half of the table. This is Gary
Lock, if you read on Twitter last week apparently was getting sacked
or had been sacked and it shows how extreme this game - how quickly it
can change and how extreme opinions are. In fact, a couple of wins and
you are into a comfortable position. I have a feeling none of those clubs
in the bottom half are going to be in a comfortable position for
sometime. It's going to be tough for Dundee United to catch them but
always going to be one getting close to that play-off position.
St Johnstone are in fourth place, it is 11 points between them and pen
between Killie and United. United are getting detached. Keep your
powder dry, we will talk more about this later in the show. Right now it
is time for the classified results round-up.
Let's have a look at the league tables after I have slugged some
water. A valuable victory for Kilmarnock
takes them ten clear of Dundee United. A week off and there are, it
skews me. -- a wee cough Leicester City stay top. They lost
today to Liverpool. Tottenham Hotspur move up to fourth with a
handsome victory over Norwich City. Let's get some more details from the
game in England today. Pat's former club Chelsea were playing at home to
Watford. Let's hear from my wing -- let's hear from Mike Williams.
This Hiddink have drawn 2-2 with Watford in his first match back in
charge. Watford, Crystal Palace, Swansea and Bournemouth have all
taken something from Chelsea this season. Fantastic from Watford who
scored through Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo. Diego Costa scored as well.
He picked up a yellow card and will miss Chelsea's next match.
Frustration for Guus Hiddink and joy and celebration for Quique Flores.
The Watford players go over to the left to celebrate in front of their
travelling fans. They have held on for a famous draw.
2-2. It cannot be that famous. Chelsea are losing lots of games at
home. It should not be a surprise to anyone. Watford have been really
good. Odion Ighalo has been phenomenal this season, and
alongside Troy Deeney, who is beginning to score, it makes a
massive difference. This should not be a shock any more. Teams like
Watford, Leicester, Stoke, Crystal Palace, they are not monks. You have
to take them seriously. It is not a fluke. You should not be shocked.
These teams will continue to take points of the so-called big teams
between now and the end of the season. Tottenham Hotspur beat
Norwich City this afternoon. Let's hear from Mark Webber. A
lesson in football from the Lilywhites at both ends of the page.
Tottenham were dominant in attack. Harry Kane's well struck penalty
started it and he doubled it before half-time. Tom Carroll replace the
rampant Dele Alli and he made it three in the second half. It could
have been five or six. Hugo Lloris kept the clean sheet with another
smashing double save. 3-0. Let's go to the seaside to find
out how Bournemouth feared that home to Crystal Palace.
Six games unbeaten for Bournemouth. It shows how much they have
progressed that they will be disappointed not to have taken all
the points. Ritchie headed wide, Murray flocked from ten yards. Paris
have lost just one in eight. -- Crystal Palace. It was a
full-blooded encounter. It ends all square. Restore Palace
going well near the top of the table. Right into the top echelons
of the league. If you watch them play, and I have watched them a few
times, they are incredibly well-organised. They have a simple
system. Quick, attacking wide players, Wilfried Zaha I is
particularly special. They sit back and break brilliantly. It has worked
superbly for them and it is now is a price they are that high up the
table. Teams like Watford, Crystal Palace, Leicester, because of the
serious extra money in the Premier League in England, they have all got
much, much deeper squads. They all have an opportunity. They will not
follow way they have done before. Another club going well Michael,
Tottenham Hotspur. Yes, they have been below the top four, out of the
Champions League places for so long. No Chelsea out of the running this
season, Manchester United are slipping out of the running, but
still they have been below the top for Michael, out of the Champions
League places for so long. Now Chelsea are out of the running this
season, Manchester United are slipping out of the running, but
still Diarra thereabouts. Todd numb have three or four points of the
lead over United. Dashed Tottenham Hotspur. Pat makes a great point
about the television money. It means that clubs like Leicester might be
able to hold onto players. When Chelsea came in for stones, everyone
thought he would leave Everton, but they were able to keep him. Maybe
Leicester will be able to do that with the Riyad Mahrez and Jamie
Vardy. No problems with money for Man City. Another big victory for
them at home to Sunderland. Pellegrini says they have the
strongest squad in the Premiership. I would disagree. I think Arsenal
have more depth. Against the very top teams, in Europe and in England,
Man City Niedermeier and players, they need Vincent Kompany to be
playing well, they need Yaya Toure to be at his best, they need David
Silva still to be in there. They have spent money on players, but
they need those four. Some of the players in the squad do not look
anywhere near as good. They have a good chance of winning the league,
but I would still fancy Arsenal. Arsenal can go top later today. Do
you think they will do that? Everything is a line for Arsenal.
