Relief for Rangers fans and a derby comeback, Cinch Premiership talking points

Rangers fan holds up a large banner saying ‘Heartless. Passionless. Leaderless. Not Fit To Wear Our Colours’ (Robert Perry/PA)
Rangers fan holds up a large banner saying ‘Heartless. Passionless. Leaderless. Not Fit To Wear Our Colours’ (Robert Perry/PA)

It was another weekend of intrigue in the cinch Premiership.

Saturday saw a thrilling Edinburgh derby with wins for Celtic and Livingston while Steven Davis got his first win as interim Rangers boss on Sunday, as St Johnstone and Aberdeen fought out a stalemate.

Here are five things we learned from the weekend’s action.

Rangers fans demonstrate their despair again

St Mirren v Rangers – cinch Premiership – The SMISA Stadium
Rangers fan holds up a large banner saying ‘Heartless. Passionless. Leaderless. Not Fit To Wear Our Colours’  (Robert Perry/PA)

Rangers players have become used to the sound of boos from their own supporters this season and the embarrassing 2-1 Europa League defeat against Aris Limassol in Cyprus on Thursday night was a low point. Early in the cinch Premiership match at St Mirren on Sunday, some Gers fans unravelled banners which read ‘heartless, passionless, leaderless; not fit to wear our colours’ which left no one in doubt as to their frustration. Skipper James Tavernier scored from the spot in the 29th minute after Saints’ Ryan Strain was handed a red card by referee Nick Walsh for handball. Further goals from attacker Abdallah Sima and Tavernier gave Rangers a 3-0 win and took them into second place, seven points behind leaders Celtic going into the international break where a new boss is likely to be appointed.

St Johnstone scrap for point at Aberdeen

It has not been a good season so far for Steven MacLean and his St Johnstone side. Sitting bottom of the table, a trip to Aberdeen might have been a daunting prospect. However the Perth side fought hard to keep a clean sheet and were well worth a point. Despite remaining bottom and still waiting for their first league win, MacLean was happy with the point and will hope a radical change in fortune is on its way

Luis Palma is finding his groove

The Honduran winger arrived at Celtic Park from Greek side Aris just ahead of the deadline and has made major strides over the past two weeks. The 23-year-old whipped in a late goal against Motherwell, was denied another late effort by VAR against Lazio and on Saturday smashed home a brilliant strike in Celtic’s 3-1 victory over Kilmarnock.

Nick Montgomery’s Hibernian side have resilience

The head coach stretched his unbeaten start to five matches in unlikely fashion following a poor first-half display at Tynecastle. “Hibs, Hibs are falling apart, again,” sang the home fans after Christian Doidge’s own goal put their side two up but Elie Youan soon scored twice in 83 seconds to seal a 2-2 draw. The winger had been handed an ultimatum to improve or be taken off at half-time and Montgomery was still making demands of his side to get forward in stoppage-time rather than settle for a point.

Motherwell in hot water?

New Livingston owner John McIlvogue set up a deal for every fan to get a free hot drink for braving the wet weather and they would have needed it to keep them warm amid an uneventful first 45 minutes. The game changed in stoppage-time though when Lennon Miller was sent off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity and Livingston capitalised on their man advantage as goals from Bruce Anderson and Sean Kelly earned a 2-0 win. Livingston have now lost just once in 12 home games while Motherwell have lost four games in succession, although there will be no panic at Fir Park considering the difficulty of the tasks and nature of defeats.