Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Home Sport Football

5 things we learned from the Scottish Premiership this weekend

Rangers dropped further points at Motherwell as Celtic edge closer to title.

Leaders Celtic took another step towards the Ladbrokes Premiership title as they strolled to a 3-0 win over Ross County but Rangers continue to underwhelm after being held to a 2-2 draw by Motherwell at Fir Park.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five things we learned over the weekend.

Graeme Murty has one chance left to prove he deserves to remain Rangers boss

While his team fought back to secure a 2-2 draw and avoid Gers’ worst run of top-flight defeats since October 2000, the slip up against Motherwell put another major dent in Murty’s hopes of clinging on to the Light Blues hot seat.

The game at Fir Park was a fresh example of the former under-20s coach being unable to adapt his game plan to deal with the dangers presented by an opponent, with Stephen Robinson’s well-drilled gang bullying Rangers for most of the opening 45 minutes.

Unless Murty can somehow inspire his side to victory over Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals, he will be stepping down come the summer.

Stephen Robinson has a new Main man at Motherwell

There was an understandable sense of pessimism around Fir Park when top-scorer Louis Moult was allowed to leave for Preston back in January. However, the arrival of Curtis Main has quickly wiped away those fears.

The former Middlesbrough and Portsmouth frontman gave another display of the raw power he can provide against Rangers, scoring first from the penalty spot before bullying James Tavernier out the way to lay on his side’s second for Allan Campbell.

Boss Robinson says Main is already proving himself to be just as successful as Moult but is determined this time to keep hold of his star man as he looks to build a squad capable of reaching the top six next term.

Fit-again Stuart Armstrong back to his best

The Celtic midfielder started for the first time in a Celtic shirt since December 30 in Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Ross County, having recently recovered from a hernia operation. Armstrong had impressed in Scotland’s two recent friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary and he was back at his energetic best in green and white hoops against the Staggies.

The former Dundee United player capped a man-of-the-match performance with a well-taken second goal in a comfortable victory and looks ready to play a big part in Celtic’s run-in towards a possible domestic treble.

Skipper Andrew Davies leaves Ross County in the lurch

The Staggies captain inexplicably got himself sent off for a first-half challenge on his Celtic counterpart Scott Brown in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Parkhead.

Brown was already on the floor not too far from the half-way line following a tackle by back-tracking Billy McKay when defender Davies went in hard on him, leaving referee Steven McLean with no option but to reach for the red card.

The bottom-placed Highlands side were trailing to a Moussa Dembele penalty when the visitors were reduced to 10 men and Stuart Armstrong and Tom Rogic added further goals.

While defeat at Celtic Park was no surprise, Davies will miss the crunch home game against fellow Ladbrokes Premiership strugglers Partick Thistle on Tuesday night and his absence could have a major impact on County’s battle for survival.

Sofien Moussa finally makes his mark for Dundee

The Tunisian frontman had four league goals to his name before facing Hearts on Sunday but all four had come from the penalty spot. The fed-up Dark Blues faithful could be forgiven for wondering if the 30-year-old was ever going to end his barren spell from open play.

But at the 21st time of asking, he finally managed to get the ball over the line as he bundled home Dee’s equaliser during their 1-1 draw with Craig Levein’s Jambos.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph