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Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Sunday, 23 October 2011 12:10 UK

SPL as it happened


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By Clive Lindsay

1705: So, after all the excitement, the status quo prevails with both Old Firm sides winning and the gap between them remaining the same. Meanwhile, a bad day in England for most of the Scottish managers involved continued as the pressure mounts on Steve Kean following Blackburn Rovers' 2-1 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur. Don't forget to read our match reports and quotes - from those who are talking to the media at least. Thanks for your company. I am off to have a much-needed stretch after sitting here glued to the action - and the seat - for the last five hours!

It's all kicking off at Ochilview as Rosco_v1 tweets: "Late drama! Penalty to Buckie that's been saved, red card and a punch-up! Buckie down to nine men and still fighting." I hope that's in a football sense Rosco.

1659: Of course, you can make up your own mind about the talking points from today's games - and yesterday's - on the highlights show on BBC2 Scotland at 1000 BST tonight and also on the BBC website.

1655: It may not have been a vintage Celtic performance and it was nervy at times, but it was just about deserved for Neil Lennon's side. They won't be dwelling too much on their display as the win was the important thing to restore the 10-point gap between themselves and leaders Rangers and move to within a point of second-placed Motherwell.

Full time

1652: "This will be an important win for Celtic and give them a bit of confidence, but it hasn't been one of their best displays" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Jimmy Calderwood

1649: Aberdeen throw a free-kick into the Celtic penalty box and goalkeeper Fraser Forster scrambles it away for a corner under pressure from substitute Darren Mackie. A home fans had hearts in their mouths there!

1647: "Celtic are comfortable now and Aberdeen are running out of energy and have not really picked out a pass for the last 10 minutes" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Murdo MacLeod

1644: Paddy McCourt turns Darren Mackie inside out before curling a shot from a difficult angle within the six-yard box that just misses the Aberdeen far post. A fantastic piece of skill from a player we see far too little of in the Celtic team.

Red card
1640: Aberdeen are reduced to 10 men after their goalscorer, Ryan Jack, receives a second yellow card for a poor challenge on Gary Hooper. That wasn't the kind of excitement the neutrals were hoping for really as that should kill it as a contest.

1640: "It's going to be a very exciting last 12 minutes" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Jimmy Calderwood. Let's hope so.

The mere presence of the magic feet of Paddy McCourt produces a goal within seconds. Daniel Majstorovic's header from a high free-kick into the penalty box deflects off an Aberdeen body and former Dons defender Charlie Mulgrew fires high into the roof of the net from close range.

1632: GOAL Celtic 2-1 Aberdeen (Charlie Mulgrew)

1631: That was Victor Wanyama's last involvement, with the holding midfielder replaced with the tricks of winger Paddy McCourt.

1627: Typical - as soon as the pundits start talking about Aberdeen taking control, the visitors are suddenly under intense pressure. Goalkeeper David Gonzales has to push away a rasping Adam Matthews drive from 22 yards then Gary Hooper fails to connect with a ball whipped across the face of goal and Victor Wanyama also squanders a chance from close range.

1625: "After their European exploits, Celtic's record is not good and Aberdeen are buoyant now," BBC Radio Scotland pundit Jimmy Calderwood

Yellow card
1622: Ryan Jack finds himself in the referee's book for his celebrations and Isaac Osbourne quickly follows after a tackle on the edge of the Dons box, but Charlie Mulgrew's curling free-kick is just too high.

Young Aberdeen midfielder Ryan Jack celebrates the signing of a contract extension last week by weaving his way into the Celtic box and curling a low drive past motionless goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

1619: GOAL Celtic 1-1 Aberdeen (Ryan Jack)

1617: Aberdeen are looking increasingly dangerous and a Rob Milsom drive from the edge of the box strikes Ki Sung-Yueng. The Dons claim for a penalty, but there was no way that was deliberate handball from the Celtic midfielder.

1615: Gary Hooper is looking far from his usually clinical self as he delays a snap shot long enough for a Dons foot to block his side-footed effort from 14 yards and the ball spins into the arms of goalkeeper David Gonzales.

