Derek McInnes and his Aberdeen side will be spending Christmas with renewed optimism following results in the Ladbrokes Premiership this weekend, while Motherwell and Partick will be similarly unwrapping their presents in buoyant fashion.
The trio claimed all three points this weekend along with Dundee, while the games at Inverness and St Johnstone proved too close to call.
Here’s your weekend review…
Aberdeen cruised to a fourth successive victory thanks to a 4-0 thumping of Kilmarnock.
Niall McGinn and Adam Rooney – with his 50th goal for the club – put the Dons 2-0 to the good by half-time at Rugby Park, before Jonathan Hayes and Shaleum Logan completed Aberdeen’s biggest win of the season.
Derek McInnes’ men have shortened to 14/1 for the title, while the result means Killie are now seven games without a victory.
Motherwell claimed the surprise of the weekend with a 2-1 win away at Celtic.
Nir Bitton had put the Bhoys ahead shortly after the break, but a quick-fire double from Louis Moult stunned the home crowd.
Victory for Mark McGhee’s men was their second in succession, while Celtic’s fine 10-game unbeaten run came to an end.
The result was Well’s first win at Celtic Park in seven-and-a-half years, but Ronny Deila’s men remain heavy 1/50 favourites for the title this term, and have a game in hand over Aberdeen.
The only other side to claim 12 points from 12 aside from Aberdeen are Partick, who edged Ross County.
Andrew Davies’ own goal early in the second half proved to be the unfortunate difference for County, who couldn’t build on last week’s impressive win at Hamilton.
Thistle have lost just one of their last nine, but face Celtic and Aberdeen in their next trio of fixtures.
Dundee also have reason to be jolly this Christmas after equalling their biggest win of the campaign.
Kane Hemmings grabbed a 21-minute first-half hat-trick as the Dees went 4-0 up inside half an hour as they consigned Hamilton to a second-straight loss.
Paul Hartley’s men also ended a run of two-and-a-half months without a win, while Accies have now won just one of their last eight.
The final two matches this weekend both ended all square.
Dundee United will be rueing a late equaliser in their 2-2 draw at Inverness, but the point is United’s second in succession on the road, as improvements continue to show under Mixu Paatelainen.
The battle between fourth-placed St Johnstone and third-placed Hearts proved predictably tight in a 0-0 draw, despite an early dismissal for the visiting side.
The Jam Tarts were made to work hard after Juanma was shown a straight red shortly before the half hour mark for violent conduct, but Saints couldn’t break down their 10-men opponents.
Steven MacLean had the best chance of the game from the spot late on, but his missed penalty denied the hosts the chance to move above their resolute visitors.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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