Scottish Premier League round-up

Rangers edge closer to title

May 7, 2011

New owner Craig Whyte looked on as Rangers eased to a 4-0 win over ten-man Hearts to stretch their lead at the top of the table to four points as they took another step towards retaining the title.

Nikica Jelavic claims United interest
PA PhotosNikica Jelavic claims United interest

Whyte hits out at board

Whyte arrived at Ibrox to the applause of hundreds of fans and he would have been happy with what he witnessed from the stand after completing his takeover on Friday night.

Goals from Nikica Jelavic, Kyle Lafferty and Steven Davis, and a Ryan Stevenson own goal, secured a convincing win - as Eggert Jonsson was dismissed - and piled the pressure on Celtic ahead of their game on Sunday.

Jon Daly struck a hat-trick in little over 13 minutes as Dundee United kept alive their hopes of pipping Hearts to third place with a convincing 4-0 win over Motherwell. Daly headed home in the 36th minute and soon fired home to give United a well-deserved and comfortable half-time lead against an under-strength Well side.

The Irishman took advantage of more slack defending to put the game out of the reach four minutes into the second half and substitute Andis Shala claimed a late fourth. The victory put United five points behind Hearts with both sides now facing the Old Firm before meeting at Tannadice on the final day.

Peter Houston's men, who will be looking to repeat last month's Ibrox win on Tuesday, also closed their goal-difference deficit to six after being earlier boosted by Hearts' 4-0 defeat by Rangers.

St. Johnstone moved closer to securing a seventh-place finish with a comfortable 2-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

An eighth-minute own goal from Aberdeen's Stevie Smith and midfielder Jamie Adams' second-half header proved the difference between the sides as the Dons failed to force Saints keeper Peter Enckelman into action.

Hamilton's hopes of SPL survival are still alive after Nigel Hasselbaink's first-half strike gave them their first home league win of the season, a hard-fought 1-0 victory over 10-man Hibernian.

In a nervy afternoon Dougie Imrie missed a couple of chances for the New Douglas Park side before his Dutch team mate drove past Jakub Divis from just inside the box in the 38th minute. Two minutes before the interval Easter Road defender Francis Dickoh was sent off for picking up his second yellow card for a foul on Hasselbaink.

Accies failed to take advantage of the extra man after the break as they missed numerous chances, but Hasselbaink's goal was enough to take Billy Reid's men to within three points of second-bottom St Mirren with two games remaining, thus ensuring a tense final week of the league season.