Scottish football: What we learned from the weekend

BBC commentator Rob Maclean continues a regular series of articles with his observations from the fourth weekend of the Scottish league season.

No challengers to Celtic

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Highlights: Celtic 4-1 Aberdeen

Celtic will win this season's Scottish Premiership by a distance.

It may be a tad early to be writing off the opposition since the country has not yet parted company with its summer.

But last season's runners-up Aberdeen were swatted aside at Celtic Park on Saturday as Brendan Rodgers' team followed up their qualification for the Champions League group stage by cruising into top spot with a game in hand.

That's where they will be at the end of the campaign. Celtic are far from the finished article but there's a vast improvement in the quality of their football and anyone expecting a nail-biting finale to the top-flight season will be disappointed.

Killie teens make their mark

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Scottish Premiership highlights: Kilmarnock 1-1 Rangers

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark found out on Friday night, after a summer signing spree to try to turn his team around, that the answer to his prayers might lie closer to home.

The number of new arrivals at Rugby Park is well into double figures and it's been a bit like pick 'n' mix in the first couple of months of the season for Clark.

But four of the players he brought into the team who drew 1-1 with Rangers were home-produced teenagers - two 19-year-olds, Greg Kiltie and Dean Hawkshaw, and a couple of 18-year-olds, Greg Taylor and Adam Frizzell.

Taylor blotted his copybook with a red-card lunge at Joey Barton but all four teens played a part in a hugely impressive and much-improved performance to claim a precious Premiership point.

Rangers still seeking right blend

Niko Kranjcar
Niko Kranjcar and Rangers had a frustrating Friday evening in Ayrshire

Rangers must have expected to be building up to the first Old Firm game of the season on 10 September in a better frame of mind.

There's a lot to be sorted out ahead of the trip to Celtic Park. Manager Mark Warburton admitted the first half on Friday night at Killie was the "worst" display he has seen from his team since taking charge 14 months ago.

Midfield continues to be a work in progress and Rangers have still to find a way to get the best out of VIP acquisitions Barton and Niko Kranjcar. Andy Halliday, a key performer last season, is struggling to fit into the new set-up.

Their vulnerability in defence remains and one has to wonder what damage could be done by Celtic's Leigh Griffiths, Scott Sinclair, James Forrest and Tom Rogic.

Rangers' strength is in attack with Harry Forrester, Barrie McKay, Kenny Miller and maybe the returning Martyn Waghorn all equipped to trouble Celtic.

Elsewhere in the team, there are more questions than answers.

Crowds flock to Championship

Easter Road
Almost 15,000 fans turned out to watch Hibs beat Morton 4-0

The Championship continues to capture the imagination - and some impressive attendances.

When Hearts and then Rangers were promoted, cynics may have been ready to dismiss the relevance of Scottish football's second tier.

Hibernian's home game against Greenock Morton boasted the second-biggest crowd in Scotland over the weekend. Nothing was going to challenge a near-full house at Celtic Park but the best part of 15,000 made it along to Easter Road.

About half that number watched Dundee United play Raith Rovers on Saturday, a much bigger figure than the turnout for four of the Premiership games going on at the same time.

In total, the five Championship matches were watched by more than 32,000 football fans - not a sign of a league that's losing its popularity.

Imrie still doing the business for Accies

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Highlights: Hamilton Academical 1-0 Ross County

The official stats might not tell you this but Dougie Imrie had the ball in the net twice for Hamilton Academical against Ross County on Saturday.

The first time was in a mini goal net on the pitch behind the main playing surface at New Douglas Park after his free-kick missed the real target by about 20 feet and zoomed over the perimeter fence.

The second time was legitimate as the 33-year-old attacker raced away on the end of an Accies counter, after a great Remi Matthews save at the other end, to chip in a 74th-minute winner.

Two moments to sum up the wee man. Things do not always go right for him but Imrie does have that talismanic touch which keeps on working wonders for Hamilton.

That was the only goal of a game which could have done with being connected to a set of jump leads, not that Accies would be complaining at their first Premiership win of the season.

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