By Alex O'Henley
Celtic FC and Rangers FC both earned hard-fought 1-0 victories to remain first and second in the Scottish Premier League, while a slip from Aberdeen FC means the gap to third is now 12 points.
Celtic remain top by one point after Chris Sutton's early goal proved enough to defeat struggling Dundee United FC at Parkhead. The English striker headed in an Alan Thompson corner after 17 minutes to register his third goal in two games against Dundee United this season. Rangers are still on their heels, however, after withstanding intense late pressure at Kilmarnock FC.
Like Celtic, Rangers opened the scoring early, when Shota Arveladze fired past stand-in goalkeeper Graeme Smith on 16 minutes for his sixth goal of the season. But despite enjoying the bulk of the pressure in the second half, the visitors could not score a second and finished the game on the back foot as Kilmarnock pressed for what proved an elusive equaliser.
Third-placed Aberdeen lost 1-0 against Dundee at Dens Park. Neil Barrett scored his first goal of the season on 57 minutes as Jim Duffy's side moved off the foot of the table and up to tenth, while, for the second consecutive week, Aberdeen ended the game with ten men after substitute Steven Craig was dismissed midway through the second half.
Hibernian FC capitalised on the slip to move within a point of third place but needed a last-gasp goal from Derek Riordan at home against Dunfermline AFC. The visitors looked to have secured a point after Andy Tod had cancelled out a 66th-minute Stephen Glass goal, but Riordan struck the winner in the final seconds of added time.
The score was also 2-1 at Fir Park where Craig Brewster secured his first victory in charge of Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC with a surprise win against Motherwell FC. Richie Hart and Graham Bayne gave the visitors a two-goal lead by the interval and although David Clarkson pulled a goal back for Motherwell on 64 minutes, Inverness held on to record their first away win of the season. Livingston FC's game against Heart of Midlothian FC was postponed because of a frozen pitch.
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