This week in the Scottish Premiership was a weird one, there was six away wins, which is highly unusual in any league around the world.
HEARTS 1-3 CELTIC
Celtic warmed up for Wednesday’s Champions League clash in Milan with a 3-1 victory over a spirited Hearts side.
Hearts started on the attack in this match just inside the fifth minute Celtic defender Izaguirre was punished for handling the ball, which sprung Fraser Forster into action as he had to beat away Kevin McHattie’s free-kick. Celtic responded well as Kris Commons volleyed over after a good cross by Boerrigter. Celtic then took the lead soon after the referee had judged that Jamie Hamil had handled in the area following a Celtic corner. Kris Commons made no mistake from the spot, smashing the ball past Jamie MacDonald to give the away side a one-nil lead. Stokes then had the ball in the net, but it was ruled out for offside. Matthews tested MacDonald from long-range but he was denied. Celtic went in at the break ahead.
Hearts scored the equaliser not long after the restart, McHattie’s shot deflected into the path of Jason Holt and the young midfielder’s shot got another defection on its way past Forster to level the game. Samaras came close for Celtic with a header but his effort was headed over the bar. Celtic regained the lead when Commons played Stokes through to slam the ball past MacDonald, as Celtic began to turn the screw Izaguirre and Samaras went close to a third. That was left to the substitute debut boy Teemu Pukki with five minutes left – as he headed the ball home from a Stokes cross to make it 3-1 and seal all three points.
KILMARNOCK 1-2 INVERNESS CT
Inverness kept their good start to the season going with a good 2-1 victory away to Kilmarnock, who are still looking for their first win under new manager Allan Johnston.
Inverness’ opening goal came due to some static Kilmarnock defending just six minutes in. Killie failed to deal with James Vincent’s cross, which Billy McKay headed down, Doran hooked it across the face of goal for Foran to head home to give the visitors the lead. Both sides traded shots, Doran and Gardyne going close for either side but Inverness were the team that was bossing the game. Caley almost doubled their lead when Jacobs cleared Warren’s header from a Shinnie header off the line. Killie had their first attack of any real purpose but Gardyne was denied, as Brill turned his long-rage effort round the post. McKay failed to add to the lead before half-time he escaped his marker inside the box but couldn’t get a clean connection to Doran’s cross, as Caley went into the break with a one-goal advantage.
Killie levelled the game six minutes into the second period, Rabiou played the ball in front of Nicholson, Shinnie got there first but the left-back’s clearance only rebounded off Nicholson’s shins and beyond Brill, to make it 1-1. It only took Caley five minutes to restore the lead through McKay, Killie were on the attack when Josh Meekings intervened and launched a ball up the other end of the park, it caught Killie’s defence flat-footed and McKay raced onto it, he lobbed Craig Samson and make it 2-1 Caley. Kris Boyd almost levelled with twelve minutes left from a tight angle, but Caley held on for the win to stay top of the table.
ST MIRREN 0-1 MOTHERWELL
Motherwell piled on the pressure to under-fire St Mirren boss Danny Lennon as they came away from Paisley with a 1-0 victory.
St Mirren went close early on after a good start, winger Teale crossed for Stephen Thompson who headed wide. Motherwell received a huge let-off when a foul on Conor Newton was given as a penalty then reversed the decision and gave a free-kick; Danny Grainger fired the resulting free-kick over the bar. St Mirren were beginning to get on top, but in the 38th minute John Sutton rose highest to head home after good work on the left from Iain Vigurs and Francis-Angol, Cornell will feel he could have done better. As Motherwell had the half-time lead.
St Mirren immediately started on the attack; Newton saw his shot block by both Hutchinson and McManus. Motherwell came close to a second on several occasions, Hutchinson headed Vigurs’ corner over the bar, McFadden clipped a shot over the bar after a defensive mix-up and 20 minutes from time Bob McHugh was put through by Keith Lasley but he couldn’t add to Motherwell’s lead. St Mirren continued to look for an equaliser towards the end of the game, but Thompson could not meet McGowan’s cross and it went out of play. Motherwell held on, as the pressure increases on St Mirren.
