Scottish Premier League Week 1
Inverness CT 0-3 Rangers
Rangers started the season with a fine away win over Inverness and in doing so sent out a message that they are hungry for success this season. Unfortunately the day was spoiled by alleged racial chanting, which may result in Rangers fans being banned from away games in the future. To make matters worse the match was one where fans across the nation were able to watch the football live!.
On the field Rangers never really looked threatened from the team that had presented major problems to them last season. Inverness had to make do without two of their summer signings and with last years top scorer Craig Dargo having moved to St Mirren, it was left to Dennis Wyness and Rory McAllister to start up front.
Any hopes of a repeat of last seasons results were soon dashed and it was Barry Ferguson it was that settled the traveling supporters nerves after 16 minutes by shooting from 20 yards out to see the ball fly past Inverness keeper Micheal Fraser and go in off the post.
Kris Boyd who top scored last season had several good chances to put Rangers 2-0 up but failed to convert any of them. He was substituted early in the second half and is considered doubtful for the midweek Champions League game against Zeta, after picking up an ankle injury in the first half. It was his replacement Nacho Novo who added a second from 16 yards after 64 minutes and effectively sealed the victory for the visitors after being set up by Lee McCulloch. Rangers were not quite finished though and fans favourite Barry Ferguson took his second opportunity late on in the 90th minute when he pounced on a very sloppy back header from Ross Tokely to take the points with a 3-0 away victory.
Dundee United 1-0 Aberdeen
The game seemed to be heading for a 0-0 draw after both teams seemed unwilling to take their chances. However with seconds left it was left to David Roberston to lash the ball into the visitors net and give 10 man Dundee a hard fought home win to start off their season.
The game had started at a fast pace but with little quality on display, rather the first half was peppered with fouls and stray passing. New Dundee loan signing Willo Flood it was that saw red after 42 minutes as he received his second yellow card for a cynical dive after being challenged by Jackie McNamara.
Both teams had chances to take the points during the remainder of the match, but it was the home side who were rewarded when Robertson it was who intercepted a poor attempt by Aberdeen’s defender Considine, to chest the ball back to his keeper and lashed the ball into the net from close range in the last minute.
Aberdeen will be desperately disappointed, as they will know that Dundee will be one of their main rivals this year and can only hope that the points they dropped, will not come to haunt them at the end of the season.
Gretna 0-4 Falkirk
The good the bad and the ugly could well describe the first day in the Scottish Premier League for Gretna. The good in actually realisizing the dream, the bad in that they were given a baptism of fire with a 4-0 defeat and the ugly describing the behind the scenes events as former manager Rowan Alexander was refused entry to Fir Park after declaring himself fit to return to work.
On the field Gretna worked hard throughout the match but just did not seem to have an answer to the steady goal scoring of Falkirk. As the teams went in at half time, Gretna found themselves 2-0 down to a Micheal Higdon double on 13 and 23 minutes. Gretna had several chances of their own and when the second half commenced showed signs of promise for a while. That is until Moutinho went past Gretna Keeper Fleming to score a third on 66 minutes. Further agony was to come on 74 as Latapy beat the Gretna keeper for a fourth time with a well struck shot from long range to seal the fate of Gretna.
After such a resounding defeat it can only be hoped that Gretna can pick themselves up for the next match with the understanding that they are in a very different league now, as if they needed reminding.
St Mirren 0-1 Motherwell
It was Motherwell who took the points to give new manager Mark McGhee a flying start in the Scottish Premier League. Motherwell dominated the match for long periods as St Mirren found it hard to offer any response to a 3rd minute strike from Steve McGarry after he was played in by Clarkson.
Motherwell had a host of chances during the game, the best being a penalty in the 40th minute, after McGarry was fouled in the St Mirren penalty box, however Jim Paterson failed to convert from the spot.
St Mirren changed formation in the second half and ended playing three up front, but the damage had already been done and the Saints had no answer as Graeme Smith the Motherwell keeper had a relatively easy afternoon.
Celtic 0-0 Kilmarnock
Celtic gave an uninspiring performance as they began the defence of their title. It has been nearly 9 years since Kilmarnock have taken points from CelticPark and recent form had made this seem as certain a home win as they come.
No doubting Celtic started strongly and created chances, but the final finishing touch seemed hurried all afternoon as they became more frustrated at the stubborn resistance of the visitors.
Kilmarnock rarely threatened to break forward and the few times they managed to get the ball up the field they were thwarted quickly with little success to show for their forays.
Celtic pushed hard in the final quarter of the game but in a match which was played in pouring rain they just could not find a way past Kilmarnock keeper Alan Combe no matter how many times they peppered his goal.
Hearts 0-1 Hibernian
No doubt many bars in Edinburgh were packed, as fans from both clubs went to watch live premiership football and saw new signing Brian Kerr ensure the points went back to Hibernian from the first Edinburgh derby of the new season. Kerr it was who rose to head the ball into the Hearts net from 10 yards in the second minute.
After the first goal the game descended into a classic scrappy derby affair as both teams tried to dominate. Despite a frantic pace it was Hearts who won the battle for domination but they produced very few clear cut opportunities and found themselves struggling to even get their shots on target.
Hibernian it was who finished the match as comfortable winners, after successfully defending their early goal and watching as new goalkeeper Yves Ma-Kalambay was rarely troubled during the match.
Tags: Rangers, Inverness, football live, Champions League, Dundee, Aberdeen, Scottish Premier League, Gretna, Falkirk, Motherwell, St Mirren, Celtic, Kilmarnock, Hearts, Hibernian, live premiership football