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Saturday, February 28, 1998 Published at 19:35 GMT



Sport: Football

Celtic open up two point lead

Celtic opened up a two-point lead at the top of the Scottish premier division after a Marc Reiper goal provided what could be a highly significant 1-0 win at bottom-placed Hibernian.

The victory in one of the tightest title races for years moves them on to 58 points, two clear of Hearts.


[ image:  ]
Celtic head coach Wim Jansen told his players they would only have themselves to blame if the title eluded them now.

He said: "We know every fixture will be hard for us now, every coming game will be like a final.

"But this has been a good week with nine points from three matches which shows ignoring other teams and looking only at ourselves is working for us.

"Yet if you make a good run you had better keep playing. We have to do this by ourselves and if we don't it will be our own fault."

Rangers secure draw

Rangers trail Celtic four points after a dramatic 2-2 draw at Ibrox against Hearts.

Jorg Albertz equalised for Rangers after 40 minutes and then equalised again in the last-minute with a free-kick to save a point for the champions.

The champions seemed to be heading for defeat after Jim Hamilton put Hearts 2-1 up with 14 minutes to play.

Both sides finished with 10 men after Richard Gough of Rangers was shown the red card in the 65th minute - followed by Grant Murray of Hearts in the 78th.

Commenting on Gough's red card, Rangers manager Walter Smith said: "It was the wrong decision to send him off.

"Gough got the ball but the momentum took him through. My long vision is perfect."

He added: "It's disappointing to lose goals in the manner we are doing. We keep throwing points away.

"I feel we have contributed to our own downfall in recent games but I'm very happy Albertz is having a good run in front of goal."

The two other matches played ended in draws.

St Johnstone drew 1-1 with Dundee United while Aberdeen and Kilmarnock shared a goalless game.

The match between Dunfermline and Motherwell was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
 





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