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Scotland round-up: Rangers maintain eight-point lead

Rangers FC preserved their lead over rivals Celtic FC at the top of the table with a 4-1 away win.

Ronald de Boer and Shota Arveladze both scored twice as Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers FC maintained their eight-point advantage at the top of the table with a 4-1 win at struggling Dundee United FC.

Decisive game
The victory left Rangers eight points ahead of Celtic FC, although the UEFA Cup semi-finalists do have two games in hand on their Glasgow rivals. The outcome of the championship is likely to be decided when Rangers are at home to Celtic on 27 April.

Early control


Larsson on target again
Celtic were also winners, with Swedish striker Henrik Larsson volleying his 38th goal of the season after 19 minutes to give his side the lead at home to Kilmarnock FC. Celtic secured three crucial points 18 minutes from time as Bulgarian midfield player Stilian Petrov scored a decisive second.

Hearts held
Heart of Midlothian FC remained in third place and on course to claim a UEFA Cup spot despite being held to a 1-1 draw at Partick Thistle FC. The home side took the lead after 73 minutes through Jamie Mitchell, but Scotland international Steven Pressley equalised for Hearts six minutes later to earn the away team an important point.

Dundee in top six
The league will now split into two halves of six for the remaining five games of the season and Dundee FC secured their place in the championship play-off group with a 2-1 win at bottom side Motherwell FC. Mark Burchill and Steven Milne scored for Dundee and James McFadden's second-half goal was little more than a consolation for the home team.

Livingston comeback
Hibernian FC will play in the bottom section after a 2-2 draw against Livingston FC. Goals from Alen Orman and Derek Riordan seemed to have given the home side all three points, but two long-range efforts in the final three minutes from Barry Wilson and Burton O'Brien gave Livingston a draw.

Important success
Aberdeen FC eased their relegation worries with a 1-0 win at home to fifth-placed Dunfermline Athletic FC. Paul Sheerin's tenth-minute goal separated the teams, with the away team losing Ged Brannan to a 60th-minute red card for two bookable offences.

League split
Rangers, Celtic, Hearts, Kilmarnock, Dunfermline and Dundee occupy the top six places after the split with Hibernian, Aberdeen, Livingston, Partick, Dundee United and Motherwell in the bottom half.

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