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Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sunday SPL as it happened


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By David McDaid

1700: That's all from me for today. You'll be able to get all the reaction from today's matches on the BBC Sport Scotland website, and Sportscene is on BBC One Scotland television with all the weekend's SPL highlights from 2200 GMT. Yesterday's games will also be online from 1800. See you!

1650: So easy for Rangers. If Jody Morris hadn't been denied at the end for the first half by a wonderful Allan McGregor save, it might have turned out differently. But no one can argue with the clinical nature of Rangers performance, and St Johnstone struggled to get near the home team's goal. More importantly for Rangers, they've taken another step to closing the gap at the top. If they win their two games in hand, they go top by a point.

Full time
FULL-TIME: Rangers 4-0 St Johnstone

Well that seals a very comfortable win for Rangers. Gregg Wylde the provider down the wing, sets up Nikica Jelavic to smash in his second of the afternoon.

GOAL: Rangers 4-0 St Johnstone (Nikica Jelavic)

1647: A couple of minutes of added time to play at Ibrox.

1645:Scotland have lost their third game of the Six Nations 18-21 to Ireland.

Neil Galloway on Twitter citing #bbcsportsound: "I bet Papac wishes he could play St Johnstone every week"

1640: Appeals for a Rangers penalty turned away by the referee as John Fleck tumbles as Peter Enckelman comes out of his goal. A 'stonewaller' says BBC Scotland pundit Billy Dodds.

Jelavic it is again who makes the chance with a lovely backheel into the path of the advancing defender Sasa Papac. The Bosnian takes it in his stride, opens his body and strokes it past Enckelman. That's his fourth goal in six games against Saints alone.

GOAL: Rangers 3-0 St Johnstone (Sasa Papac)

"They may make me eat my words, but it would seem St Johnstone could play all day and never score here" BBC Scotland commentator David Begg

1634: It's all gone a bit quiet at Ibrox. Rangers still 2-0 in the lead.

1633: There are 10 minutes left at Murrayfield, where Dan Parks has scored a couple of penalties to reduced the arrears. Scotland 18-21 Ireland. Come on Scotland!

1631: Changes for both sides at Ibrox. Rangers put on John Fleck for David Healy, and Saints introduce Arvydas Novikovas for Stevie May.

1629: I'm just watching the former Scotland manager Alex McLeish jumping around like a five-year-old who's been told he can get his pudding without having to eat his greens first. Fair enough, though, as his Birmingham team have just taken the lead in the Carling Cup final against Arsenal.

BBC Scotland's David Currie on Twitter: "What a bizarre week. Celtic beat Rangers and lose to Motherwell... who lost to St Mirren... who lost to Killie. #gloriousunpredictability"

"Jelavic and Healy hasn't been a great partnership today. Healy seems to have fallen out of the game. I would think Diouf might get the nod soon" BBC Scotland pundit Gordon Smith

"St Johnstone are having a good spell at the moment" says BBC Scotland pundit Gordon Smith just as Danny Grainger hits a long-range effort at McGregor.

1617: Invincibile is coming on for Cleveland Taylor... eventually...

1615: Danny Invincibile (Da-nee-ay-lay Een-veen-chee-bee-lay) is coming on for St Johnstone to make his debut for Saints.

1613: Good play between Wylde and Jelavic, but the ball just runs away from the Croat on this occasion, and goes behind for a goal kick.

1611: Oh dear... Another try for Ireland at Murrayfield. Scotland 9-21 Ireland.

1605: St Johnstone are starting to get their passing game together a bit better now. Midfielders Murray Davidson and Liam Craig are getting forward more too. Saints boss Derek McInnes has bemoaned his team's lack of goals this season. Can they get two at Ibrox?

"It's quite a lively second half so far" BBC Scotland pundit Gordon Smith

1603: They're back playing at Ibrox. No changes for either side at the break.

"I think the football adjective that sums up Kyle Lafferty is 'enigmatic'. He has got himself in good positions today, and there are a lot of assets in his game, he just has to pull it all together" BBC pundit Gordon Smith

1552: After his defeat by Motherwell earlier, the Celtic manager Neil Lennon told BBC Scotland: "We were poor. We started the game poorly and never really got a foothold in the game. You have to give credit to Motherwell for that. They had a lot of energy in their game, but we gifted them two goals. We were poor defensively, we were poor in midfield and poor up front and maybe that is an eye-opener for them."

