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Saturday, February 11, 2012
Bhoys keep clear after Caley win

ESPN staff

Celtic re-established their four-point advantage over Rangers in the SPL title race with victory over Inverness on Saturday, after the Gers had earlier scored four at Dunfermline. Elsewhere on a day shorn of goalmouth action, Dundee United were the only other side to taste victory.

Celtic had the added pressure of knowing Rangers had closed to within a point with their lunchtime win, and Neil Lennon's men were far from impressive at home to Inverness Caledonian Thistle. However, Joe Ledley settled nerves early and the Bhoys stayed solid for a 1-0 victory in a game that saw both sides finish with ten men.

Ledley rewarded the league leaders for a strong start, bundling home the game's only goal in the 16th minute. Daniel Majstorovic was then sent off on the hour for a professional foul, but Celtic held on for the points after Steve Williams also saw red for a second bookable offence in the dying minutes.

Lee McCulloch grabbed his first goal of the season as Rangers fought back from behind to claim a 4-1 win and deny Dunfermline Athletic their first home victory of the campaign. McCulloch struck after David Healy cancelled out Andy Kirk's shock opener and Sone Aluko and Salim Kerkar then added a goal apiece in the second half to earn Rangers all three points.

Dunfermline were celebrating with 16 minutes gone when Paddy Boyle's deep cross from the left found Kirk at the back post and he slotted home. However, Rangers were back on level terms within eight minutes when Maurice Edu saw his shot blocked by the goalkeeper after a one-two with McCulloch, and Healy pounced to rifle the loose ball into the back of the net.

The Scottish champions then went ahead after 39 minutes when a Steven Davis free-kick allowed McCulloch to lash home his first goal of the season. They increased their lead further after 70 minutes when Aluko raced onto a pass from McCulloch and sent an unstoppable left-foot shot into the top corner from 25 yards, and Kerkar had the final say when he dispatched a low shot past Smith with five minutes to go.

Elsewhere, Dundee United scored a 5-1 victory over St Johnstone to keep themselves in the hunt for European football. Steven Anderson scored St Johnstone's goal, but they were undone by two own goals, first from Anderson himself and then from Callum Davidson, before Johny Russell, Jon Daly and Milos Lacny killed the game off for the visitors late on.

Kilmarnock conceded late to draw 1-1 with Hearts at Rugby Park, Suso Santana's 90th-minute strike cancelling out Paul Heffernan's opener.

Dieter van Tornhout and Jamie Hamill both saw red for second bookable offences.

And there were no goals in the games featuring Motherwell v St Mirren and Hibernian v Aberdeen. Motherwell stay six points ahead of Hearts in third as a result.




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