5 things we learned from the opening weekend in the Ladbrokes Premiership


The Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership kicked into life this weekend and it was back with a bang. Celtic got their title defence underway with a victory against Ross County, Hearts opened with a 4-3 success over St Johnstone while Dundee gave Kilmarnock a rude awakening in a 4-0 mauling at Rugby Park.

It may well be early but markers have been laid down and the battle lines drawn, so what did we learn from an engaging opening weekend?

Celtic still look a little rusty

On paper a 2-0 home victory looks like business as usual for the Bhoys but it could have been very different.  At 1-0 former Hoops man Jackson Irvine rounded Craig Gordon with the ‘keeper bringing him down and somehow avoiding what seemed and inevitable red card.

Ross County will fell aggrieved that they didn’t take something from this game after creating their fair share of chances and with the hosts having the advantage of three competitive games under their belts, Ronny Deila has some causes for concern.

Hearts will be fun to watch this season

Replacing Danny Wilson at the centre of defence was always going to be a touch task for Hearts boss Robbie Neilson and conceding three in their first game back in the top flight was testament to that. However, the Jam Tarts also hit four up the other end to take the three points and make the ideal start to life back in the Premiership.

The Edinburgh side had already registered a 4-2 against Arbroath in the League Cup prior to this game and their attacking nature is sure to keep fans entertained throughout the season as Neilson’s men take on the Kevin Keegan approach.

Greg Stewart is no flash in the pan

Dundee’s 25-year-old striker enjoyed a super maiden season at the summit in 2014-15, hitting 13 league goals. The former Cowdenbeath man wasted no time in displaying his goalscoring capabilities this term, bagging a brace against Killie.

Fellow forward Rory Loy also grabbed a pair as the Dees ran riot in East Ayrshire.

The Dons have the character to push Celtic

Derek McInnes’ squad travelled nigh on 10,000 miles in midweek for their Europa League qualifier with Kairat Almaty. Nevertheless they ground out a 1-0 victory at Tannadice against a good Dundee United outfit.

When these sides met on the opening day last season the Tangerines emerged 3-0 winners as Aberdeen struggled to balance their European commitments. This victory shows last year’s runners-up are made of sterner stuff.

Inverness need some creativity

Caley Thistle got off to a losing start at home to Motherwell but the most concerning stat for manager John Hughes will be that his side failed to muster a single shot on target in front of their home support.

The hole left by the impressive Marley Watkins, who has left for Barnsley, has yet to be filled and that was clear for all to see.

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