Rosco_v1, otherwise dubbed 'our man at Ochilview', tweets: "1-1! Life in the Jags yet! #bbcsportsound"

1609: Ki Sung-Yueng squanders a great chance to score his second of the game, the Celtic midfielder slicing wildly wide from 10 yards as the ball bobbles around the Dons area.

Rosco_v1 on Twitter: "1-0 East Stirlingshire. Stoater from outside the box into the top corner" Thanks Roco for keeping us up to date with the Scottish Cup tie against Buckie Thistle.

1607: The Jelavic "wonder goal" debate rages on as Stef from Cumbernauld texts on 80295: "What Andy Halliday forgets is Xavi and Messi play in the Champions League, Rangers don't!"

1605: The second half is underway and Aberdeen drive forward immediately as they search for an equaliser.

1602: Even worse news from down south for Sir Alex Ferguson, whose Manchester United suffered a thumping 6-1 defeat by Manchester City at Old Trafford to trail their neighbours by five points at the top of the Barclays Premier League. It isn't all doom and gloom for Scottish managers in England's top flight today, with David Moyes' Everton winning 3-1 away to Fulham and under-pressure Steve Kean's Blackburn Rovers standing so far at 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur.

1600: Bad news for Derek McInnes in his first game in charge of Bristol City following his departure from St Johnstone. The Championship's bottom side are 1-0 down at half-time to Birmingham City. The scorer, another former Rangers midfielder, Chris Burke.

"Celtic were looking good, but after the goal it went really flat. I know they had a difficult game in midweek, but they have got to dig a bit deeper. Aberdeen started well, but I am disappointed in their two strikers as they haven't caused any problems" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Murdo MacLeod

Half time

1542: Aberdeen manager Craig Brown must hope he had more like Kari Arnason. The former Plymouth midfielder is strong and creative and another forceful run produces another opportunity that is squandered by team-mates who don't seem to be on the same wavelength.

malkybck on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: " Any updates on the Buckie Thistle game? Mon the Jags!" Goalless at the moment Malky, but we'll keep you and any Shire fans up to date.

1535: Aberdeen striker Rory Fallon is perhaps unlucky to be the next to receive a booking as Charlie Mulgrew follows through with a clearance and the former Dons defender is left injured. Meanwhile, the Dons remain unhappy that their claims for a penalty were waved away after Scott Vernon fell under pressure from Daniel Majstorovic. The breaks are not falling the Dons' way.

From anon by text on 80295: "Re Andy_Halliday: Not only that, but if Xavi had produced the pass Bocanegra did, we would be calling it pass of the century!" You might have a point, whoever you are! Remember to add your name to texts and tweets - we do like to credit you!

Yellow card
1531: Richard Foster is the first name in referee Stevie O'Reilly's book with a late challenge on James Forrest that leaves the Celtic winger sprawled on the deck.

1528: Perhaps I spoke too soon as no sooner had I posted my previous comment when the Dons create nervous moments in the Celtic defence and only a couple of last-ditch clearances prevent goalscoring chances.

1526: The game now has an air of inevitability about it, with Celtic in total command and Aberdeen already looking a dispirited bunch. Charlie Mulgrew is the latest to have a pop at the Dons goal but curls a free-kick wide without his usual accuracy.

1524: Celtic had to make a change during the goal celebrations. One assumes because of an injury, central defender Glenn Loovens has come off, handing Daniel Majstorovic the chance to make amends for some recent poor performances.

RichyBallantyne on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "Rangers' win at Tynecastle, the toughest venue in the SPL. Invincibles 2011/2012?"

Beram Kayal slips the ball through to midfield partner Ki Sung-Yueng and the South Korean side-foots into the far corner from 12 yards as Celtic make their early pressure tell.

1520: GOAL Celtic 1-0 Aberdeen (Ki Sung-Yueng)

Andy_Halliday on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "If Messi scored Jelavic's goal, it would be getting raved about for days"

1517: "Aberdeen are beginning to stand off and sit back, which is allowing Celtic to retain possession and apply the pressure" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Murdo MacLeod

1515: Beram Kayal sends a long-range effort curling wide of the far post as Celtic continue to press.