This is what they have been waiting for four years. I preferred it when
you disagree but I do not mind if you agree. I watched Arsenal the
other night and they were very convincing. Pat is right. Some of
their traditional rivals are temporarily out of the running. It
is not now or never about Arsenal. It is the best chance in ten years,
the best they have had. Leicester lost 1-0 at Liverpool. Liverpool
have been stuttering and Jurgen Klopp. The results have been
average. Compare the results to what they were like with Brendan Rodgers.
They are not much better. I will see nothing against Jurgen Klopp until
he gets his chance to add to the team in January and possibly longer
than that, in the summer. He will rebuild the team. Now he has got
players from the previous regime. I am not judging him. Let's find out
what happened between Swansea City and West Brom.
Robyn Cowen was watching. Wonderful scenes at the Liberty Stadium, fist
pumping and hiding at the final whistle, the first victory at the
Liberty Stadium first Swansea in a Premier League game. The goal was
slightly fortunate. Angel Rangel's effort hit the post. Ki Sung-Yueng
reacted first. West Brom had a few have chances in the second half but
came up against a very solid and hard-working Swansea City defence.
They are out of the relegation zone for now at least.
1-0. Add Villa Park, the bottom club were at home to West Ham United.
Ivan Gaskell has the story. Relegation looks increasingly like a
certainty for Aston Villa. 20 of the last 23 side bottom of the Premier
League at Christmas have gone down. After this it will take a miraculous
change of fortune for Aston Villa to come back. At times they played well
and push West Ham bag but they still went behind to Aaron Cresswell's
late well struck first half goal. Aston Villa swept forward after the
break when Rudy Gestede was bundled over. Jordan Ayew converted from the
spot but Aston Villa could not finish West Ham. For Aston Villa,
draws are not enough. He is right. It's a massive jump.
It's to the 4th bottom team. It's going to be tough. Oddly enough,
they've some good players. And the goal scorer, not to the level he was
at Blackburn, but without a shadow of a doubt, I don't see anyone that
I have met at all that's betting on Aston Villa surviving the season, it
would take something extra special. I am not convinced they've got it.
Go on, Michael! It's a big story, Villa going down. They're not a
club... A long time. I don't know if they have. Someone will send a text
in or something. They've a top level Premier League. If Newcastle take
anything tonight, Norwich go to the bottom three, as well. They're just
outside, that would be troubling for Alex Neil. There is a lot of
goodwill to Alex in Scotland. We want him to do well. He has had an
incredible year. A shame if they finish in the bottom three. The
promoted club that's struggled most, Pat? He came in with this attitude I
will attack it, the way Watford did. They had a real good go at it. They
got a hammering I think at Newcastle 6-2 and Alex seemed to come back and
more defensive and Gary was working beside him and they thought we will
be more sensible about it but it's not natural, I don't think, to them
and they seem to be halfway between what they want to do and what they
feel they should. Tough for Norwich at the moment. Big matches to come,
including what could be a tricky trip to Tynecastle for Celtic.
Hearts haven't won for a while. Their most recent match a no scoring
draw to St Johnstone. In the circumstances it wasn't a bad result
at all. You remember this, Pat? Down to ten men early on.
