Henrik Larsson hit a first-half hat-trick and also missed a penalty as Celtic FC continued their relentless march towards the Scottish Premier League title with a 5-0 demolition of Dunfermline Athletic FC on Saturday.
Huge lead at the top
The champions increased their lead at the top to 16 points over second-placed Rangers FC, who subsequently reduced it once again to 13 with a 2-0 defeat of Heart of Midlothian FC in the evening game. Larsson wasted a fourth minute spot-kick after Youssef Rossi brought down John Hartson. The Sweden striker's effort was superbly turned around the post by Scott Thomson.
Atoned for penalty miss
Larsson atoned for the miss by making the breakthrough nine minutes later as he nodded home after Dianlobo Baldé had headed an Alan Thompson corner back across goal. His second came after 32 minutes with a neat finish from a Hartson cross. The Welsh international striker then fired home from the right side of the box to make it 3-0 six minutes later before Larsson completed his hat-trick two minutes before the break.
Didier Agathe scored a fifth 17 minutes from time as Celtic bounced back from their midweek Scottish League Cup semi-final defeat by Rangers, who had to wait until the 61st minute before making the breakthrough against Hearts at Tynecastle. Neil McCann's cross from the left was dummied by Tore André Flo and Ronald de Boer made no mistake from eight metres. McCann sealed the points eight minutes from time with a fine individual effort, carrying the ball from inside his own half before firing home.
Third-placed Livingston FC were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Dundee United FC with Derek Lilley earning the visitors a point when his late goal cancelled out David Bingham's 52nd minute opener.
Elsewhere, Aberdeen FC drew 1-1 with Kilmarnock FC, while David Ferrere struck a second half hat-trick in Motherwell FC's 4-0 home win against struggling Hibernian FC. Saint Johnstone FC stay bottom after losing 1-0 at Dundee FC with Kiko Torres scoring the only goal of the game four minutes before the break.
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