1512: The first real threat from Celtic as James Forrest fires straight at goalkeeper David Gonzalez. And, from their first corner, Charlie Mulgrew has a close-range effort charged down.

1510: Fraser Fyvie whips a dangerous cross into Celtic six-yard box and goalkeeper Fraser Forster gathers at the second attempt.

1509: "It's a decent start from Aberdeen. Celtic have Forrest playing behind the two strikers, which means there's a lack of width and that makes it easier for Aberdeen" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Jimmy Calderwood

1502: Celtic kick-off and are immediately on the front foot as they look to keep in touch with Rangers after the SPL leaders' win in Edinburgh.

Gary Hooper is back up front for Celtic after missing the Europa League draw in France with an ankle injury. Defender Cha Du-ri is the man to drop out after that terrible own goal against Rennes. Aberdeen stick with the same side for the third game running, with Rory Fallon and Scott Vernon leading the line as Craig Brown avoids the temptation to follow the example of many visiting managers and playing with only one up front. By the way, in case I confused anyone earlier on, Celtic are now 13 points behind Rangers, although they now have two games in hand!

1450: TEAM LINE-UPS AT CELTIC PARK Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Loovens, Mulgrew, Ledley, Ki, Wanyama, Kayal, Forrest, Hooper, Stokes. Subs: Zaluska, El Kaddouri, Majstorovic, Cha, Mark Wilson, McCourt, McGeouch. Aberdeen: Gonzalez, Jack, Mawene, Considine, Foster, Fyvie, Arnason, Osbourne, Milsom, Vernon, Fallon. Subs: Brown, McArdle, Clark, Mackie, Chalali, Magennis, Megginson. Referee: Stevie O'Reilly

1448: "I go into every game with confidence, no matter the league position or how we played in the previous match. Even before our last two games, we have been playing well and not getting the results we deserved. I watched the game against Rennes in midweek and Celtic played very well, but I am only considering my own team. We are down to 19 players, so we don't have many options, but we have a stronger bench this season" Aberdeen manager Craig Brown, who is also still speaking to BBC Radio Scotland

1445: Aberdeen fans can still feel the pain of their 9-0 defeat in the corresponding fixture last season - the worst result in the club's history and one that helped end Mark McGhee's spell in charge. However, as manager Craig Brown points out, they have since been back at Celtic Park and were unfortunate to lose 1-0 at the end of last season. That was also the scoreline when Celtic visited Pittodrie in August.

1444: In contrast to Celtic, Aberdeen arrive looking for a third win in a row after a heartening 3-1 win over Dundee United that followed a 4-0 hammering of Dunfermline Athletic.

1443: Celtic manager Neil Lennon is taking heart from his side's battling qualities in coming back from deficits to draw in their last two games. They looked to be heading for defeat last weekend when they were 3-0 down to Kilmarnock at half-time before claiming a 3-3 draw at Rugby Park. They then recovered from a horrendous defensive error to draw 1-1 away to Stade Rennais in their latest Europa League Group I match. However, is that just papering over the cracks as they have now gone four games without a win, the others being a Europa League draw with Udinese and a defeat by Hearts?

1442: "The players got a lift from it," says Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who is still speaking to us on BBC Radio Scotland and in reference to the midweek draw with Rennes. "But we are not getting complacent. Every game is a must-win for us, but we are looking forward to the game very much. Aberdeen have two experienced characters looking after them and have a good blend of youth and experience"

1438: By the way, if you are looking for any reaction from Tynecastle, I should remind you that Hearts are not talking to any media while Rangers are not speaking to the BBC at the moment. For the reasons, scroll to the bottom of the page!

1436: "After the European games, which were a bit of a fiasco and raised some doubts, Rangers look a very solid team. As soon as they go ahead, the game is finished against most teams" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Jimmy Calderwood

1432: The win at Tynecastle extends Rangers' lead in the SPL to nine points over Motherwell as attention now turns to Celtic Park, where the hosts kick-off soon against Aberdeen looking to reduce their own 13-point gap with the reigning champions.