1550: Jody Morris almost got Saints back into the game at the end of the half. The former Chelsea midfielder hit a nice strike, but Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor scrambled to make a great save.

Half time
HALF-TIME: Rangers 2-0 St Johnstone

After passing up a number of opportunities already in the match, Kyle Lafferty finally gets his name on the scoresheet. Having failed to make an impact with his feet, The Northern Irishman rises to head the ball past Enckelman.

GOAL:Rangers 2-0 St Johnstone (Kyle Lafferty)

1537: Collin Samuel does well to get away from Madjid Bougherra but he opts to cross when he had the chance to go for goal himself. The Sportsound commentary team suggest his return of just two goals for the season could mean the Trinidadian is lacking confidence.

1535: Scotland are 14-9 behind against Ireland in the Six Nations at Murrayfield.

1533: Lafferty has a third chance of the game. He makes good run, tries to bend the ball inside the post, but Enckelman again comes to Saints' rescue.

"When you're only 1-0 down you're never out of the game and that's keeping St Johnstone going at the minute" BBC Scotland pundit Gordon Smith

"Rangers are still passing it well, but they've dropped the pace" BBC Scotland pundit Billy Dodds at Ibrox

1526: Rangers are also forced into an early change. Vladimir Weis goes off with an injury, Gregg Wylde is his replacement.

1521: Great save by Saints keeper Peter Enckelman from David Healy's shot, with Jelavic again the provider for Rangers.

1520: Jelavic feeds Kyle Lafferty, but the Northern Irishman wastes the chance. He also had options either side in better positions.

1519: Now Scotland 6-7 Ireland in Edinburgh. Chris Paterson with a couple of penalties.

1516: Michael Duberry is struggling with an injury for Saints. The big defender may have twisted or strained something and Derek McInnes is making an early change with Alan Maybury is getting to come on. Losing @original_dubes is a blow for Saints.

1511: I should clarify that when I said Saints hadn't won at Ibrox in nigh on 40 years, I meant in the league. They, of course, won in the league cup there a few seasons ago.

1509: Scotland are already trailing 7-0 to Ireland in the rugby at Murrayfield.

"It looks like being a long, hard afternoon for St Johnstone." BBC Scotland commentator David Begg

Just five minutes on the clock and Rangers are already ahead. Maurice Edu's shot breaks to Nikica Jelavic, and the big Croatian striker reacts first to drill the ball past Peter Enckelman.

GOAL: Rangers 1-0 St Johnstone (Nikica Jelavic)

1504: A couple of decent chances for Rangers early on, mopped up by the Saints defence.

1502: Rangers have won their last four home matches in the league, and St Johnstone have not won at Ibrox since 1971...

1500: Play is under way at both Ibrox and Murrayfield.

1459: Incidentally - as much as I'd love it for you to stay with me - Scotland v Ireland in rugby's Six Nations is on BBC Radio Scotland 92-95 FM... and on the telly too.

1457: Among the switches for Rangers - if you didn't see earlier - David Weir is not included in the squad, and El-Hadji Diouf is dropped to the bench. There's no starting place for St Johnstone's new signing Danny Invincibile. He's on the bench.

"I think they have shown us respect. We actually predicted the team they have - very offensive with four boys up the pitch who can score goals. In a lot of areas of the pitch, we are doing well, but I am really disappointed by our goal return. Clean sheets have given us a platform and we need to improve up front if we want to improve our league position" St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes

ST JOHNSTONE TEAM: Enckelman, MacKay, Anderson, Duberry, Grainger, Taylor, Morris, Davidson, Craig, Samuel, May.

Subs: Smith, Novikovas, MacDonald, Gartland, Maybury, Invincibile, Caddis.

RANGERS TEAM: McGregor, Whittaker, Bougherra, Bartley, Papac, Weiss, Davis, Edu, Lafferty, Healy, Jelavic.
Subs: Alexander, Weir, Fleck, Foster, Diouf, Kerkar, Wylde.

