5 things we learned from this weekend’s Scottish Premiership action

Rangers beat Ladbrokes Premiership champions Celtic 2-0 at Ibrox in the penultimate round of fixtures this season.

Here, Football Paradise looks at five things we learned from the weekend’s football.

Celtic defeat does Neil Lennon no favours

Celtic travelled to Ibrox as champions but were strangely subdued against city rivals Rangers.

Although the defeat makes no difference to the league position, it may have harmed interim boss Neil Lennon’s chances of getting the job on a permanent basis.

The Northern Irishman took over until the end of the season in February when Brendan Rodgers left suddenly for Leicester.

The Ibrox loss was his first since returning to  dugout but the manner of the defeat will have done little to convince the Parkhead board that he should be manager for the second time, while many fans are already against the idea.

Rangers closing the gap on Celtic?

Celtic’s dominance of Scottish football was confirmed last week when their 3-0 win at Aberdeen saw them crowned champions for the eighth successive time.

The Hoops have the chance to clinch an unprecedented domestic triple treble when they take on Hearts in the William Hill Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park on May 25.

However, Rangers have won both Old Firm games at Ibrox this season and both of them with a degree of comfort.

They ended the afternoon six points behind their bitter rivals after goals from James Tavernier and Scott Arfield and with growing belief that next season will see a proper title challenge

Hero to villain

Motherwell forward Jake Hastie, left, has signed a pre-contract with Rangers
Motherwell forward Jake Hastie, left, has signed a pre-contract with Rangers (Jane Barlow/PA)

Jake Hastie had become a hero to the Motherwell fans for his displays in the second half of the season.

However, the attacker recently signed a pre-contract with Rangers and that did not go down well with some of the Fir Park fans.

Hastie was targeted by some Motherwell supporters as he warmed up at St Johnstone on Saturday and he was booed when made a second-half appearance as replacement for Gboly Ariyibi, as the Steelmen lost 2-0.

Manager pays the price again

Jim McIntyre took over at Dundee from Neil McCann last October after a poor start to the season by the Taysiders.

However, he failed to turn it around and the Dens Park side were relegated to the Championship last week.

Dundee beat Livingston 1-0 on Saturday to end a winless run of 10 games but 24 hours later McIntyre had departed the club.

Paul Heckingbottom will not hide his feelings

Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom
Hibernian boss Paul Heckingbottom is not afraid to speak his mind (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Hibernian head coach came under scrutiny for recent comments about a fourth official but showed he was not afraid to speak his mind after a 1-0 defeat at Kilmarnock.

Heckingbottom called Killie defender Alex Bruce a diver on his way into the Rugby Park media room after losing out to a soft penalty.

Heckingbottom emphatically repeated the accusation in front of watching reporters when asked if he was being serious about Bruce, his former Sheffield Wednesday team-mate.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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