ST JOHNSTONE 1 -2 HIBS
Hibs got their second win of the season after beating St Johnstone 2-1 at McDermaid Park.
The hosts started brightly, ex Hibs midfielder David Wotherspoon fired a left-footed shot over the bar from 20-yards out. They cemented their good start in the 17th minute when Stevie May put them ahead. May collected the ball around 25-yards out before spinning his man and firing a low shot beyond Ben Williams. Hibs almost hit back after Alan Mannus superbly saved Liam Craig’s effort after his initial free-kick had rebounded back to him off the wall. Hibs did eventually get level in the 35th minute new signing Paul Heffernan put the ball in the net after Scott Robertson’s shot came back off the foot of the post.
St Johnstone started the second-half in better fashion, Murray Davidson saw his shot go narrowly over from 18-yards. Six minutes in Stevie May went on an impressive solo run, before back-heeling the ball into the path of Patrick Cregg whose effort was blocked by Nelson. Two minutes later James Collins got the winner from a tight angle after Liam Craig’s lofted pass. Hibs held on to get an impressive victory as they move up to 8th in the table.
PARTICK THISTLE 0-3 ABERDEEN
Partick Thistle lost their first home game of the season in emphatic fashion, as they were battered 3-0 by Aberdeen at Fir Hill.
Aberdeen were on top from the start as Johnny Hayes stung the palms of Scott Fox, from the resulting corner Aberdeen took the lead, Hayes’ corner was played back into the box by Hector and met by Calvin Zola who headed home to give his side the lead. In the 20th minute, Zola turned provider, dispossessing Piccolo before bringing Pawlett into the game who fired home to double the lead. Hayes came close a minute later only to be denied again by Fox. Thistle had two chances just before half-time, Taylor-Sinclair’s effort forced a great save from Langfield and James Craigen then broke from midfield to set-up Sean Walsh who could only find the side-netting.
Aberdeen continued to dominate after the break, Hayes was denied for a third time by Fox. The Thistle ‘keeper also denied Cammy Smith, who came close after Gregg Wylde’s cross. Aberdeen sealed the victory with 20 minutes left as Magennis powered past Piccolo before firing home from a tight angle. Kallum Higginbotham came close for the home side but it was all too little too late for the home side.
ROSS COUNTY 2-4 DUNDEE UTD
Ross County continued their less than impressive start to the campaign, as they lost 4-2 at home to an impressive Dundee Utd side.
United started the game the brighter of the two sides, their forward Ciftci, ran though after the County defence misjudged a long ball, but he was foiled by recovering defender Brian McLean. Ciftci came close a minute later, with a free-kick, Gary MacKay-Steven touched the ball to him, only to see his effort saved by the County ‘keeper as it was heading toward the top corner. Gauld was next to be foiled by Brown when he was put through by Michael Paton. In the 18th minute, the away side took the lead from the penalty spot, when Brown brought down MacKay-Steven. The winger stepped up and sent Brown the wrong way. The second came a minute later Armstrong’s header from a Ciftci cross at the near post dipped over the despairing Brown. County felt they had a shout for a penalty when Sean Dillion brought down Luckassen but the referee waved away the claims. Kettlewell fired wide for County then, United added a third through Gauld straight after – he beat the offside trap to fire low and give the visitors a half-time lead.
County came out fighting in the second period, they almost got one back as Cierzniak easily saved Mustafi’s downward header. United added a fourth on the 65th minute as Gauld fed the brilliant Ciftci, who calmly finished. County found their way back into the game in the 71st minute Ivan Sproule’s shot deflected home to make it 4-1, five minutes later Graham Carey crossed for Rocco Quinn to make it 4-2 but the late rally was too late for the hosts.
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