1450: Meanwhile, after his side's fine win over Celtic, Motherwell manager Stuart McCall says: "The effort from the first minute to the last was absolutely outstanding and we beat a very good side out there. They were all heroes, but now we must look for consistency. But I'm proud of them and the result they got today."

1446: Straight over to Ibrox then... and Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist answers the question about whether David Weir was dropped and if it signalled the beginning of the end for the 40-year-old stopper: "Davie has been phenomenal for us. On the Wednesday evening he did not train and was violently sick. On Thursday, he wanted to play and this is an ideal opportunity to give him a well-deserved rest. David Weir is a thorough professional and I would not say it is nearing the end."

1439: So, it's advantage Rangers. Their match v St Johnstone is coming up from 1500 GMT. A quick break for me and then I'll be back.

1438: Celtic can have few complaints about that. Motherwell played the game very well indeed.

Full time
FULL-TIME: Motherwell 2-0 Celtic

1436: Another Commons shot trundles wide for Celtic.

1435: Celtic nearly get ONE back. Commons' curled effort tipped over by Randolph.

1433: Four minutes of added time at Fir Park. You get the feeling that 40 minutes wouldn't be enough for Celtic to get two goals back today. Impressive from Motherwell.

1431: Just two minutes of the regulation 90 to go before a memorable win for Motherwell.

Yellow card
Gavin Gunning gets a yellow card for Motherwell. Another harsh one in my opinion.

1428: Commons doesn't have his shooting boots on today. The Celtic midfielder picks up the ball at the edge of the box makes some space to get a shot off, but slices it high and wide.

1425: A timely intervention by Celtic Efrain Juarez, who robs Jamie Pollock of a chance to get number three. The youngster was homing in on Forster's goal after being released by Sutton, and the Mexican got back to clear the ball off Pollock's toe.

1423: This could be more bad news for Celtic. Striker Gary Hooper took a boot square on the schnoz. It's bloody, and he's going off for treatment...

1422: If, as looks likely at this point, Celtic do end up beaten it would end a run of 17 games without defeat.

"It's been a disappointing spell for Celtic. Motherwell are getting further and further up the pitch and look quite happy." BBC Scotland pundit Murdo MacLeod

1418: First change of the afternoon for the Steelmen, Ross Forbes coming off, 19-year-old Jamie Pollock coming on.

Kevin Headley on Twitter to #bbcsportsound: "Think Motherwell are good value for their lead. Celtic have been below par for the majority of the game."

1416: I'm going to stick my neck on the line and say I can't see Celtic coming back now. If anything, Motherwell look more likely to add to their tally.

1415: Good football again by Motherwell. Murphy ends up with a shooting chance, which is actually blocked by his team-mate Sutton on its way towards goal.

1411: I was just looking to see when the last time Motherwell beat Celtic at home, and it was 22 May 2005. That was the day that Scott McDonald scored two late goals to send the league title to Ibrox. John Sutton's brother Chris was on the scoresheet that day.

TEAM NEWS FROM IBROX: Interesting as well... David Weir has been left out of Rangers' starting line-up to face St Johnstone. Young Kyle Bartley is his replacement at centre-half. Meanwhile, David Healy will partner Nikica Jelavic in attack.

1409: Ki Sung-Yeung is the man to make way for Forrest.

1407: Winger James Forrest is coming on for Celtic. Not sure who's making way yet.

1405: If Celtic lose today it hands the advantage back to Rangers in the title race, as the Ibrox men would go a point ahead if they win their games in hand.

1403: Motherwell boss Stuart McCall is clearly winning the 'Battle of the Redheads' right now. His opposite number Neil Lennon is looking none-too-happy on the sidelines. Not so sure about Stuart's blonde highlights though...

1401: The game has really picked up since that second Motherwell goal. The home side turned some desperate defending in their own box into a swift attack, which ended with Chris Humphrey shooting straight at Fraser Forster.

1358: Another good save by Darren Randolph. The Motherwell keeper shows strong hands to keep out a vicious Kris Commons free-kick.

