Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Celtic keep pace with Rangers in SPL

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 19 Sep 2010


Celtic made it five wins out of five to stay level on points with Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League on Sunday after coming from a goal down to beat Kilmarnock 2-1.

Neil Lennon’s men had gone into the game looking for maximum points and a clean sheet as they hoped to secure Celtic’s best start to a domestic campaign since 1906 — five wins and no goals conceded.

However Kilmarnock ended the visitors’ hopes within seven minutes, Conor Sammon netting for Killie after being put through by Alexei Eremenko.

Celtic were in control for the remainder of the half however and deservedly drew level four minutes before the break.

Kilmarnock defender Frazer Wright brought down Anthony Stokes in the box and Daryl Murphy stepped up to convert the penalty.

Celtic’s dominance continued after the interval, with Stokes testing goalkepper Cameron Bell with a long range effort before scoring the goal which fired his team into the lead.

Honduran left-back Emilio Izaguirre collected a pass from Shaun Maloney and his cross from the left found Stokes, who volleyed in from close range.

On Saturday, Rangers had swept aside Dundee United 4-0 at Ibrox to maintain their perfect start to the new campaign.

But Rangers put in their best performance of the season on Saturday and Smith was clearly pleased.

“I think overall that it was probably the best performance since we started the season,” Rangers manager Walter Smith said, delighted that his team had avoided a European hangover.

“You are always concerned about it a little. Last season we dropped a number of points after coming back from Champions League games.

“You are aware of that aspect so that means we are delighted with the way things turned out against United.”

Rangers took just nine minutes to take the lead when United defender Sean Dillion bundled Kenny Miller’s cross beyond his own keeper.

Scotland striker Miller kept up his record of scoring in every league game this season when he fired home in the 69th minute before substitute Steven Naismith headed home the third.

New signing Nikica Jelavic then showed great unselfishness to lay the ball across goal for Miller to tap in his second in the 82nd minute.

In Saturday’s other games, Hearts came from behind to win 3-1 away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Motherwell versus Aberdeen and the match between Hibernian and Hamilton both ended in 1-1 draws while St Johnstone defeated St Mirren 2-1.


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