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Scotland round-up: Celtic revive title bid

Published: Sunday 27 April 2003, 22.26CET
Celtic FC kept alive their hopes of a third consecutive league title with a 2-1 victory at leaders Rangers FC.

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Published: Sunday 27 April 2003, 22.26CET

Scotland round-up: Celtic revive title bid

Celtic FC kept alive their hopes of a third consecutive league title with a 2-1 victory at leaders Rangers FC.

Celtic FC kept alive their hopes of a third consecutive Scottish Premier League title with a 2-1 victory away to leaders Rangers FC.

Championship challenge
The UEFA Cup finalists moved to within five points of their city rivals, but have five games left to play, one more than Rangers.

Clear opportunities
In an open first half, both sides created clear goalscoring chances, with John Hartson's pass giving Henrik Larsson a shooting opportunity, but the Sweden international striker hesitated and the opportunity was lost. At the other end, Claudio Caniggia lobbed wide with only goalkeeper Robert Douglas to beat.

Rangers go close
Douglas then had to be substituted after nine minutes after sustaining a thigh injury, while both Lorenzo Amoruso and Ronald De Boer failed to find the target when well-placed in the Celtic penalty area. However, Larsson was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Craig Moore, before Jackie McNamara's long-range free-kick missed everybody and rebounded off the far post.

Penalty opener
After 27 minutes, Celtic took the lead, as Amoruso fouled Hartson in the penalty area and Alan Thompson sent Stefan Klos the wrong way from the spot. Two minutes before half-time, it was 0-2, as Didier Agathe's low right-wing cross was flicked on by Larsson and Hartson shot into the net.

Rangers response
Despite pulling a goal pack three minutes before the hour as Arthur Numan's cross was headed in by De Boer, Rangers were unable to find an equaliser, and Celtic hung on for three crucial points.

Single-goal successes
Elsewhere, Heart of Midlothian FC remained in third place as Steven Pressley's penalty earned a 1-0 away win at Dunfermline Athletic FC, while fourth-placed Kilmarnock FC were 1-0 winners at Dundee FC, with Chris Innes scoring the only goal of the game 14 minutes from time.

Motherwell misery
In the relegation group, bottom-placed Motherwell FC were defeated 3-0 at Partick Thistle FC, with Alex Burns scoring once and fellow forward Gerard Britton twice. However, Motherwell remained a single point behind Dundee United FC, who let slip a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at home to Hibernian FC, while Aberdeen FC were 1-0 winners against Livingston FC.

Last updated: 28/04/03 0.27CET

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