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Rangers capitalise on Celtic slip

Published: Sunday 1 May 2005, 18.39CET
Rangers FC closed the gap at the summit to two points after rivals Celtic FC succumbed to a shock defeat.

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Published: Sunday 1 May 2005, 18.39CET

Rangers capitalise on Celtic slip

Rangers FC closed the gap at the summit to two points after rivals Celtic FC succumbed to a shock defeat.

By Alex O'Henley

The race for the Scottish Premier League title took another turn this weekend as Rangers FC defeated Aberdeen FC to close the gap at the top to two points following Celtic FC's shock 3-1 loss against Hibernian FC.

Pršo double
Croatian striker Dado Pršo orchestrated the 3-1 win, scoring two after he had set up the opener for Barry Ferguson on ten minutes. Aberdeen's Chris Clark equalised just after the half-hour mark with a deflected drive but parity lasted just ten minutes before Pršo's clever back-heel gave Rangers a crucial half-time lead.

Celtic numbed
The 30-year-old striker took his season's tally to 18 with a simple tap-in on 59 minutes as Rangers sealed victory to close the gap to just two points following Celtic's surprise home defeat. With Craig Bellamy, Chris Sutton and Didier Agathe all out injured, Martin O'Neill's side got off to the worst possible start when Garry O'Connor gave the visitors the lead on seven minutes.

Hibernian hopes
Substitute Craig Beattie equalised for Celtic just before the hour mark, but two goals in the last ten minutes from midfield players Ivan Sproule and Scott Brown gave Hibernian their first win at Celtic Park in 13 years. The Edinburgh outfit are now five points clear of Aberdeen in third and are favourites to secure a UEFA Cup spot next season.

Tayside derby
Elsewhere, Richie Foran missed a penalty as Motherwell FC failed to close the gap on fifth-placed Heart of Midlothian FC after a goalless draw. At the bottom of the table, Dundee United FC eased their relegation fears with a 2-1 win at Dundee FC in the Tayside derby.

Lovell leveller
The match was still goalless at half-time but a 52nd-minute free-kick from Mark Wilson finally broke the deadlock and opened the game up. Steve Lovell levelled from the penalty spot on 63 minutes, before Jim McIntyre scored what proved to be the winner six minutes later, tapping in a loose ball from close range. A bad day got worse for the home side two minutes from time when Tom McManus was dismissed.

Dunfermline adrift
The win means Dunfermline Athletic FC are now three points adrift at the foot of the table after losing 2-0 against Livingston FC with goals either side of half-time from Burton O'Brien and James McPake. Finally, Kilmarnock FC won 2-1 away against Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC.

Last updated: 02/05/05 1.20CET

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