The Scottish Premiership is officially on its winter break with six games played this afternoon and there were plenty of goals around.
St Johnstone hosted Celtic in the lunchtime kick-off at McDiarmid Park but it was another disappointing afternoon for the Saints in Perth.
Aberdeen overcame a Covid-ravaged Dundee side to pick up the three points while a late flurry of goals at Tannadice saw Hibs end the year with back-to-back wins under new manager Shaun Maloney.
Motherwell made it four consecutive home wins as they beat Livingston at Fir Park and Hearts continued their solid home form with a win over Ross County at Tynecastle.
Jim Goodwin’s St Mirren welcomed some first-team stars back after they were missing in midweek against Celtic but they were powerless to prevent Rangers restoring their six-point lead at the top of the Premiership.
Here’s our quick round-up of all this afternoon’s Scottish Premiership results:
St Johnstone 1-3 Celtic
The Saints made it eight defeats in a row as a double from Liel Abada and Nir Bitton strike sealed all three points for Celtic. Chris Kane headed home for St Johnstone to make it 2-1 but it wasn’t enough to spark a comeback from Callum Davidson’s side.
St Johnstone were better than they have been in recent weeks but they need to turn things around if they are to avoid the ignominy of going from double cup winners to relegated in the space of 12 months.
St Johnstone: Parish, Brown, Dendoncker, Gordon, McCart, Booth, Bryson, Crawford, Butterfield, May, Solomon-Otabor.
Substitutes: Sinclair, Devine, Muller, Craig, Middleton, Kane, O’Halloran.
Celtic: Barkas, Welsh, Starfelt, Carter-Vickers, Juranovic, Bitton, McCarthy, Scales, Rogic, Abada, Kyogo.
Substitutes: Mullen, Soro, Bolingoli, Dawson, Montgomery, Dawson, Moffat, Doak.
Aberdeen 2-1 Dundee
Dundee failed in a bid to get the game postponed at the 11th hour with only 14 available players for James McPake’s side – with the Dens Park side forced to register assistant manager Dave Mackay so he could take a spot on the bench.
Dundee took the lead through Leigh Griffiths’ free-kick before Ryan Hedges levelled it up shortly after.
Lewis Ferguson would grab the winner for the Dons as Stephen Glass’ side get back to winning ways after losing to Hibs in midweek.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Ramsay, Bates, McCrorie, Hayes, Ojo, Jenks, Ferguson, Hedges, Watkins, Ramirez.
Substitutes: Woods, Gallagher, McGinn, Emmanuel-Thomas, McLennan, Campbell, Samuels.
Dundee: Legzdins, Kerr, Sweeney, Fontaine, Marshall, McCowan, Panter, McGhee, McGowan, Jakubiak, Griffiths.
Substitutes: Lawlor, Sharp, Lamb, MacKay.
Dundee United 1-3 Hibernian
Kevin Nisbet broke the deadlock for Hibs as Shaun Maloney made it two wins from two in the Scottish Premiership since taking charge of the Hibees.
Chris Cadden would grab a second midway through the second half before there was a late lifeline for the Arabs through Declan Glass.
Jamie Murphy added a third in injury-time to end any chances of a late fightback.
Dundee United: Siegrist, Freeman, Edwards, Mulgrew, McMann, Harkes, Mochrie, Meekison, Sporle, Watson, Clark.
Substitutes: Newman, Niskanen, Chalmers, Hoti, Neilson, Glass, Smith.
Hibernian: Macey, Porteous, Hanlon, Stevenson, Cadden, Doyle-Hayes, Campbell, Doig, Wright, Boyle, Nisbet.
Substitutes: Dabrowski, Doidge, Murphy, Hallberg, Allan, McGregor, Scott.
Hearts 2-1 Ross County
The Jambos took an early lead through Michael Smith when the defender slammed home the rebound after Aaron McEneff’s shot was saved. Ben Woodburn made it 2-0 shortly before the break as Hearts looked fairly comfortable.
Jordan White pulled one back for the Staggies as Malky Mackay’s side tried to get themselves level but Hearts would see out the win and end the year in third place in the Scottish Premiership.
Hearts: Gordon, Smith, Halkett, Souttar, Cochrane, Haring, McEneff, Moore, Halliday, McKay, Woodburn.
Substitutes: McFarlane, Kingsley, Walker, Mackay-Steven, Gnanduillet, Logan.
Ross County: Laidlaw, Randall, Clarke, Vokins, Cancola, Baldwin, Spittal, D.Samuel, Charles-Cook, Hungbo, White.
Substitutes: A.Samuel, Burroughs, B.Paton, Donaldson, Munro.
Motherwell 2-1 Livingston
Kevin van Veen continued his impressive form, opening the scoring after 13 minutes as the Dutchman fired home a stunning free-kick from distance that left Max Stryjek rooted to the spot.
Van Veen would make it 2-0 when he headed home Conor Shields’ cross and kept Motherwell right in the hunt for third place.
Livi pulled one back through Bruce Anderson in the final minutes but they couldn’t stop the Steelmen making it four home wins in a row.
Motherwell: Kelly, O’Donnell, Solholm, Mugabi, McGinley, Goss, Maguire, Donnelly, Shields, Woolery, Van Veen
Substitutes: Fox, Ojala, Amaluzor, Crawford, Grimshaw, Roberts, Watt
Livingston: Stryjek, Fitzwater, Obileye, Longridge, Sibbald, Holt, Kelly, Omeonga, Penrice, Shinnie, Forrest.
Substitutes: Maley, Bartley, McMillan, Panayiotou, Anderson, Hamilton
Rangers 2-0 St Mirren
The Buddies had more of a familiar XI as St Mirren’s Covid worries ease but it was an afternoon to forget as Scott Wright’s 13th-minute header had Rangers in front early.
Alfredo Morelos doubled the lead after 26 minutes with an emphatic finish as the champions went up through the gears.
Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic, Kamara, Aribo, Hagi, Wright, Kent, Morelos.
Substitutes: McLaughlin, Simpson, Patterson, Davis, Bacuna, Arfield, Sakala.
St Mirren: Alnwick, Fraser, Shaughnessy, Dunne, Tanser, Henderson, Power, Flynn, Erhahon, McGrath, Main.
Substitutes: Lyness, Millar, Reid, Kiltie, Offord, Dennis, Erwin
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