1428: It wasn't a vintage performance by Rangers, but Ally McCoist's machine is churning out some impressive statistics. That's six league games away from home they won this season without conceding a goal, their last being on 13 May against Kilmarnock. In all, Rangers have recorded 13 consecutive wins away from home in the league and a total of 22 unbeaten in the SPL.

1426: Rangers complete a typically clinical performance. While Hearts had four efforts on target, Rangers had only two and scored with them both.

Full time

Yellow card
1421: Marius Zaliukas is shown a deserved yellow card for hauling down Steven Naismith as the Hearts defence play themselves into trouble midway through their own half. A day that promised much for Hearts is going rapidly downhill.

CraigyP83 on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "As a Jambo, I have to grudgingly admit that was some finish from Jelavic"

1417: "Rangers have been okay, but they have been relentless" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

Yellow card
1414: The snarling Ian Black, what a surprise, is the next to go into the referee's book for taking Steven Naismith's legs away - and the Hearts midfielder is immediately withdrawn. Until he had put himself in danger of being sent off, Adrian Mrowiec was the one who was going to be replaced with David Obua.

William_Main on Twitter using #bbcsportsound on Jelavic: "On a matter of minutes and he puts it in the back of the net. That's why Rangers forked out the money"

1408: Allan McGregor denies Hearts an equaliser with a superb, instinctive double save, blocking twice from Ryan Stevenson as the Hearts man unleashes a couple of powerful drives from inside the box that the goalkeeper blocks clear.

Seconds after coming on as a substitute, Nikica Jelavic escapes the attentions of sleepy defender Marius Zaliukas to a hopeful long diagonal from Carlos Bocanegra and volleys into the far corner of the net from 16 yards. Just when Hearts were getting on top and looking to equalise.

1406: GOAL Hearts 0-2 Rangers (Nikica Jelavic)

Yellow card
1400: Rangers defender Dorin Goian goes into the book as he clatters David Templeton as the winger threatens to speed clear of the Romanian. Rather than hold him back, that injury has stung Templeton into life.

1357: The recovered David Templeton cuts to the by-line and his low cross slips through a sea of legs to Adrian Mrowiec in the clear 12 yards out, but the Hearts midfielder screws his shot wide of the post. He is certainly not a candidate to be the next midfielder turned into a striker by the Hearts management.

1356: Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor spills an Eggert Jonsson drive and Adrian Mrowiec turns the loose ball across the six-yard box. However, Carlos Bocanegra clears under pressure from two Hearts shirts and Mrowiec is flagged offside in any case.

1329om ComedyTeddy on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "Hearts are still dangerous. They'll be playing for the win bonus their kids may one day receive"

1350: Hearts winger David Templeton crumples to the ground as he slips while trying to control the ball. It looked like it might be a serious injury as he goes over on his ankle, but the Scotland Under-21 international is able to limp to the sidelines and looks likely to recover.

1350: "Hearts have to gather themselves as Rangers are starting to dominate and play their passes" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

1342: Hearts begin to apply some pressure and a dangerous Adrian Mrowiec ball curls in front of the Rangers goalmouth then defender Carlos Bocanegra is left stunned after he clears a goalbound Eggert Jonsson volley with his forehead.

Ewan in Edinburgh has a message for the Hearts board by text on 80295: "Same old, same old. How can you expect a team to succeed without a dedicated goal scorer season after season? BUY A STRIKER! It's not a secret"

1336: The second half is underway at Tynecastle with Rangers in pole position to extend their lead at the top of the SPL - and immediately the ball is sent into the Hearts penalty box, where striker Kyle Lafferty skies a half chance into the stands behind the goal.

1334: Former Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Kilmarnock manager Jimmy Calderwood tells BBC Radio Scotland that he expects St Johnstone chairman Geoff Brown to continue his policy of appointing a young manager rather than more experienced men like himself. The Perth outfit are, of course, looking for a replacement after Derek McInnes left for Bristol City, who host Birmingham City in the Championship this afternoon.

