Five things we learned from weekend Premiership action

Do Rangers have one hand on the title? And what is going wrong at Motherwell?

Five things we learned from weekend Premiership action SNS Group

It was a significant weekend in the Scottish Premiership as Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 at Ibrox.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Livingston and Hamilton while honours were even elsewhere.

Here are five things we learned from the first fixtures of 2021.

It is Rangers’ title to lose

Steven Gerrard’s side extended their lead to 19 points having only dropped four all season. Celtic have three games in hand but their title destiny is out of their hands for the first time and even winning all their games – something they do not look like doing – might not be enough to claim a 10th consecutive championship.

Allan McGregor has still got it

The Rangers goalkeeper is 39 this month but his fingertip save from Leigh Griffths showed he has not lost his agility. The former Scotland international faced a strong challenge for the gloves from Jon McLaughlin earlier in the season but he proved why he regained his place as he made several good stops early on to repel Celtic’s flying start.

Celtic need a solution in central defence

With Christopher Jullien ruled out for four months with a knee injury, converted midfielder Nir Bitton started in central defence alongside Kristoffer Ajer. The Hoops were dominant until one hopeful ball down the line caught out Bitton and led to his red card for hauling down Alfredo Morelos. Shane Duffy came on and again looked shaky.

Motherwell need to change more than the manager

Stephen Robinson quit in frustration in midweek after nine games without a win but caretaker boss Keith Lasley endured a torrid start with a 3-0 defeat at Hamilton. Lasley admitted they need fresh blood and will push ahead with signing plans formulated before Robinson departed.

Livingston are getting even better

David Martindale made it seven wins from seven games in charge thanks to a 3-0 win at Hibernian. The only time the club have enjoyed a longer winning run was four years ago when they were in League One and their previous best winning runs as a top-flight team ended after a fourth win.

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