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Hearts extend Scottish Premiership lead as Celtic go second

Glasgow (AFP) – Hearts moved three points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 2-1 win at home to Aberdeen on Saturday as champions Celtic climbed into second place with a thrilling defeat of Hibernian.

Two goals in seven first-half minutes saw Hearts on the way to victory in front of their own fans at Tynecastle, with Arnaud Djoum heading home Callum Morrison’s cross in the 36th minute before Steven Naismith doubled the lead from the penalty spot after he had been fouled in the area.

The Dons pulled a goal back via a penalty from Gary Mackay-Steven in the 55th minute after Niall McGinn had been brought down in the box.

But it was a different story for Hibernian, Hearts’ Edinburgh rivals, as they succumbed 4-2 to Glasgow giants Celtic at Parkhead.

Tom Rogic curled in Celtic’s opener in the eighth minute before setting up Olivier Ntcham for the Hoops’ second goal 11 minutes later.

Florian Kamberi pulled a goal back for Hibs midway through the second half before Odsonne Edouard restored Celtic’s two-goal lead in the 70th minute.

Martin Boyle again drew the visitors to within a goal in the 73rd minute before French forward Edouard’s second two minutes from time ended Hibs manager Neil Lennon’s hopes of taking a point off his former club.

Kilmarnock joined Celtic on 19 points after coming from behind to win 2-1 at St Mirren.

The Buddies went ahead when Adam Hammill marked his home debut with a 14th-minute goal before second-half efforts from Alan Power and Aaron Tshibola saw Killie make a comeback.

Meanwhile Jim McIntyre’s career as manager of bottom-of-the-table Dundee started with a 4-0 loss away to Livingston, headers from Declan Gallagher and Craig Halkett leaving the hosts 2-0 up at the break before further goals from Steven Lawless and Alan Lithgow put the result beyond doubt.

Saturday’s other match in Scotland’s top-flight saw Jason Kerr’s goal in stoppage time secure a 1-0 win for St Johnstone away to Motherwell.

Steven Gerrard takes his Rangers team to Hamilton on Sunday, looking to build on their 3-1 victory over Hearts last time out.

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