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Saturday, November 1, 1997 Published at 19:29 GMT

Sport: Football

Hearts beat Celtic into number two spot

Hearts scrambled to the top of the Scottish Premier division, knocking Celtic into second place.

Tynecastle manager Jim Jefferies believes the turning point of his side's 4-1win at Aberdeen was the moment they started to follow his pre-match instructions.

The Edinburgh side trailed to a Dean Windass goal at the interval and their title credentials looked poised to be tested to the full.

But Aberdeen lost their way after the break as Hearts levelled through Neil McCann then sprinted to a resounding victory courtesy of a Thomas Flogel brace and a Gary Smith own goal.

Celtic coach Wim Jansen was unconcerned at losing the leadership of the after watching his side chalk-up another three points thanks to a 2-0 win against Dunfermline ahead of the first Old Firm game of the season next weekend.

The Dutchman's half-time talk certainly had the desired effect as his team overcame a nervous first 45 minutes to clinch an 11th straight win against domestic opposition with a fortituous strike from Regi Blinker and a classy finish from Henrik Larsson.

And Jansen was especially pleased at the way his charges had changed tactics in the second half to finally wear down a determined Dunfermline side.

He said: "There are a lot of games to go and it doesn't worry me that Hearts are top. It is obviously important though to get a win before a big game.

Rangers' Italian striker Marco Negri killed off Kilmarnock for the second time this season with a hat-trick in his side's 4-1 victory at Rugby Park.

That followed his two goals in the 3_0 win at Kilmarnock in September when Killie manager Bobby Williamson went on record saying he expected Negri to score 50 goals this season.

But Williamson the defeat with good humour, saying: "I didn't mean them to be all against us!"

Negri's treble, one from the penalty spot, took his tally to 26 goals and he maintained his record of scoring in all Rangers' 10 league matches.

St Johnstone survived a frantic second half fight-back from bottom of the table Motherwell to hold out for a dramatic 4-3 victory.

The Perth side were on easy street and coasting 4-0 after 60 minutes until the visitors scored three goals in an amazing 11-minute spell.

Dundee United left it late to seal a well-deserved victory over Hibs at Easter Road.

Kjell Olofsson was the hero for the Tannadice men with a goal in both halves.

Hibs Stevie Crawford looked to have earned the side a draw when his goal five minutes from time levelled the scores at 1-1.

But with just two minutes remaining Olofsson ran onto a great Easton pass to poke the ball under the advancing Hibs keeper Gottskalksson.

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