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Riled Rodgers and Hearts on high – things we learned from cinch Premiership

Brendan Rodgers was far from impressed by his side’s first-half display (Steve Welsh/PA)
Brendan Rodgers was far from impressed by his side’s first-half display (Steve Welsh/PA)

Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Hibernian all enjoyed victories, while Motherwell and Dundee shared the points in a Fir Park thriller.

Here the PA news agency looks back on the highlights from the cinch Premiership action over the weekend.

Brendan Rodgers loses his rag

The Celtic boss claimed he had never been angrier as a manager after watching his side’s “soft” first-half display against St Johnstone. The champions conceded another goal from a corner to trail at half-time before strikes from Callum McGregor, Matt O’Riley and James Forrest earned a 3-1 win. But Rodgers said: “I’m still angry, if I’m honest. The first half was nowhere near what you expect from a Celtic player and team. We got bullied for the goal and we were soft in everything, with and without the ball. Half-time was the angriest I’ve ever been as a manager. I said to the players afterwards, don’t make me be like that again.”

Abdallah Sima back on the scoresheet

Sima scored a double in Philippe Clement’s first game as Rangers boss, a 4-0 home win over Hibernian in October. The 22-year-old attacker, on loan from Brighton, then went the next eight matches without finding the net and Clement put some tiredness down to becoming a father recently for the first time. Sima got back on track against St Mirren at Ibrox on Sunday with a fine strike before the break and a clinching second after 70 minutes to take his tally to the season to 11 in the 2-0 win, with the promise of more to come.

Motherwell strike early but still need a late show

Mika Biereth smashed Motherwell’s first league goal in front of the away fans at Fir Park this season and only their third first-half strike in all. It was the first time the Steelmen had taken the lead for three months but it failed to be the catalyst they were looking for and they twice came from behind to force a 3-3 draw against Dundee. Conor Wilkinson’s equaliser was Motherwell’s sixth 90th-minute goal of the Premiership campaign.

Hearts find consistency

The Jambos last week secured a hat-trick of Premiership wins for the first time since December 2021 and Saturday’s 1-0 success over Kilmarnock made it four league victories on the trot for the first time since they won their first five games of the 2018-19 campaign. Manager Steven Naismith, who scored five goals in those five matches, said: “If I’m honest, for a club like Hearts and a few other clubs will say the same – it should be normal that you go on a run like that, it shouldn’t take five years.”

David Marshall rolls back the years

Hibernian made it three league wins in a row for the first time this season with a 2-0 victory over Aberdeen, but their manager Nick Montgomery admitted afterwards they were indebted to veteran goalkeeper David Marshall. The 38-year-old produced a string of stunning saves to deny the Dons as they chased an equaliser at 1-0 down and the former Scotland international continued to frustrate Barry Robson’s team with further blocks in the closing stages, including from a Bojan Miovski penalty. Many more displays like Sunday’s and there will be a clamour for Marshall to bring himself out of international retirement and make himself available to Steve Clarke for the Euros next summer.