MX23RW : Wednesday, December 12 21:56:53

5 things we learned from the Scottish Premiership this weekend

Hearts are two points clear at the top.

Hearts remain top of the Ladbrokes Premiership despite suffering their first defeat of the season as they lost 3-1 to Rangers at Ibrox.

Here Press Association Sport takes a look at five other things we learned from the weekend’s action.

Rangers back in the title hunt

The Light Blues’ search for title number 55 looked in danger of going flat when they slipped up again at Livingston last weekend. The loss at the Tony Macaroni Arena meant Steven Gerrard’s team had dropped 10 points in their first seven games and the boss warned defeat to Hearts would spell the end of their championship ambitions. But they have now trimmed their deficit to the Jambos to five points and will feel they are back in with a chance.

Forrest hits top form ahead of Scotland duty

Celtic’s James Forrest slots home his fourth goal against St Johnstone
Celtic’s James Forrest slots home his fourth goal against St Johnstone (Graham Stuart/PA)

The Celtic winger was in sensational form against St Johnstone, scoring four first-half goals in a 6-0 win. He is the first Celtic player to net four times in an away match since Maciej Zurawski in an 8-1 victory at Dunfermline in February 2006 and helped the Hoops go within three points of the leaders. On that form, Forrest will surely have played himself into Alex McLeish’s plans for this week’s Nations League clash with Israel in Haifa.

Kilmarnock fans are daring to dream

As Killie comfortably saw out a 2-1 win at Dundee to move third, the travelling support started singing: “We’re gonna win the league”. Optimism is always good but given both Hibernian and Killie have amassed the most points in 2018 so far, maybe not that outrageous a claim.

High praise for Stevie Mallan

The Easter Road midfielder took his tally since moving to Leith this summer to seven goals with his double during Hibs’ 6-0 drubbing of Hamilton. Afterwards boss Neil Lennon paid the former St Mirren player the ultimate tribute by comparing his finishing technique to that of his ex-Parkhead team-mate Lubomir Moravcik. If he can produce even a fraction of what the little Slovakian magician managed during his Celtic days then the Hibs faithful will be in for a treat.

Sam Cosgrove finally makes his mark

It is fair to say the former Carlisle striker has not exactly set the world alight since joining the Dons in January. But he finally broke his eight-month duck as he netted twice against hapless St Mirren as the Dons claimed a 4-1 triumph. Goals have been in short supply at Pittodrie this term and Derek McInnes could do with the frontman maintaining his new-found killer touch.


Click here for more stories about James Forrest

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Celtic159423262631
2RangersRangers1694338142431
3Aberdeen168441915428
4Hearts178452118328
5Kilmarnock167542016426
6St Johnstone167541920-126
7Hibernian1566324121224
8Livingston176561516-123
9Motherwell164481625-916
10Hamilton AcademicalHamilton1741121237-2513
11Dundee1624101329-1610
12St Mirren1724111132-2110

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