By Alex O'Henley
A 3-0 win against UEFA Cup contenders Dundee United FC lifted Heart of Midlothian FC top of the Scottish Premier League after champions Rangers FC lost by the odd goal in five against Aberdeen FC at Pittodrie on Sunday.
Aberdeen had not defeated Rangers in 25 league matches stretching back to 1998 but they found themselves two goals up after goals from captain Russell Anderson (30) and Steve Lovell (38). Almost immediately, Dado Pršo pulled one back with a header from six metres and Rangers appeared to be back in control four minutes after the restart when Peter Løvenkrands levelled with a spectacular overhead kick.
However, the game turned on 55 minutes when Fernando Ricksen was sent-off for a second bookable offence and with two minutes remaining, former Celtic FC winger Jamie Smith scored the winner with a stunning 25-metre strike. Ricksen will now be suspended for next weekend's Old Firm derby at Ibrox.
Hearts took advantage to move into pole position with that 3-0 win at Tannadice. Captain Steven Pressley gave the visitors an early lead with a diving header (7) and Czech striker Roman Bednar doubled their advantage five minutes later. Rudi Skácel added a third just before the final whistle to leave George Burley's side two points clear of Celtic, who came from behind to secure an unconvincing 3-1 victory against Falkirk FC on Saturday.
Darryl Duffy gave the visitors the lead on 40 minutes after Mohamed Camara pulled the former Rangers striker back as he raced through on goal. Duffy dusted himself down before slotting the ball past Artur Boruc. Celtic equalised three minutes after the interval when John Hartson rose at the back post to head in Shunsuke Nakamura's cross and the Welsh striker was also involved in the second goal, chesting the ball back for Alan Thompson, who speared a half-volley into the top corner. Thompson made the points safe with a free-kick in added time.
Elsewhere, Hibernian FC earned a 3-0 victory against Livingston FC at Easter Road, Kris Boyd scored twice as Kilmarnock FC defeated Motherwell FC 4-1 at Rugby Park and Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC won 1-0 against Dunfermline Athletic FC at East End Park.
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