Scottish Premiership winners and losers - Rangers forward shows he's no outcast in Aberdeen thumping, Celtic fans make good point, Hibs balance, Hearts injuries and another poor Kevin Clancy performance

Greg Stewart was excellent fro Rangers against Aberdeen. Picture: SNS
Greg Stewart was excellent fro Rangers against Aberdeen. Picture: SNS
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A look back at week 7 of the Scottish Premiership season.

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Liam Polworth to Declan Gallagher is becoming a useful weapon for Motherwell. Picture: SNS

Liam Polworth to Declan Gallagher is becoming a useful weapon for Motherwell. Picture: SNS


Greg Stewart

It just had to be. His first ever Rangers goal coming against the team where he struggled. Not once but twice. Aside from his first-half strike, Stewart played a key role in the thumping of Aberdeen - this was 5-0 going on 10-0. His movement, coming from out to in, and making runs in behind were a constant threat for the home side who put down a statement, knowing they could close the gap to Celtic at the top of the league. For Stewart, it was a statement of his own, showing that he has the quality to contribute in a squad packed with attacking options.

Ross Laidlaw

Craig Halkett is set to be out until the new year for Hearts. Picture: SNS

Craig Halkett is set to be out until the new year for Hearts. Picture: SNS

The former Raith Rovers and Hibs goalkeeper has faced criticism in this column before for mistakes, but he was impressive in the 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock on Saturday. In fact he was crucial in Ross County getting at least a point. His penalty stop from Osman Sow was his easiest of the day. There were two stops to repel Alex Bruce headers and two saves from long-range efforts from Sow.

Polworth to Gallagher

Liam Polworth corner. Declan Gallagher header. Devante Cole finish. Opposition teams need to be wise to Motherwell's set pieces, especially corners. The winner against St Johnstone was the fourth the Steelmen have scored. With quality delivery and players like Gallagher to hit they are such a danger. As detailed by Blair Newman, ahead of the Saints game, Stephen Robinson's men have been creating 3.5 shots per 90 minutes from corner kicks.

Green Brigade

Kevin Clancy had one of those games at Easter Road. Picture: SNS

Kevin Clancy had one of those games at Easter Road. Picture: SNS

In the past two league away games for Celtic - at Hamilton and Hibs - the Green Brigade have protested about the price of away tickets. It is something which has brought plenty of whataboutery - the favoured word in Scottish football for a while - or simply questions about the cost for the visitors section at Parkhead where you can easily find yourself with a restricted view. There will be those who tell the Green Brigade that Celtic need to get their own house in order first. This is an issue which affects us all and should be treated as such. Tickets in the high £20s and, unbelievably, £30+ shouldn't be on. A cap is required but as always with club the bottom line is so important that it'll unlikely happen. Unless all fans come together.

The Hibs midfield

Paul Heckingbottom has had a big issue regarding his midfield this season. The team have clearly missed a player to sit at the base and provide protection. Against Celtic the Englishman got it right. With Melker Hallberg sitting behind Scott Allan and Josh Vela there was the adequate balance as Hibs earned a draw against the champions at Easter Road. Each of the trio had their defined role. Allan was the creator, given the freedom to look for space to thread through-balls. Vela was the energy and carried out a man marking job on Callum McGregor. Hallberg swept up behind them.

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Some of the finishing from the weekend was downright awful. There was Devante Cole's miss from under the bar for Motherwell against St Johnstone and Mickel Miller's blaze over the bar from a good position for Hamilton against Livingston. Then, of course, there were the penalties from Osman Sow for Kilmarnock and Scott Tanser for St Johnstone. Just awful.

Hearts injuries

There was resignation among the away support when Craig Halkett was lying prone on the St Mirren pitch. As he limped off, all Hearts fans could do was shake their head. Not long after, Loic Damour was removed with injury. It is a predicament which is becoming ridiculous. Halkett, an important centre-back, is now set to miss the rest of the year. It leaves Hearts without six of arguably their best XI. Michael Smith confirmed the club had looked into their training ground to see if there were any issues with the turf but nothing was found. Could it simply be a freak incident?


What else is there left to say about Aberdeen. They were awful in a win against Livingston last week. They were better against Hearts in the Betfred Cup midweek yet failed to capitalise on two penalties and went out. As for the 5-0 thumping at Ibrox? Embarrassing. Derek McInnes is right to talk about injuries and the such but the team are looking more negative and more risk-averse each passing week. The Dons boss is now favourite to be sacked first in the top flight.

Livi without key men

Livingston are now four games without a win. Since beating St Mirren 2-1 they have lost to Rangers twice (once in the Betfred Cup), Aberdeen and Hamilton. The most recent result against Accies was by far the most disappointing. Livi could feel hard done by with regard to the previous three defeats but they were poor against Brian Rice's men. One of the most concerning aspects for fans is how much poorer the side are without influential duo Scott Pittman and Lyndon Dykes.

Kevin Clancy

The official being placed in charge of the team you support brings about a collective eye roll. He infuriated both Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom and Celtic manager Neil Lennon on Saturday. There was the foul awarded to the away side at Easter Road when Moritz Bauer appeared to slip handing possession to Hibs in a dangerous position. Then in the second half he missed what appeared a clear penalty when Lewis Stevenson chopped down Ryan Christie in the box. Both sets of fans will have their own complaints about more than just those incidents. But it is concerning that he is seen as one of Scottish football's top referees, yet struggles to have any sort of control.

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