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Sunday, December 28, 1997 Published at 08:39 GMT


Rangers tighten grip
image: [ Ibrox: More than 50,000 fans watched Rangers's home win against Dundee United ]
Ibrox: More than 50,000 fans watched Rangers's home win against Dundee United

Rangers have strengthened their grip on the Scottish Premier League after notching up a 4-1 victory over Dundee United.

The BBC's Roddy Forsyth reports. "Rangers' big push"(44")
Hearts moved into second place by beating Dunfermline 3-1 while Celtic dropped three points with a 1-0 defeat at St Johnstone.

Rangers are now two points clear of Hearts and three ahead of Celtic, who started the day in second place.

Rangers initially went one down to a Kjell Olofsson strike in the 28th minute.

[ image: Marco Negri: Two goals in the last ten minutes]
Marco Negri: Two goals in the last ten minutes
But two goals in as many minutes from Brian Laudrup and Alex Cleland just before half-time ensured Rangers went into the break 2-1 up.

Marco Negri sealed the points against the only domestic side to have beaten Rangers this season, with an 82nd minute goal and a last minute penalty.

Hearts thriller

The BBC's John Murray reports. "Hearts' warning" (47")
Hearts started their match without joint top scorer Neil McCann but still comprehensively beat Dunfermline.

In a thrilling first half which saw all four goals Hearts went ahead in the seventh minute through a Jim Hamilton header from eight yards.

David Bingham equalised from the penalty spot nine minutes later.

The Scottish football results in full (1'02")
But in the 28th minute Hearts regained the lead thanks to an Ian Westwater own goal.

Stefano Salvatori blasted the third from 20 yards.

Dunfermline's top scorer Andy Smith was sent off for a second bookable offence seven minutes into the second half.

The BBC's Andy Gillies reports. "Fourth time lucky for Celtic" (58")
Mid-table St Johnstone dented Celtic's championship aspirations when George O'Boyle scored the game's only goal in the 72nd minute.

But O'Boyle, who scrambled the ball home in a packed penalty area, limped out of the action shortly afterwards.


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