Scottish Premier League Week 4
Celtic 5-0 Hearts
Celtic were the only home side to take maximum points on this the fourth weekend of the new Scottish Premier League season. They knew only to well that there was no room for a sloppy performance after having seen strong rivals for their crown Rangers win a tight game away earlier on the live football match at noon.
A response was needed and the Celtic players provided one that sent out a statement that they are not ready to surrender their title as they moved into second place and only 2 points behind the current leaders.
An own goal from Hearts player Berra on 9 minutes signaled the start of Celtic taking apart a very dispirited Hearts team who are now in deep trouble with a misery 2 points from their first 4 games. But worse still they do not look like a team capable of putting in a good performance at this present time.
A further individual goal from Donati which saw him slip past several challenges before slotting home his goal on 18 saw the teams reach half time with the home team in complete control.
After the break Celtic continued where they left off. Further goals through Brown on 61, a penalty scored by Vennegor of Hesselink, after Nakamura had been brought down in the penalty box and a fine goal by Nakamura himself who was played in by Scott brown on 79, saw Celtic cruise to an emphatic victory over the Edinburgh side.
Worse still for Hearts was the sight of Neil McCann being stretchered off with what was confirmed later to be a double leg break. It was the news the club had feared but is especially cruel for the player who over the last few years has been dogged by injuries which have limited his impact in his club sides and his international career.
Falkirk 0-1 St Mirren
In a game which saw two teams who were very cautious not to loose the game, it was St Mirren who eventually grabbed the 3 points with a very late goal in the second half when the game seemed to be going to end all square.
In doing so they leap frogged Falkirk to take up seventh place and more importantly put points in between themselves and a group of clubs staring at a relegation battle. Having become veterans of relegation battles themselves, St Mirren will know just how important these points are, at this stage of the season even more so.
Falkirk on the other hand will no doubt feel cheated of a point at least, as despite suffering heavy defeats recently they have played some good football and today it deserted them to produce an especially sloppy first half. Good quality passes were of a premium as the strikers were left high and dry with little service coming through to them.
After strong words no doubt in the dressing room the second half started to produce a much better spectacle for the supporters. Both teams created good scoring chances although the woodwork and the keepers combined to stop any change in the score sheet, that is until as the game seemed to be heading for the draw, St Mirren striker Mehmet managed to get in on goal and shoot from around 20 yards to beat the home keeper Krul sending the traveling fans who came to watch live football into celebration mode!
The game proved to be a second win in a row for St Mirren and how different their position looks now than at the beginning of the game last weekend, when they were entrenched in the bottom places.
Falkirk of course will be desperately disappointed with the result especially after their performances against the Glasgow sides which they got nothing from. John Hughes though will be realistic in this latest defeat and will gather his players for the next game as they can do nothing about the result of this game now.
Gretna 1-2 Motherwell
Gretna will need to wait at least another week before they record their first win in the Scottish Premier League as substitute Chris Porter came off the bench in the second half to score the goal which sealed the 3 points for Motherwell in what the record books will show as an away win, but which took place on their home ground Fir Park.
This of course after the reached a deal to ground share with Gretna whilst their ground is renovated to achieve Scottish Premier League standards. The first goal fell to Motherwell after 8 minutes, but in strange circumstances it was Keith Lasley who saw his shot cum pass deceive the Gretna keeper Fleming and end up in the Gretna net. Gretna have shown that they are not a team who give up easily and after a few good chances to equalise, saw themselves draw level through Abdul Osman who managed to head home a cross from Craig Barr on 18. Motherwell enjoyed most of the possession and chances for the rest of the half but both teams left the pitch at half time on level terms.
Both teams appeared to go for the 3 points after the break but Gretna were dealt a severe blow on 57 when they had Barr sent off for a second yellow card after a heavy challenge on Clarkson. Dave Irons soon followed, after being sent to the stands for his protests and Motherwell took little time to capitalise on the events. Chris Porter it was for Motherwell who scored the winning goal after deflecting McCormack’s effort into goal. Having only come on minutes earlier this was also his first goal for the club and saw his side move up to 3rd in the table.
For yet another match Gretna showed they are not overwhelmed by the opposition but will wonder when they are going to have a change of luck.
