Celtic go five points clear

  • Last Updated: December 22 2012, 18:40 GMT

A review of Saturday's action in the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League, including Celtic's win over Ross County.

Gary Hooper scores Celtic's third goal
Gary Hooper scores Celtic's third goal

A Gary Hooper brace after the break helped Celtic romp to a 4-0 victory over Ross County at Parkhead as the Hoops moved five points clear at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League.

The home side dominated the first half with Staggies goalkeeper Mark Brown forced into several saves, although former Celtic man Rocco Quinn and Alex Cooper both missed great opportunities for the visitors.

However, when Celtic skipper Brown struck a minute after the interval the Highlanders' resistance was broken, and Hooper helped himself to two classic poacher's goals before substitute James Forrest capped his return to action after being out since October with a hamstring injury by grabbing the fourth.

  • Scottish Premier
Position Player Score
1 Celtic 37
2 Inverness 32
3 Motherwell 30
4 Aberdeen 27
5 Hibernian 27
6 St J'stone 25
7 Dundee Utd 24
8 Kilmarnock 22
9 Hearts 22
10 St Mirren 20
11 Ross Co 18
12 Dundee 12

Billy McKay continued his goalscoring streak with a double against Dundee to send Inverness back to second place with a 4-1 victory.

McKay netted the opener from the penalty spot and took advantage of some slack play from the visitors to put Caley Thistle 3-1 up just after the break and take his tally for the season to 18 goals.

The former Northampton striker has now netted in seven consecutive matches and has seven goals in his last three games, topping the SPL scoring charts with 15 league strikes.

A long-range effort from Owain Tudur Jones and a solo strike from Andrew Shinnie also helped move Caley Thistle above Motherwell and take the club beyond the half-century mark in goals at the halfway point of their season.

Terry Butcher's side, who remain in both cups, have now scored 53 times in all competitions.

Dundee midfielder Nicky Riley cancelled out McKay's opener and there was little in the first half but the home side were in total control after the break.

  • Scottish Premier
Team Score Team
Aberdeen 2 - 0 St J'stone
Celtic 4 - 0 Ross Co
Inverness 4 - 1 Dundee

Niall McGinn scored twice as Aberdeen beat St Johnstone 2-0 at a storm-lashed Pittodrie.

The Dons were profligate in the first half, with McGinn twice denied by Alan Mannus, before the Northern Irishman scored from a free-kick after 63 minutes.

McGinn's 11th of the season followed after 81 minutes as Aberdeen defied incessant horizontal rain to end a three-match winless run in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and climb to fourth, above Saints, who are without a win in four.

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