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Scottish football – five things we learned this weekend

Scottish football – five things we learned this weekend

Neil Lennon’s Celtic are on the march towards an eighth successive title.

Celtic took a giant step towards an eighth consecutive Ladbrokes Premiership title as they beat Rangers 2-1 in a dramatic derby.

Rangers had Alfredo Morelos sent off but fought back from Odsonne Edouard’s first-half opener to level through Ryan Kent, only for James Forrest to net a late winner with Celtic also down to 10 men following injury to Dedryck Boyata.

The result sent Celtic 13 points clear with seven games remaining and left Rangers without victory in five matches.

Here are five other things we learned from the weekend’s Premiership action.

1. Steven Gerrard has lost patience with Alfredo Morelos

Scott Brown laughs as Alfredo Morelos heads for an early bath (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Rangers manager refused to defend the Colombian after his fifth red card of the season and recommended his board fine the striker a week’s wages and give it to the away fans who attended at Parkhead. Morelos was far too easily wound up by Scott Brown and swung a wild arm at the Celtic captain, who laughed in his face as he stormed off the pitch. Morelos now faces a four-match ban.

2. Rangers have the belief and character needed at Celtic Park – but need to show it from the start

Rangers celebrate Ryan Kent's equaliser
Rangers celebrate Ryan Kent’s equaliser (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Steven Gerrard called for his players to relish the hostile atmosphere but they were outplayed for the majority of the first half. But they came back strongly to equalise through Kent after going down to 10 men and had chances in a hectic finale.

3. Rangers lack Celtic’s derby composure

Ryan Kent lashed out at Scott Brown
Ryan Kent lashed out at Scott Brown (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Morelos was not the only player wound up by Brown. Kent lashed out at the midfielder after Celtic’s winner and will be fortunate to escape a retrospective ban, and Andy Halliday was sent off after the final whistle for reacting to Brown celebrating in front of the Rangers fans. The champions showed the calmness needed at the big moments as they twice clinically punished loose passes to break swiftly. Edouard took his time to finish brilliantly for the opener after Forrest’s sublime first-time pass, and repaid the favour to roll in the winger to calmly slot the winner.

4. There will almost certainly be two more Edinburgh derbies to come

Hearts jumped back above Hibernian following the Leith side’s 2-1 win at Livingston on Friday night, coming from behind to beat Aberdeen 2-1 and secure a top-six place in the process. In-form Hibs would need to lose twice and see Motherwell beat Aberdeen and Rangers to drop out of the top half before the split. And Paul Heckingbottom’s side could even challenge for the European places with games against rivals Kilmarnock and Hearts to come before the split.

5. There’s a battle at the bottom

St Mirren climbed off the foot of the table with a 2-1 win over closest rivals Dundee, and third-bottom Hamilton’s 5-0 thrashing by Kilmarnock will have given their fans real cause for concern. Six points separate the bottom three and the battle to avoid the drop and the play-off looks set to offer twists and turns in the final seven games.

Neil Lennon in charge of Celtic on March 31, 2019

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