1329: From QuesoB150 on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "Dreamt last night that Celtic had to come back from 1-0 down to draw 1-1 in the last minute. Heard it here first!" We shall see - Celtic versus Aberdeen still to come later this afternoon.

1321: Despite Rangers looking vulnerable at times, the SPL leaders go in ahead after Hearts concede their first home league goal since July. But Hearts have given their fans hope by responding to apply increasing pressure just before the break.

Half time

Yellow card
1318: Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor is forced into his first save, beating away a Rudi Skacel thunderbolt from 25 yards. The pressure continues and Ryan Stevenson is booked as he tries to knock a cross to the back post towards goal with a hand.

1315: Hearts go close to an equaliser when Ian Black hits a hopeful ball while under pressure in his own half. It catches out the heart of the Rangers defence, but a combination of Carlos Bocanegra and Lee Wallace thwart Ryan Stevenson just inside the box. Former Hearts left-back Wallace's toe poke knocks the ball beyond goalkeeper Allan McGregor but also past the post.

From William in Glasgow by text on 80295: "Typical Rangers - under pressure then BOOM, goal! Ally, you're quickly becoming a legend in the dugout. League over before my daughter's sixth birthday in December"

1308: Maurice Edu makes room for himself just outside the Hearts penalty box but fires over the crossbar as Rangers settle after a period of the ball pinging around inside their own area immediately after the goal.

Yellow card
1304: Hearts defender Danny Grainger is perhaps unlucky to go into Calum Murray's book after a tackle from behind on Maurice Edu.

1229: From dmolloy22 on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "Knew it! You go on about how Hearts are on top and then boom, we concede. Stop tempting fate!"

1257: "Rangers have not been at their best, but one good run by Whittaker and a typically great finish from Naismith and they are 1-0 up. The Hearts fans, and their players, look stunned by that" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

Steven Whittaker sets up Rangers' goal with a lung-busting run towards the centre of the Hearts penalty box. His progress is halted, but the defender manages to poke the ball through to Steven Naismith, who fires under the despairing goalkeeper, Marian Kello.

1254: GOAL Hearts 0-1 Rangers (Steven Naismith)

1252: Talking of balls, Lee McCulloch's latest attempt to blast an effort towards the Hearts goal leaves former Ibrox team-mate Andy Webster lying in pain inside the penalty box. But he lives to fight another day, as do Hearts from the resulting corner.

1252: "Hearts are picking up most of the second balls" BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

1249: It's developing into an end-to-end, fast and furious cup tie of a league game, if you get my meaning. Hearts have the edge, proven by the 60% of possession they have so far enjoyed.

1229: From Charlesinembra on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "My Jambo son is a lucky charm when he's at Tynecastle, but today he's doing his mid-term homework, so fear for the Hearts."

1245: Converted, or should that be makeshift, striker Ryan Stevenson rises to meet a corner and heads towards Rangers' goal. Steven Naismith clears from beside the post, although the angle suggests the effort might have just crept wide in any case.

Yellow card
1243: First booking of the game and it is shown to Steven Whittaker for a late challenge on Hearts winger David Templeton. It was the second mistimed tackle in succession from the Rangers and Scotland right-back.

1242: The reigning champions have sprung to life and a Maurice Edu drive from the edge of the penalty box could have threatened Hearts goalkeeper Marian Kello had it not taken a deflection over the crossbar.

1240: Rangers at last make a foray into the Hearts half, but Lee McCulloch's volley from all of 30 yards is way too ambitious and is screwed wide.

1237: Hearts are camped in the Rangers half and striker Kyle Lafferty is back there helping to clear a dangerous ball into the visiting penalty area. A good start from the home side.

1233: Hearts kick off the game and immediately send a long ball into the Rangers half. The kind of long ball that former Hearts manager Jim Jefferies was in the papers today denying he encouraged while at Tynecastle.

1231: Here come the teams onto the pitch at Tynecastle...

