5 things we learned from an eventful weekend in the Ladbrokes Premiership
Dedryck Boyata went from villain to hero for Celtic while Old Firm rivals Rangers suffered late heartache.
Hearts remain the only team in the Ladbrokes Premiership with a 100 per cent record following their win over Kilmarnock.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five other things we learned from the weekend action.
Boyata still has work to do to repair Celtic relationships
Christmas may still be 121 days off but pantomime season came early to Celtic Park as defender Dedryck Boyata made his Hoops return. The Belgian defender was booed by some and cheered by others as he made his first appearance in green and white since his no show against AEK Athens. There remains anger over his failure to turn out against the Greeks as Celtic were dumped out of the Champions League. Boyata claimed he was injured, boss Brendan Rodgers insisted he wasn’t and the home support unveiled a banner insisting the 27-year-old “wasn’t fit to wear the jersey” as they took on Hamilton. Inevitably, it was Boyata who scored the only goal of the game to hand Celtic the points.
Hartley has last laugh as Gers suffer set-piece slip-ups
It was always destined that Peter Hartley would have the final say for Motherwell against Rangers after being forced to backtrack on his pre-match comments. The Steelmen skipper was forced to eat his words after claiming it had been “fun to watch” former Gers defender Fabio Cardoso “weeping” after the Portuguese defender suffered a broken nose in a clash with Well frontman Ryan Bowman last season. But he had the last laugh as he pounced at the death to clinch a 3-3 draw. Gers boss Steven Gerrard did not find it funny, however, and admitted his side need to improve at set-pieces after twice allowing Motherwell to benefit from deliveries into the box.
McCann under early-season pressure
Worrying times for Neil McCann and his Dundee team. 3 defeats in the league and out the Betfred Cup to Championship opponents. A team that look devoid of any belief they can score a goal.— Michael Stewart (@mstewart_23) August 25, 2018
Dundee’s 1-0 defeat by Tayside rivals St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Saturday left the Dens Park boss feeling the heat. The travelling fans vented their frustration after Tony Watt’s second-half strike left the visitors still searching for their first Ladbrokes Premiership points of the season.
Neil McCann’s side have suffered four defeats in a row – three in the league – and the spotlight will be on him and his side when they play Motherwell next week.
Watt a bright spark for St Johnstone
Yass what a day! Great result troops. Lads amazing again, good bunch of boys! pic.twitter.com/7ja8OKDqgr— Tony Watt (@Tony_Watt7) August 25, 2018
Tony Watt is already proving to be a shrewd signing for St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright. The 24-year-old former Celtic and Hearts striker signed a one-year deal with Saints in the summer. His second-half winner against Dundee at McDiarmid Park on Saturday took his tally to six in eight games for the Perth side and he could be one of the signings of the season.
Stubbs’ new-look St Mirren yet to gel
Defeats on the road against 10-man Rangers and Aberdeen were one thing, but a 2-0 home loss to Livingston rang alarm bells for the Paisley faithful. Saints didn’t manage a shot on target and were well beaten by their fellow Premiership newcomers. A disjointed, lacklustre performance suggested a lack of togetherness among Alan Stubbs’ much-changed squad.