All the latest news and transfer speculation fro around the SPFL. (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group)
The game of the night in the top flight came at Pittodrie where Celtic ran up a two-goal lead in the first half before Aberdeen mounted a surprise comeback after the interval through goals from Christian Ramirez and Lewis Ferguson. Yet, it didn’t last long with Jota restoring the away side’s lead in what is a big three points in the title race with Rangers running out comfortable 2-0 winners at Ibrox against Hibs.
Shaun Maloney’s men have now dropped to seventh with the Dons in ninth due to wins from Dundee United and St Mirren, plus Livingston drawing at Ross County. Tony Watt grabbed his first goal for United against former club Motherwell with just six points separating fourth and tenth.
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Hearts maintain a ten-point lead in third but were booed off as they fell defeat to Dundee who were bottom of the table but a spirited second-half display to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win lifted them into 11th with St Johnstone going down at St Mirren. There are now two points in it at the bottom.
Rangers target Danilho Doekhi has given the biggest hint yet that he will depart Vitesse Arnhem in the summer, while admitting that a move abroad could interest him. The centre-back is out of contract at the end of the season. He said: “I want to take a new step, I am certainly open to that and I am ready for that.” (VZ)
The Championship can best be described as frantic. Ayr United recorded a surprise win at rivals Kilmarnock with an 80th minute goal, top of the table Arbroath rescued a point with a stoppage time penalty in a 2-2 draw with Hamilton and Kirk Broadfoot grabbed a 94th-minute equalizer for Inverness CT against Partick Thistle.
Scroll down and click through for all the latest news and transfer speculation from around the SPFL.
Leigh Griffiths revealed he chose Falkirk over another few offers. The striker became a free agent last month when Celtic evoked a clause in his contract from him to end his deal early. He made his debut for the Bairns in the midweek win over Alloa. He said: “Every manager and assistant is going to have their sales pitch. I had a few offers on the table but Falkirk was the one that stood out for me.” (Falkirk TV)
Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass claimed it was only his bench that were told not to speak to referee Willie Collum after the defeat to Celtic. The Dons boss felt aggrieved with the winning goal from Jota. Glass said: “He didn’t tell two managers he told one – maybe he has realized he has made a mistake.” (Various)
Hibs boss Shaun Maloney reckons his side were denied a first-half penalty in their loss at Rangers with Ryan Porteous brought down at a corner. Maloney said: “We all make mistakes and I think the referee has got that one wrong with Ryan Porteous. I saw it back and it looks in my opinion pretty clear – a penalty, which obviously changes the dynamic of the game.” (BBC)
Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Rangers will have to play a waiting game over Leon Balogun. The centre-back was injured during the 2-0 win over Hibs on Wednesday having only recently returned to the first team. Van Bronckhorst said: “For him it’s been a difficult time, through injury, and he just came back but hopefully for him it’s not that serious, but we have to wait and see.” (Rangers TV)
Rangers have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Schalke goalkeeper Martin Fraisl. The Austrian is out of contract at the end of the season and is attracting interest from a number of sides. Schalke’s sporting director Rouven Schroder said: “We’re monitoring his situation closely, but our focus is currently on day-to-day business and therefore, there will not be any concrete contract talks with him in the near future.” (Scottish Sun)
Livingston boss David Martindale is hopeful winger Alan Forrest will remain at the club. The 25-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and had the option to join St Johnstone in January. He has emerged as a key player at Livi in recent weeks and scored the goal in the 1-1 draw with Ross County. Martindale said: “Hopefully Alan sees his future from him at Livingston.” (The Scotsman)
Rangers have signed Romanian youth international Kevin Ciubotaru. The left-back has agreed to a two-year deal at Ibrox after coming through the London-based Kinetic Foundation. The 18-year-old, who was previously on the books of SK Rapid Vienna, will join up with the Rangers B-team and ply his trade in the Lowland League in the first instance. (The Scotsman)
Hearts boss Robbie Neilson admitted he was “very, very disappointed” with his team in their 2-1 loss at home to Dundee. The third-place side were booed off after losing a first-half lead. Neilson bemoaned the defensive display. He said: “We’ve had a brilliant defensive record recently. But at this moment in time we’ve not and we need to get back to that. We’re maybe not taking the chances we should. But at our end of the park we should be miles better.” (The Scotsman)