Monday, January 16, 2017

Scottish Premiership Review: Hearts, Aberdeen win to keep pressure on Celtic

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 7 Nov 2015

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Hearts and Aberdeen both won in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday to temporarily close the gap on league leaders Celtic.

A scrappy game between Hearts and Hamilton at Tynecastle was decided by two first-half goals, the opener coming in the 27th minute when Prince Buaben fired a low shot from 25 yards past Michael McGovern.

Hearts goalkeeper Neil Alexander made a great save from Lucas Tagliapietra a few moments later, and that proved crucial as the hosts soon doubled their advantage when Arnaud Djoum tapped the ball home after Osman Sow had rounded McGovern.

Igor Rossi had a header cleared off the line for Hearts and Sow passed up a great chance to get on the scoresheet himself, but Robbie Nielson’s men had already done enough to move three points behind Celtic, who travel to Ross County on Sunday, with a fourth straight win.

Aberdeen managed to keep pace with Hearts as they overcame rock-bottom Dundee United 2-0 at Pittodrie, ending a run of five top-flight matches without a win.

Derek McInnes’ side controlled the first half but they were unable to find an opener – Michal Szromnik producing a great save to deny Graeme Shinnie shortly before the half-hour mark with their best effort of the opening period.

Five minutes after the restart, though, Adam Rooney finally converted following Jonathan Hayes’ pass to put Aberdeen ahead.

And the points were secured when Hayes then got in on the act 17 minutes from time, rifling a powerful strike across the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.

St Johnstone’s good form continued with a 2-1 win over Kilmarnock, holding on for the final moments after Liam Craig’s dismissal to claim a third straight league win.

Meanwhile, Inverness defeated Motherwell, who had Stephen McManus sent off for a second yellow card late on in a 3-1 reverse.

Struggling Partick Thistle were denied just a third league win of the season as substitute Kane Hemmings’ late strike earned Dundee a 1-1 draw after Liam Lindsay had converted early on.

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