Yeah. It's one of those ones where, he lost it... Just about every
player has lost it for a second but you don't go that far. There was no
doubt about that that he had to go off the field. A reprieve here for
them. There were many opportunities. Loads of chances in this game. No
bigger than this one, as well. Hearts were well organised
defensively. It was about an hour I think they played without Juan. That
I guess is encouraging for them, they were able to survive and take a
point in those circumstances. You mentioned a tricky trip to
Tynecastle for Celtic. It should be. They always are. But their record at
Tynecastle is terrific. It's a seven straight wins there and goals, 26
scored and two conceded. Talking about Hearts going down to ten men,
they do work on that. Depends who the referee is. Players will fall
into that system, that regime and feel comfortable about it and they
don't panic. They don't lose it. They all know their jobs and that
helps. I pose it was a striker as well which may help the
reorganisation, you know, the back four and the defences, it's
unchanged. Meanwhile at Celtic last week, Celtic were losing at home to
Motherwell. And much has been made, obviously Scott Brown... From a
leading position, as well. That's the unusual thing. Oddly enough, I
heard people talk about it, when Brown is not playing, it's almost
like a different team you are playing because the driving force is
not there. That's maybe slightly harsh on Motherwell who had a good
day. They played well on the day. They were intelligent. You see the
defending there at the Motherwell goal is poor. It's poor again here.
Bitton gives it away. Actually I think they've looked better in the
last few weeks than at the start. But Motherwell exposed them last
week. Only thing I would say about it it's rare for Celtic to stumble
in two consecutive domestic games. They tend to react when they have a
bad one, which it was last week and there was negativity from the
stands, negativity in the media aftermath. They tend to react to
that and Tynecastle is a place that you would react to. You would react
to the atmosphere. Remind me of the stat you were saying earlier about
Celtic's great record at Tynecastle. 26 goals scored, two conceded in the
last seven? Remember what happened the last time they went there? Yes.
Good, because we are going to see it. Celtic came out on top. Yeah, I
think Griffiths... You know, it's always going to be tough, well not
always, because there have been really big scores, but I think
Hearts won't go into this fearful. Even though the stats don't sound
good, they won't go in fearful because they'll be up for it. It's
going to be an incredible atmosphere and it gives them a chance to get
back into being talked about again. Everyone has been talking about St
Johnstone and talking about Aberdeen. There is, if Celtic have
had a slight wobble, you have to try and take advantage of that and
that's what Hearts are going to have to try to do on this occasion.
Everyone has been talk being it all week, it isn't only one result
really. There was the Kilmarnock someone one, as well. In the end,
Celtic generally have a wobble and get back on to it again. That's the
difference between them and say Aberdeen, they had a boggle and it
was mega. We saw Griffiths enjoy scoring against Hearts. He may play
tomorrow. He may not. He is back in the straight and narrow in fitness
terms, Michael. A big player. A big player in this fixture, as well. He
scored a few against Hearts and revelled in it. We asked Ronnie the
other day whether he was going to play, I didn't get the feeling he
was that confident. He gave a vague answer. He has been out for three
games I think with a calf strain. They're not the same attacking force
without him. They don't carry the same threat. To Monday and Rangers
and Hibs. Whoever comes out on top will go into 2016 as league leaders.
They're level on points. Rangers have a superior goal difference.
It's one win each in terms of league matches between the teams this
season. Rangers winning 1-0 at Ibrox in August. It was a show-stopper,
Pat. Yeah. I did say at the time if you put that goal in and by Messi or
Ronaldo, you would say what a goal. That's a phenomenal free kick there.
He has meant it, as well. He was on fire at that time of the season. Not
saying he is as good a player as them but it was a moment of
brilliance. Not as - he has varied a bit as have Rangers but they'll be
up for it for this win, no doubt at all. Hibs won the match at Easter
Road, 2-1 on this occasion. Both games have been interesting because
they could have gone the other way. Quite interesting! Yeah. Japgers
really could have won this game at Easter Road, they ended up losing to
a late goal. Just as I thought Hibs might have won that one at Ibrox.