Andrew Hargreaves on Twitter to #bbcsportsound: "Softest penalty I've ever seen."

Having seen a slo-mo replay, it did look as if Lasley stubbed his foot in the ground before tumbling.

1356: Mark Wilson also comes off for Celtic. Efrain Juarez is the replacement.

1355: No mucking about from Neil Lennon. The Celtic boss makes a change straight away. Georgios Samaras on for Anthony Stokes up front.

Motherwell (and Celtic) start the second period in the same way they start the first. Keith Lasley gets a pass in the Celtic box and takes a tumble under pressure from Emilio Izaguirre. Referee Norris points to the spot and John Sutton thumps it into the top corner.
GOAL: Motherwell 2-0 Celtic (John Sutton)

Someone has struck the woodwork
Motherwell's Shaun Hutchinson rises to meet a corner and crashes his header off the underside of the bar.

1349: No changes for either side at the break.

1348: Aaaaaaaaaand, they're off!

Neil Leslie on Twitter to #bbcsportsound: "Some very soft decisions going Celtic's way so far in this game. Don't think we'll end the game with 10 men on the field."

Fraser has texted on 80295: "Where's the grass at Fir Park? They're going to have to take the word Park out the stadium name it's just misleading."

1345: The teams are just about to re-emerge for the second half. Celtic's Mark Wilson is out early - seemingly testing the ankle he took a thump on from Ross Forbes.

Ryan Trodden to #bbcsportsound on Twitter: "Celtic need to get their fingers out. What we've seen today is nothing like the Celtic of late"

Half time
HALF-TIME: Motherwell 1-0 Celtic

1331: Shaun Hutchinson hacks a Stokes shot away from the line. I'm not so sure it would have made it over, as there was another defender there too. But Celtic are looking closer to making their breakthrough.

1329: In his short spell so far at Celtic Kris Commons has shown he likes a dig at goal. This time, though, his shot from outside the box drifts harmlessly by the post.

1328: Celtic's Ki swings in a very good corner just waiting for someone to attack it, but Joe Ledley is just a little too late.

Rosie Wilson to #bbcsportsound on Twitter: "If Celtic can win 3-0 against Rangers, surely they can win against Motherwell!"

1324: Celtic break up the park, but they find no way through a diligent Motherwell defensive set-up. The Steelmen are sticking to their task very well.

"It's been a really sloppy first half from the league leaders." BBC Scotland commentator Rob MacLean at Fir Park

1318: After that Celtic flurry a few moments ago, the game has settled down again. Most of the play around the midfield areas and Celtic are slowing the play. But Motherwell are looking dangerous on the break down the flanks. Humphrey and Hammell are putting in some nice crosses.

"It's been quite surprising for me that it's taken around 25 minutes for Celtic to look like they're up for the game." Motherwell captain and BBC Radio Scotland pundit Stephen Craigan

1312: At the other end Anthony Stokes can see the whites of Darren Randolph's eyes, but the keeper beats his shot away, then Randoplh makes an excellent save from a low Scott Brown strike from the edge of the box which was creeping just inside the post.

1310: Another chance goes begging for Well. Jamie Murphy tears down the left, his ball across the box eludes John Sutton, and Chris Humphrey snatches at the volley at the back post, sending it wide.

1308: Mark Wilson takes a sore one on the ankle from Ross Forbes. No free-kick, although Forbes had the studs up a little...

1306: Motherwell are not giving Celtic any time on the ball. Probably a good tactic from their point of view.

Stevie Lochran on Twitter via #bbcsportsound: "I don't care what Lennon says, Mulgrew is never in a million years a centre half."

"There's no way if that was a Celtic player that that would be a booking" Motherwell captain and BBC Scotland pundit Stephen Craigan on Keith Lasley's yellow card.

Yellow card
Motherwell's Keith Lasley goes into referee Euan Norris's book for a challenge on Ki Sung-Yeung. Looked a tad harsh for me...

"Neil Lennon is having a real go at Charlie Mulgrew, basically telling him: 'Get your act together mate.'" - BBC Scotland reporter Charlie Mann in the thick of things on the touchline.

