SPL: Celtic brush aside Gretna to oust Rangers

December 29, 2007

GLASGOW, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Celtic leapfrogged arch rivals Rangers to regain top spot in the Scottish Premier League after a 3-0 win at home to bottom side Gretna on Saturday.

Rangers briefly held the lead after a 2-1 win at Hibernian in a lunchtime kickoff but Celtic moved two points clear again with goals from Australian striker Scott McDonald, Scott Brown and Aiden McGeady.

McDonald fired Celtic ahead after 35 minutes with a low shot which clipped the right post on its way into the net and Brown cracked a 49th-minute effort into the bottom left for 2-0 before McGeady wrapped it up with a late third .

Celtic have 43 points from 20 games but Rangers, on 41, have two games in hand.

Steve Naismith put Rangers ahead after 12 minutes as he ran in at the back post to meet a low cross from Chris Burke and French striker Daniel Cousin lashed in a second high into the net just before the hour mark.

Moroccan Merouane Zemmama cracked a 20-metre shot across keeper Allan McGregor with two minutes left but Rangers held on.