Kyle Lafferty's 68th minute strike was just enough for Rangers to get an important 1-0 win against Hibernian at Ibrox.
The Northern Ireland international forward was on hand to sweep home Gregg Wylde's cross mid-way through the second half, in what would prove the solitary goal in a game where both sides created a number of openings.
Lafferty's goal will have been of particular relief to team-mate Steven Whittaker, who missed a first-half penalty after Lafferty had been brought down by goalkeeper Graham Stack - firing well over the bar in what could have been a costly mistake.
Nevertheless, the win allowed the Scottish champions to pile the pressure on Celtic - who have two games in hand - ahead of their meeting with Hearts on Sunday, with nearest rivals Motherwell nine points behind Rangers.
Michael Higdon went from being the subject of the Motherwell fans' frustration to their adoration after his double at Tannadice sent the Lanarkshire side above Celtic in the Scottish Premier League with a 3-1 win against Dundee United.
Higdon was the target of abuse from a section of the Fir Park fans as Motherwell laboured to a 1-0 win over Aberdeen last weekend but he bounced back to net in each half as Motherwell cruised to victory.
The former St Mirren striker punished a poor clearance from Dundee United goalkeeper Dusan Pernis in first-half injury-time before taking his tally for the season to six with a 64th-minute penalty.
Stuart McCall's side never looked back after the impressive Keith Lasley applied a superb first-time finish to a cutting 13th-minute move and they held on comfortably after Jon Daly's consolation. Motherwell won the midfield battle with Lasley's energy and enthusiasm smothering the home side alongside the composed Steve Jennings, with Nicky Law breaking to good effect.
The increasingly potent partnership of Francisco Sandaza and Cillian Sheridan proved too hot to handle for Kilmarnock as St Johnstone ran out 2-1 winners at Rugby Park.
Sandaza gave the visitors the lead in the first half, breaking a ragged Kilmarnock defensive line to slot past Cammy Bell for his seventh goal of the season.
After finding Peter Enckelman in great form and seeing a Rory McKeown effort crash an effort off the crossbar, Killie finally found the net in somewhat fortunate circumstances just before half-time, as Steven Anderson's header found the corner of his own net following a deep Dean Shiels delivery.
But in the second half Sheridan grabbed his third goal in two games to give St Johnstone the lead, rounding Bell and finishing with aplomb following some slack defending.
In the day's other game, Inverness beat St Mirren 2-1 at Caledonian Stadium.
Gregory Tade's 87th minute strike completed the comeback for the home side, after Andrew Shinnie had earlier cancelled out Marc McAusland's 23rd minute effort.