The game we vice-president mentioned was the Cup tie on the opening day
of the season, 6-2 at Easter Road. It almost feels like two different
teams. Hibs are a different team. Rangers aren't playing with the same
verve or scoring to the same rate. Rangers have scored in every game
this season having said that. You think that's virtually the first
thick that Hibs have to deal with -- first thing that Hibs have to deal
with. They still score freely at Ibrox. Plenty through the managers,
all conducted through the media. Warburton said he is more concerned
about Christmas shopping than Hibs. Stubbs says Rangers have been in
denial. Warburton has come up and you have to learn what it's like in
Scotland, it's extraordinarily pressured anyway, if you are a
Rangers manager it's going to be constant. If you are pressure on you
from other managers or people you have to accept that. It's part of
the deal. I think Mark was taken aback by it but then I have been in
a situation where I have welcomed people that have come up from down
south and players and had to explain to them you are going to get it up
here, a bit of needle, you have to learn to deal with it. In the last
press conference I thought Mark seemed to be dealing with it. He is
getting it a little bit now. Don't worry about what the press are
saying and don't worry about other managers, it's part of the wind-up,
deal with it. He said that, that's exactly the right way to react. Who
do you fancy for it on Monday night, Hibs and Rangers? I don't know. I
will come back to you! Pat? I won't hide the fact I have a slight bias,
I would take a draw now as someone like Hibernian to do well, in fact,
I think it'sroom almost the likely result, I don't think there's much
between the teams. Just now or going for the league generally. Michael,
reached a decision? It's hard to disagree with any of that. They've
been equally matched, not even this season, last season, as well. I can
see a draw. I guess both teams will be happy with that. It keeps Hibs in
the hunt and unbeaten run going. It will keep Falkirk happy, as well.
Will both teams be happy with a draw at Pittodrie this afternoon?
Aberdeen will be disappointed to have dropped two points. They had a
big turnout today. Fans are expecting them to go top. In the
circumstances of the match 2-0 down with 20 minutes left at home, it's
all right. You can take something from it. It shows a bit of
character. That's exactly what Davis said in the match report. There was
character shown. We were actually talking about it through the show.
If you look at the players who scored, it's kind of noticeable.
They've got that front four that is fantastic. It's going to be big for
them. Hayes and McGinn, everyone is talking about them now. McClean is
going to be a huge player for them, as well. The story about Rooney,
scores a penalty today to save them a point and that, I don't know if
you read it, he practises penalties and tells the goalkeeper where he is
going to put it, that's a great line that. Maybe you tell them and psych
the goalkeeper out. That's really good to be that confident in
yourself that you are going to do that. That front four, that's the
four that will do it for Aberdeen between now and the end of the
season, two of them have scored goals today. Big for Ross County,
and 5th, on 27 points. That's only seven clear of the redpags play-off
spot. -- relegation. You cannot get carried away. If you score five
goals, what a massive boost of confidence to you. You add on top of
that they've a striker in Boyce who is on fire just now. You are so, so
comfortable that wherever you are playing, when you are playing,
however you are doing, he will get us a goal and that gives you so much
confidence all over the team. Gary Lock will be enjoying Boxing Day? He
will. First win for several weeks. It lifts them and makes sure they're
one of those teams in that pack. The league is ridiculous almost. Between
5th and 11th there is nothing. We are trying to speculate on who might
go down or in the play-offs, it's impock db -- - impossible. Hamilton
are on a bad run. Two points ahead of Kilmarnock. No one will relax.
Managers are trying to calm players and tell players it's OK, we are
doing well, we are having a nice run. This is a little blip now. In
fact, nobody with probably the four top are going to be completely and
utterly relaxed and I can't see them relaxing because they've a lot of
players down that bottom of that table who have been in this problem
before and can't seem to drag themselves out. You get teams that
move, two or three wins together and they change.
Now, folks, that's almost it from the results show for 2015.
A big win for Ross County. A hat trick for Liam Boyce.
Congratulations to him. In the championship:
St Mirren, not a great day for Alex first match in charge:
Just time to reboot some charge: of the graphics once more this year
to remind you of some of today's outcomes.
Now, please remember to watch the highlights show tomorrow night
Your first football show of the New Year is the results show
next Saturday the 2nd of January at 4:30 on BBC One.
But in a minute or two, it's an Off The Ball Saturday
Supplement Boxing Day bash with Tam Cowan.
And since it's Christmas, the part of Stuart Cosgrove will be
Some chap called Michael Grant's on it as well.
Thanks to Pat and Michael for their wisdom and wit,
Take care and enjoy the rest of the holidays.
Introduced by David Currie.
Reports and results from around the country in the SPFL. In the Premiership, John Hughes's Inverness side are in the Granite City to play Aberdeen. In the other matches, it's Dundee Utd against Motherwell, Hamilton versus Kilmarnock, Partick Thistle take on St Johnstone and Ross County host Dundee.
Plus previews of Hearts and Celtic at Tynecastle and the crucial Championship encounter between Rangers and Hibernian.