Hibernian 3-3 Aberdeen
The match ended with Aberdeen still looking for their first win of the new season and will be kicking themselves having led this one by three goals to one with twenty minutes to play. For those who watch live football, this would have been as entertaining as it gets with chances being created at both ends and both teams going for the win.
It was Hibernian who took the lead early in the first half when Zemmama was able to convert a pass from Fletcher to open the scoring on 5. Aberdeen then had Craig Brewster to thank for scoring two first half goals when the Hibernian defence was caught hesitating. After the break Aberdeen found their lead increased again when Jamie Smith scored from a flighted cross from Barry Nicholson caught the Hibernian defence out again. Both teams continued to create chances and it was Hibernian who reduced the deficit with a wonderful scissor kick from Steven Fletcher on 70, which gave the home side the confidence to go forward again looking for an equaliser. The equaliser was to come through Dean Shiels who had come on earlier in place of O’Brien. He was played in on goal after fine work by Fletcher and confidently rounded Aberdeen keeper Souter and slotted home from close range.
After the match Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood was critical of his players for allowing the Hibernian players far too much time on the ball and insisted they had to get back to doing the basics right if they are to climb back up the table.
Hibs manager did find time to support his keeper Yves Ma-Kalambay after his poor performance and believes he will learn from the experience. As a live football match it provided great entertainment for the supporters but both teams will feel like they have dropped points from this fixture.
Inverness CT 0-3 Dundee
After yet another defeat, Inverness find themselves without any points and in deep trouble early at this early stage of the new season. For periods in this game they did create chances but the result was never in doubt after the first goal was scored by the visitors.
With Inverness manager Charlie Christie resigning his post on Monday and becoming the first managerial casualty of the season, it was left to care taker manager Donald Park to oversee the home team’s fourth straight loss.
Despite the events of the week and the uncertainty surrounding the vacant manager’s position, Inverness played well in the first half of the live football match and took control of the game through good possession and creative play.
Unfortunately for them they couldn’t make it last and with a few minutes of the second half elapsed, the home keeper Fraser misjudged a Sean Dillon cross only to see it nestle in his goal and give the visitors the lead.
Despite falling behind Inverness tried to draw level only to fall further behind to two successfully converted penalties from Dundee Captain Barry Robson, when both McCaffrey and Munro were judged to have committed fouls within their penalty box.
The result lifted Dundee United to 5th place, but left the home team struggling at the bottom.
Inverness have some good news on the horizon though, as Craig Brewster is set to return for a second spell as manager of Inverness after he was released from his playing duties at Aberdeen. The 41 year old will take charge on Monday and hope to turn around the fortunes of the team starting with the CIS tie on Tuesday.
Kilmarnock 1-2 Rangers
Those who were able to watch live football would have been treated to a very entertaining game, as Rangers earned themselves a hard fought win from the team in third place. Kilmarnock may have thought that Rangers would be an easier proposition with having a crucial European game coming up in mid week. In reality the Rangers band wagon keeps on rolling on with no sign of them faltering for anyone.
Rangers have not won 4 games in 4 matches purely on luck, but as this game showed they create chance after chance and ooze quality in their play. Credit to Kilmarnock though, as watching live football the fans would have seen that both teams were very evenly matched throughout the first half. However with both keepers being tested several times the teams headed to the dressing rooms on even terms.
Darcheville replaced Daniel Cousin after the half time break and made an almost immediate impact, when he held the ball up on the Kilmarnock penalty area for Damarcus Beasley to slot the ball into the home net and give Rangers the lead.
Kilmarnock didn’t panic though and were rewarded themselves when ten minutes later Naismith and Nish combined to put Invincible in a scoring opportunity on the Rangers box. Having had several chances blocked by McGregor this time he converted the chance and brought his team level.
Both teams went searching for a winning goal and it was Rangers who earned the three points through Jean Claude Darcheville, when on 76 he found himself clean through and scored from close range. Both teams had opportunities in the remaining minutes, but at the final whistle the score remained the same and Rangers stayed on top of the live Scottish Premier League whilst Kilmarnock dropped three places such is the gap between the mid table teams.
Tags: Celtic, Hearts, Scottish Premier League, Falkirk, St Mirren, Gretna, Motherwell, Aberdeen, watch live football, hibernian, live football match, inverness, live football, dundee, rangers, kilmarnock, live scottish premier league