Scottish Premier League review

Celtic bounce back from cup exit

January 30, 2013

An unlikely double from defender Adam Matthews helped Celtic to a commanding 4-1 victory over Kilmarnock in their Scottish Premier League encounter at Parkhead.

Joe Ledley celebrates with his Celtic team-mates after opening the scoring
PA PhotosJoe Ledley celebrates with his Celtic team-mates after opening the scoring

Killie teenager Ross Barbour thought he had squeezed the ball over the line in the 37th minute only for referee Calum Murray to wave play on, and the visitors' frustration was compounded three minutes from the interval when Hoops substitute Joe Ledley - on for Emilio Izaguirre - fired the hosts into the lead with a long-range drive.

Former Celt Cillian Sheridan levelled two minutes after the break before Matthews arrowed in a shot from 25 yards and, after Anthony Stokes - on for Kris Commons - grabbed a third, the Wales international sealed a convincing win from close range to take the champions 15 points clear of Inverness at the summit.

The only real downside for manager Neil Lennon, who got the response he wanted after his side were knocked out of the League Cup by St Mirren at Hampden on Sunday, was the injuries picked up by Izaguirre and Georgios Samaras.

He will hope both will have recovered for next month's Champions League last-16 clash with Juventus.

John Sutton's late goal broke Dundee's resilience as Hearts bettered their bottom-placed opponents at the third time of asking this season in a 1-0 victory.

The home side completely dominated the match but could not force the ball over the line until Sutton's late intervention.

St Mirren continued an excellent week with a 2-1 home victory over Inverness.

Steven Thompson's late header earned the Buddies their second win in four days. Esmael Goncalves latched on to Paul McGowan's through-ball to net on his home debut and open the scoring midway through the first half.

That was then cancelled out on the stroke of half-time when Billy McKay netted his 20th league goal from the penalty spot after Conor Newton felled Richie Foran inside the box.

St Johnstone capitalised on some hesitant Aberdeen defending as two goals in three second-half minutes moved them above the Dons in the standings with a 3-1 win. Rowan Vine hooked home after a 68th-minute corner and Dave Mackay soon forced home to move Saints into fifth place.

Gregory Tade opened the scoring for the home side in the 33rd minute after a mistake from stand-in centre-back Isaac Osbourne but Niall McGinn's superb volley had brought the Dons level a minute before half-time.

Ivan Sproule scored against his old team to earn Ross County a deserved 1-0 victory over Hibernian at Global Energy Stadium.

It was County's third win in their last four matches and puts them 14 points ahead of the league's bottom club Dundee, with a game in hand.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report