1256: Keith Lasley's poor touch takes the ball away from him in the Celtic box, otherwise he might have had a glimpse at goal. Celtic's defence are not looking too comfortable in these early stages.

1254: Mark Wilson had a good chance to get his third career goal for Celtic... Kris Commons with a curling free-kick to the back stick, Wilson got a good contact, but couldn't keep it on target.

1253: I think you get the message - it's not been the best start for Mulgrew...

"That must go down as the most mistakes made by one player in the first three minutes of a game. You wonder how that will effect Charlie Mulgrew's confidence. He made a mistake before the goal and was then caught in possession again straight after it" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Murdo MacLeod

"You could see that it was never going to reach the goalkeeper and John Sutton just gambled and it paid off. Motherwell have started really well and are pressing Celtic high up the pitch" Motherwell captain and BBC Radio Scotland pundit Stephen Craigan

What a start for Stuart McCall's men! Chris Humphrey's just after having a chance from a Charlie Mulgrew mistake - Daniel Majstorovic mopped up on that occasion... But then another Mulgrew error allows John Sutton to score. The defender leaves the ball for his goalkeeper, but Sutton nicks in to slot in from an angle.

1248:GOAL: Motherwell 1-0 Celtic (John Sutton)

1246: And a minute later than scheduled, we're under way in Motherwell.

1244: Players are out on the pitch at Fir Park. There was a bit of discussion about the surface beforehand. It looks a bit bare it must be said. Thankfully it's dry.

CELTIC TEAM: Forster, Wilson, Majstorovic, Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Brown, Ki, Ledley, Commons, Hooper, Stokes.
Subs: Zaluska, Juarez, Samaras, Loovens, Rogne, Murphy, Forrest.

MOTHERWELL TEAM: Randolph, Hateley, Hutchinson, Gunning, Hammell, Humphrey, Lasley, Jennings, Forbes, Sutton, Murphy.
Subs: Bradley, Saunders, Page, Casagolda, Jeffers, Meechan, Pollock.

BBC Scotland's Jonathan Sutherland on Twitter: "A lot of Motherwell fans expecting total hiding from Celtic, but Well team looks pretty solid to me."

1233: My BBC colleague Colin Wallace - he's one the folk we have to thank for putting together the SPL highlights - has intimated I cut off my rotten fingers with a rusty knife... As a MASSIVE pop music fan, he points out: "It's 'I Can't Dance' by Genesis to be precise." Sorry.

1231: Motherwell are playing 'I Can't Dance' by Phil Collins on the stadium PA system... yesterday their Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton played 'Get Funky' by James Brown. 1-0 Accies, I think...

"The way they took Rangers apart last week could be a bit intimidating for some of our young players, but hopefully the park might help that" Motherwell captain and BBC Radio Scotland pundit Stephen Craigan

1222: And... for Motherwell: Also two changes... Stevie Hammell comes in for the suspended Stephen Craigan, and striker Francis Jeffers is dropped to the bench, with Ross Forbes coming into midfield.

1220: Some team news for you for Celtic: Two changes for Neil Lennon's side.... Ki Sung-Yeung and Anthony Stokes are in for the suspended Beram Kayal and Georgios Samaras.

1217: The match at Fir Park kicks off at 1245 GMT. If you're a Celtic fan thinking about rushing along - don't bother... all 6000 away tickets have been sold already. Stick around and keep tabs on the here. Deal?

1215: Afternoon all! Motherwell v Celtic, then Rangers v St Johnstone - coming your way.

Print Sponsor


Scottish Premier results

27 Feb 2011 23:59 UK

Scottish Premier table snapshot

As it stood on 27 Feb 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Celtic 27 42 64
2 Rangers 25 34 59
3 Hearts 27 19 55
4 Kilmarnock 27 7 39
5 Motherwell 28 -4 37
6 Inverness CT 27 1 33
7 Dundee Utd 24 -3 31
8 Aberdeen 27 -14 30
9 St Johnstone 26 -16 30
10 Hibernian 27 -15 28
11 St Mirren 27 -22 22
12 Hamilton 26 -29 15

see also
SPL photo gallery
27 Feb 11 |  Scottish Premier

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