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Scottish Premier League roundup

September 14, 2010

The fourth weekend of the new Scottish Premier League ended with both Rangers and Celtic retaining their 100% starts to the season. Last season’s 3rd place side Dundee United scored their first win of the season while Hibernian continued their poor run at home that hasn’t seen them win in the league since March. Elsewhere, St. Johnstone remained without a victory this season and Kilmarnock earned their second successive win.

Hamilton 1 – Rangers 2

After new-boy Nikica Jelavić marked his first start for the Champions by opening the scoring after just six minutes, Rangers seemed to turn their attention towards their Champions League with Manchester United. They took their foot off the ball and simply expected Hamilton to sort themselves out. As it was, the mentality of the Gers encouraged Hamilton on. They pressed for an opening and after some battling in midfield by Dougie Imrie released Max Paixao on the left. His dangerous cross was turned in by Mahjid Bougherra.

That forced Rangers to wake up and the Champions soon got the job done thanks to the in-form Kenny Miller. Off the bench, Miller raced beyond the Hamilton back four in the dying moments of the 90th minute and lobbed the scrambling Tomas Cerny to ensure all three points headed back to Ibrox.

Celtic 3 –  Hearts 0

Neil Lennon made it four wins out of four and four clean sheers out of four even though they did face a bright start from the visitors to Celtic Park. Fraser Forster had to make two smart saves before Suso smashed a 20 yard drive off the Newcastle loanee’s right post. Celtic broke immediately and despite calls of offside, Daryl Murphy’s cross was right in the path of the on-rushing James Forrest. The second goal was also contentious as Shaun Maloney was suspected of being ahead of the Hearts defense before he rounded Kello to double the lead. That effectively killed the game as a contest in just the first half before Paddy McCourt scored the Bhoys’ ninth goal of the season with a jinking finish and smart finish late on.

Hibernian 1 – Inverness CT 1

While former Hibee Anthony Stokes was making his debut for Celtic, his former side continued to struggle to win a game at home. The Edinburgh side haven’t won a league at Easter Road since March and despite dominating for long periods against Inverness, they failed to walk away with all the spoils. Derek Riordan scored the opener after just eight minutes before he missed a penalty late-on and that miss came back to haunt him. Caley, who had failed to trouble a seemingly assured Hibernian defense all game long, were gifted a penalty when Steven Thicot tripped Danni Sanchez with just nine minutes left. Adam Rooney smashed the ball past Mark Brown to earn a highly unlikely point for the visitors.

Dundee United 3 – Aberdeen 1

After conceding four at home to Inverness last time out, Dundee United surprised everyone including themselves by being third up against The Dons inside nine minutes. A Jon Daly tap-in, a Mark Howard own goal and a David Goodwillie penalty did the damage for Dundee and though a Jerel Ifil long ball broke kindly to Vernon to score what-was the consolation goal, the away side couldn’t make any in roads to Dundee’s two goal advantage.

Kilmarnock 2 – St Mirren 1

Kilmarnock secured their second successive win in the league with a 2-1 win over St Mirren at Rugby Park. James Dayton gave the Killie inside half an hour before they were pegged back by Steven Thomson’s opportune thinking. The frontman capitalised on a defensive lapse to level the scores before debutant Alexei Eremenko won it with a free-kick.

St Johnstone 0 – Motherwell 2

Two first half goals secured all three points for Motherwell on their visit to St Johnstone and left the home side as the only team in the SPL without a win. Nick Blackman scored from 25 yards after just three minutes before Saints captain Kevin Rutkiewicz prodded into his own goal under pressure from Well’s John Sutton.

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