01.10.2022 18:44 h

Rangers hit 10-man Hearts, Celtic made to sweat

Celtic remain two points clear of Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership after contrasting victories for the Glasgow giants on Saturday.

Rangers were rampant in a 4-0 win at Hearts to briefly move to the top of the table.

Celtic bounced back from their first league defeat in a year before the international break, but only just as they beat Motherwell 2-1 and had captain Callum McGregor sent off late on.

Hearts were also made to pay for a first-half red card shown to Cammy Devlin, but they were already trailing 2-0 by the time the Australian international was given his marching orders for a stamp on Rabbi Matondo.

Antonio Colak struck twice inside half an hour to take his tally to 11 goals in 14 games for Rangers

Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent then scored late on as Rangers enjoyed the perfect preparation for their trip to face Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday.

"It's good to see different players on the scoresheet but I think Colak's performance was really good," said Rangers boss Giovani van Bronckhorst.

"Apart from his goals, he is very important the way he puts energy in the team."

Celtic moved back to the top of the table thanks to goals from Japanese internationals Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate.

However, the Hoops were nearly undone at Celtic Park by a calamity of errors.

After Furuhashi forced home Matt O'Riley's header to open the scoring, Motherwell were gifted a route back into the game when Josip Juranovic chested the ball into his own net in a misunderstanding with Joe Hart.

Hatate grabbed the winner in style with a sensational strike from outside the box 25 minutes from time.

But he nearly undid that good work with a slack pass a minute from time that forced McGregor to haul down Ross Tierney and take a red card for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.

"We certainly created enough chances to win the game more comfortable than we did," said Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.

"A couple of self-inflicted wounds probably made it closer than it should have been."

Defeat for Hearts handed St Mirren the chance to move up to third as they backed up their 2-0 win over Celtic a fortnight ago by beating Livingston 2-1.

Hibernian are up to fourth after they were 2-0 winners at Ross County, while Aberdeen beat Kilmarnock 4-1.

Dundee United remain rooted to the foot of the table after losing 2-1 at home to St Johnstone in Liam Fox's first match as permanent manager.