Scottish Premiership: Celtic and Rangers stay neck and neck after wins | Football


Celtic ended a historic week with a 2-0 win over Motherwell that kept them top of the Scottish Premiership. The Hoops won on Italian soil for the first time with a 2-1 Europa League victory over Lazio in Rome on Thursday night and their French striker Odsonne Édouard helped them take care of domestic duties with a 19th-minute opener at Parkhead. Richard Tait’s own goal in the 54th minute secured a win that left the home side ahead of Rangers – who won at Livingston by the same scoreline – on goals scored.

The Motherwell goalkeeper Mark Gillespie tipped a shot from Édouard round the post in the sixth minute before Mohamed Elyounoussi had a chance to get a strike away but was dispossessed by Declan Gallagher. Celtic broke the deadlock when Elyounoussi slipped a pass into the box for James Forrest and, after Gallagher challenged, the ball fell to Édouard who guided it into the corner past Gillespie for his 13th goal of the season.

Olivier Ntcham, Édouard and Elyounoussi all fired shots over the bar before Gillespie had to beat away a more accurate effort from Jonny Hayes. It was from the Irishman’s cross into the six-yard box, after a fine pass from Édouard, that Tait knocked the ball past Gillespie and into his own net.

Joe Aribo’s 32nd-minute goal sent Rangers on their way to a 2-0 victory at Livingston. The Nigeria midfielder fired home in the 32nd minute following good work from Scott Arfield, the only other player to come into the Rangers side following their Europa League win over Porto.

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Rangers enjoyed a comfortable afternoon in West Lothian, with Alfredo Morelos finishing from a tight angle in the 52nd minute to wrap up the win. The visitors threatened from long range early on when Matija Sarkic tipped away Ryan Jack’s dipping strike.

Referee Nick Walsh had his first big decision to make when Jack McMillan launched himself into a challenge on Glen Kamara, eventually deciding on a yellow card. Racki Lamie dispossessed Morelos as he looked set to score following a long ball down the middle and Kent’s 25-yard strike bounced wide as Rangers looked for the opener. It came after Connor Goldson won the ball in the air from Sarkic’s goal kick.

Arfield broke well and got the ball back from Morelos before sliding a first-time pass into the path of Aribo, who shot high into the net. Livingston threatened an immediate response when Lyndon Dykes chested down Scott Pittman’s cross and fired high and wide. Rangers came close before the break when Sarkic parried Kamara’s effort, but Morelos got the second when he latched on to a ball down the left channel from Borna Barisic, out-muscled Hakeem Odoffin and hit a shot just inside the far post.


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