1229: From coachingabn on Twitter using #bbcsportsound: "Working this afternoon so will need to keep up with the scores via #bbcsportsound on the website. Lots of funny reporting today please!" We'll do our very best!

TEAM LINES FROM TYNECASTLE... Hearts: Kello, Hamill, Zaliukas, Webster, Grainger, Skacel, Jonsson, Mrowiec, Black, Templeton, Stevenson. Subs: MacDonald, Obua, McGowan, Novikovas, Taouil, Gordon Smith, Robinson. Rangers: McGregor, Whittaker, Goian, Bocanegra, Wallace, McCulloch, Edu, Davis, Naismith, Papac, Lafferty. Subs: Alexander, Broadfoot, Jelavic, Fleck, Bedoya, Wylde, Perry. Referee: Calum Murray

1220: Okay, here's what you have been waiting for - the team news. Croatia striker Nikica Jelavic, who has been struggling with a bug, fails to make the starting line-up for Rangers but is on the bench at Tynecastle, with Kyle Lafferty tasked with scoring the goals as the lone forward. Hearts boss Paulo Sergio names an unchanged side for the fourth consecutive game.

1219: It is a fixture fraught with danger for Ally McCoist's side. Hearts won 1-0 on Rangers' last visit to Tynecastle in January. And, apart from St Mirren, Hearts are the only side to have taken points off the Ibrox outfit this season, when they claimed a 1-1 draw on the opening day of the campaign in Glasgow. Not only that, but Paulo Sergio's side have scored nine goals without reply in four successive SPL wins at home, which included a victory over Celtic.

1218: Rangers last weekend squandered the opportunity to claim a 10th consecutive league win when their former striker, Steven Thompson, struck a stoppage-time equaliser for St Mirren at Ibrox, while Hearts eased to a 2-0 win away to Dunfermline Athletic.

1217: Hopefully, though, today will all about the football rather than off-field activities. The action starts with the aforementioned Hearts hosting Rangers at 1230 BST as the SPL leaders look to extend their lead to nine points over Motherwell, who missed the chance to narrow the gap further after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Kilmarnock yesterday. The Edinburgh side can themselves move into third should they defeat their visitors from Glasgow. That comes before Celtic, presently sitting third and 10 points behind Rangers but with a game in hand, host Aberdeen in the 1500 kick-off.

1216: Hearts' action will be seen by some as a smokescreen as it ensures their players are unable to comment publicly about their ongoing problems over wages. The club confirmed last week that a number of senior players have yet to receive their monthly salary. One wonders how that might that effect their players today.

1214: Yes, it's been one of those weeks, of which there appear to be many in Scottish football. Without going into great details that will no doubt be poured over by Rangers owner Craig Whyte's lawyers, we will today be minus any direct comments from the Scottish champions after they withdrew co-operation with the BBC following a television documentary investigation into his business past. That was closely followed by today's opponents, Hearts, introducing a more widespread media ban in protest at the Scottish Football Association calling manager Paulo Sergio to appear in front of them as a result of his public criticism of referee Iain Brines.

1210: Welcome to a busy Sunday of Scottish Premier League action. Hopefully the football will brighten a dull day and warm the hearts as the temperatures begin to plummet on the cusp of winter. The hearts I am talking about are the ones that lie beneath our chests before anyone else unjustifiably accuses us of bias against or for any particular team. Feel free to give us your thoughts by text, email or Twitter throughout the afternoon.

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Scottish Premier results

23 Oct 2011 23:59 UK

Scottish Premier table snapshot

As it stood on 23 Oct 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Rangers 12 21 32
2 Motherwell 12 1 23
3 Celtic 11 11 22
4 St Johnstone 12 5 19
5 Hearts 12 5 18
6 St Mirren 12 -2 13
7 Aberdeen 12 -2 12
8 Kilmarnock 12 -3 12
9 Hibernian 12 -7 12
10 Dundee Utd 12 -7 11
11 Dunfermline 11 -11 10
12 Inverness CT 12 -11 9

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