Scottish Premiership winners and losers - Awesome Alfredo, Celtic duo the country's best?, Edinburgh derby scenes, desperate Aberdeen, Hamilton's reliable centre-back, crazy ticket prices

Alfredo Morelos had a great game against St Johnstone. Picture: SNS
Alfredo Morelos had a great game against St Johnstone. Picture: SNS
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A look back at the weekend's Scottish Premiership action.



Against Feyenoord on Thursday we saw the very best of Alfredo Morelos, but at the same time, perhaps his biggest foible. He was rolling defenders with ease, dragging them this way and that. But then, when he had the ball in the box, there was that single-mindedness which can frustrate. Snatching at shots or taking on chances which will like have a very low XG (expected goals) score while not seeing or simply ignoring team-mates in better positions.

On Sunday, he was given the starting berth again, despite the feeling that Jermain Defoe may come into the team. Steven Gerrard will be glad he stuck with the Colombian who was excellent against St Johnstone. The Ibrox side struggled for fluidity in the first half as the game resembled a Sunday stroll. It required some inspiration. Enter Morelos. Having missed the best chance of the first half, it took him barely any time at all to shrug off Scott Tanser and hammer a shot past Zander Clark.

More than that, he took responsibility in the build up. Dropping deep, linking play, making it easier for the midfield but causing Liam Gordon and Jason Kerr a real headache. This is where Morelos is a paradox. If the ball is at his feet in and around the box then no one else exists. Yet, he is so selfless in his work to get involved in the game and make himself an option at all times.


For 45 minutes the Edinburgh derby was a desperate affair. A match which was clearly between two sides lacking any sort of confidence. When the ball was worked into the final third the end product would be lacking. There was a passivity about it all.

The second 45 was much more entertaining. It started with Stevie Mallan's wonder strike which gave Hibs the lead before Hearts hit back to win 2-1. There were a number of decent performances for Hearts. The defensive trio were steady, Uche Ikpeazu had a decent second half, Glenn Whelan was a commanding presence in midfield, while Ryotaro Meshino sparkled without lighting up completely.

But the real winner was the celebration of 17-year-old Aaron Hickey's winner. It was a moment which should remind everyone about the joy of football. Exhilaration, joy, losing yourself. Hickey could have sprinted a marathon such was the adrenaline coursing through his body the moment his shot was deflected past Chris Maxwell. In front of him more than 3,500 Hearts fans went absolutely bonkers. Limbs they call it. Limbs everywhere.

Even a policeman got in on the act.
Deadly duo

James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard. Two of the best players in the country at the moment. It wouldn't take much convincing to come to the conclusion that they are the best. It's hard to do the pair justice. Just watch them and appreciate them - the same with the aforementioned Morelos.

Celtic were dominant against Kilmarnock with the French striker showing his finishing prowess.

It is Forrest who is the interesting one. Manager Neil Lennon mentioned his desire to move the right winger into different positions. Cutting in from the left he went close twice before setting up Edouard for the first goal. He was denied a goal himself by a fantastic save from the Killie goalkeeper.

Campbell's goal

Motherwell may have lost on Saturday to Ross County but they scored one of the best team goals we will likely see this season. Liam Donnelly fed the ball into Allan Campbell deep in County's half. Devante Cole was quickest to react to his first touch, picking up possession and spinning away from three opponents.

From there it was lovely one-touch football. Cole into Scott, Scott across for Campbell and, running onto the ball, he simply passed it from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.

The type of goal aided by a fine surface, as the Fir Park one is.

Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson

A few weeks ago, after defeat to Aberdeen, these pages talked about the difficulties the Staggies faced with their 4-4-2 system. Since then Kettlewell and Ferguson have tweaked the team, switching to a 4-2-3-1. It has not taken much work with Ross Stewart being moved wide.

It has worked with two wins, from two to lift the Dingwall side into the top four following their 2-1 win at Ross County.

Making it work is Stewart who scored his fourth league goal of the season to win it late on. He works well for the team out of possession and despite being shifted wide remains a constant goal threat coming in at the back post.

Sam Stubbs

Hamilton have finally found a reliable centre-back who they can trust week in, week out.

Alan Stubbs' son has been a rock since joining on loan from Middlesbrough and showed that once against in the 0-0 draw with St Mirren, especially when Accies went down to ten men, repelling everything that was thrown at him.


St Mirren's attacking play

The Buddies have scored three goals in six league matches after being held to a goalless draw by Hamilton in Paisley. They have now taken just one point from their three games against Accies, Ross County and Livingston, teams they would have expected to be competing against at the bottom of the table.

Hamilton, who didn't contribute much to a snoozefest on Saturday, played the majority of the second half with ten men, but St Mirren couldn't muster the creativity to create the relevant chances.

Jim Goodwin has built a stodgy side but they don't have a player in the team who is good for double figures. John Obika, a strong presence in attack, could have had three or four goals already this campaign but has missed too many good chances.


It was going so well for Paul Heckingbottom. He had seen his side go ahead thanks to Stevie Mallan's bombastic strike in the Edinburgh derby. Both sets of fans were singing disparaging songs about the man in the opposite dugout.

Come 5pm, he had seen his side lose the derby, a crowd of Hibs fans had taken up residence outside the Easter Road West Stand to protest at the Englishman's position and he took nearly an hour to face the media.

When he did he didn't sound convincing, especially when asked about whether he was confident of turning around the club's slump.

He said: “Have I got confidence that I can turn it around?” he said. “Yeah, 100 per cent. I’ve got confidence. I would love to see your face if I sat here and said otherwise. A hundred per cent. Again, you will ask me those things. I can’t think like that. To do your job as a manager, you can’t think like that. It’s pointless. What’s the point in doing that?”

The former Leeds United boss didn't react to Craig Levein's switch in system and waited until after the 85th minute to introduce a second striker in Christian Doidge to try and put pressure on a fragile Hearts defence.

He is now favourite for the sack.

Everyone involved at the Tony Macaroni Arena... except McInnes

Derek McInnes was one of the few people who walked away from the Tony Macaroni Arena happy with his afternoon having watched his Aberdeen side defeat Livingston 2-0. Yet, in terms of a scoreline, it could be the biggest injustice of the season.

The Dons led 1-0 at half-time but could and should have been at least 3-1 down before Livi dominated the second half but conceded right at the end.

Make no mistake about it, the home side were the better team and created better chances. Aberdeen were booed off by some of the travelling support.

It was dismal stuff at times but it was something McInnes, who had his injuries to deal with, prepared for, stating in his post-game interview that it was a tough watch with the win the only thing that mattered.

He is correct but it is hardly inspirational or exciting stuff at Aberdeen with Curtis Main and Jon Gallagher an attacking pairing with as much subtly as a kicking square between the legs.


Staying with Livingston, the defeat to Aberdeen did show how important Lyndon Dykes is. Scott Robinson did well enough in attack but he is not a lone striker.

If Dykes, sent off against Rangers last week, did start you get the feeling that the Dons defence would have been roughed up a bit more and the end result may have been different.


Ticket prices once again. £32 for an adult to watch Hibs v Hearts. Deary me.