Rangers' EXTRA point, Celtic's Cristiano Ronaldo, Aberdeen's Hardy Boyz, Hamilton's struggles, Hibs boss' 4-4-2 misstep - Scottish Premiership winners and losers
A look back at the weekend’s Scottish Premiership action
Winner – Mohamed Elyounoussi
Phone-gate. What an absolute nonsense that turned out to be. Okay, so the Norwegian had a look at his phone after being subbed. Big deal. Who cares? It maybe wasn’t the most professional of moves but certainly wasn’t the heinous crime some made it out to be.
There has to be something said for pundits and former players over-exaggerating every little thing. You don’t have to have a strong opinion on everything, sometimes you can just shrug your shoulders.
If anything, Paul Lambert's Jock Stein comments gave us all a good laugh.
Elyounoussi's rebuttal came in the form of a hat-trick. He was aided by some really poor defensive play from Motherwell for the first two goals but just when Celtic were under the cosh slightly he produced a real moment of magic, channelling Cristiano Ronaldo to rise at the back post and just stay there has if he was on a step ladder to head his team 3-1 in front and complete the hat-trick.
Now Neil Lennon needs more big moments from the on loan Southampton ace. He has the talent but has yet found the consistency at Parkhead.
Winner – Rangers goal difference
There are so many different players who could be chosen or facets of the teams play or Steven Gerrard in general. This Rangers team, nay squad, look very, very good. They were 8-0 up and bringing Ianis Hagi off the bench!
Celtic closed the gap back to six points with their win at Motherwell but it was back to nine and in some fashion, talk about dealing with pressure.
Rangers will want any advantage they can get this season to ‘stop the ten’. They are effectively ten points ahead at the moment with their goal difference now 13 better than Celtic’s.
Winners – Dons’ Hardy Boyz
In midfield, Derek McInnes has the equivalent of the Bash Brothers in Lewis Ferguson and Ross McCrorie. They give the platform for Aberdeen's own Hardy Boyz.
Ryan Hedges and Scott Wright were excellent for the Dons in the win over Hibs on Friday night. They have given Aberdeen an x-factor and excitement when given those free No.10 roles.
Both have the tendency to frustrate at times but they can be joyful to watch, with their telepathy and link up, dribbling, ability to beat and man and directness.
Winner – The fog
Paisley was shrouded in fog for the majority of the second half of St Mirren v Dundee United. For any neutral or United fan watching the game it was a blessing. The Buddies, who it seemed hadn’t played since Hibs last won at Aberdeen, were the much more threatening side from what you could make out from behind the mist.
As for United, if they were a movie it would be Mark Wahlberg’s The Happening.
Winner – Ali McCann
The St Johnstone midfield maestro has been off the boil this season, certainly not hitting the heights of last campaign. But against Killie he was back to his driving, all-action best. Hopefully it kick starts his season for a Saints side who have been playing better than their points tally suggests.
Loser – Jack Ross naivety
Hibs' line-up on Friday night prompted the sort of noise when you book a train and realise it is ScotRail. A 4-4-2 against an Aberdeen midfield of Lewis Ferguson, Ross McCrorie, Ryan Hedges and Scott Wright. Brave some would say, naive most would say.
Twelve minutes in and the game was over as the Dons raced into a 2-0 lead continuing the Easter Road side’s abysmal record at Pittodrie. How abysmal? This abysmal.
Following the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to rivals Hearts, you may have expected Ross to go to Aberdeen and ease the team into the game but 4-4-2 can leave a side open against that Aberdeen midfield.
Loser – The boy with a can
The reaction of the Motherwell players said it all when Celtic went ahead at Fir Park on Sunday. Six of them turned their disapproving stares, the like reserved for that person opening a can on the quiet coach at 9am in the morning, towards Liam Polworth after a mindless pass into danger
Loser – Accies fans
At Ibrox on Sunday, Hamilton Accies put up the worst defence since Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey claimed he had never heard of the Nazis after being caught on camera allegedly doing a Nazi salute.
Players tripping over, tackling each other, a lack of shape and an inability to clear the ball.
It was an egregious defeat and Accies fans were rightly fuming come the full-time whistle, so much so a group of supporters confronted the players and management when they arrived back at the ground like a scene from Italian football. Instead of flares and demands from the Ultras’ capo, some boy’s uttering ‘he’s just saying what he wants us to hear’.
There was interesting stuff from the discussion. Rice said that from what he had been told that under the previous management – Martin Canning – it was all about not getting beat and ‘don’t worry about entertaining’ or even scoring. When the former Inverness CT and Falkirk coach came in you really got the sense there was going to be a philosophy change at the club but it has not materialised fully.
This season no team is averaging fewer shots, crosses, possession and passes than Hamilton. And on the flip side, they are giving up 17 shots per match. Seven higher than the league average.
Loser – Alex Dyer
Three defeats in succession for Kilmarnock without a goal and just four shots on target. Let's not beat about the bush, Killie were anemic at St Johnstone.
From the start the visitors were largely flat and negative, while there seemed a reluctance to change it even when being out played until it was too late.