Scottish football: Old Firm, Moussa Dembele, Adam Rooney, Swanson, Burke

BBC Scotland football commentator Rob Maclean picks out five observations from the weekend's football action.

Old Firm differential 'still massive'

Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney holds off Rangers' James Tavernier
Celtic dominated against Rangers on Sunday despite only scoring one goal

There's still a gap between Celtic and Rangers as wide as the Clyde.

Obviously in terms of the scoreline, Sunday's 1-0 League Cup semi-final defeat was a vast improvement for Mark Warburton's team on the 5-1 Premiership derby demolition dished out by Celtic six weeks earlier.

And some of the team changes made by Rangers, and the tactical tweaks which went with them, gave them a bit more solidity.

But Celtic still had 24 shots at goal and Rangers goalkeeper Matt Gilks was the undisputed man of the match. Opposite number Craig Gordon didn't have a serious save to make.

If you think that only one goal in the game at Hampden signifies a shift in the balance of power, you're deluding yourself. The quality differential remains massive.

Dembele fee 'petty cash' for star asset

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Rodgers & Dembele savour semi-final win

Celtic must be poised to make their biggest-ever profit on a player when they, sooner or later, get an offer they can't refuse for Moussa Dembele.

I'm not wishing the young Frenchman away from Scottish football. Quite the opposite. The longer we - in this country - can watch a star-in-the-making at close-quarters, the better as far as I'm concerned.

But there's a certain inevitability that some seriously big clubs will be throwing some seriously big money Celtic's way as Dembele continues to make spectacular progress.

The 20-year-old striker has scored twice already in the Champions League plus four Old Firm goals in a total of 14 so far this season. He also netted on his debut for the French Under-21s.

I'm told Celtic paid no more than £500,000 compensation to Dembele's previous club Fulham.

That will be mere petty cash compared to the price tag the club will soon have to attach to their star asset.

'Staggering' Rooney rescues Dons again

Adam Rooney celebrates scoring Aberdeen's opening goal against Morton
Adam Rooney's goal against Morton was his seventh of the season

Somehow it had to be Adam Rooney to the rescue, just when the Aberdeen fans were fearing another helping of Hampden heartache was heading their way.

The Dons were going through a sticky spell in the second half of their still-goalless League Cup semi-final against Morton on Saturday when serial scorer Rooney came up with the goal which killed off the Championship team's resistance.

I've always loved strikers who do little other than score goals. Frank McDougall was another who wore number nine for Aberdeen. That was back in the 1980s and he left the build-up to others, preferring to deliver the finishing touch, which he did regularly.

Rooney's strike rate is staggering. Inverness Caley Thistle fans will remember it well. For Aberdeen, he's started fewer than 100 matches and scored 65 goals.

At the age of 28, and having just added four years to his contract at Pittodrie, I think it's fair to say there'll be a few more to add to that total.

Classy Swanson not in swansong mode yet

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Highlights: St Johnstone 2-1 Dundee

Danny Swanson was the best thing by far about the Tayside derby in Perth on Sunday.

Not just his sixth successful penalty of the season, which effectively won the match for St Johnstone against Dundee and lifted them into fourth place in the Premiership.

No, there was much more to Swanson's contribution than that. He gave the game excitement just about every time he touched the ball. It was a classy performance.

The former Berwick, Dundee United and Hearts midfielder had some dark days to contend with but there's a brightness about his football at the moment.

The best from him might be still to come and that's got to be good news for St Johnstone.

County recruit Burke 'far from finished'

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Highlights: Partick Thistle 1-1 Ross County

Chris Burke could be just what Ross County need to kick-start their season.

The former Scotland winger ended the Dingwall team's four-match goal drought with Saturday's stoppage-time equaliser against Partick Thistle at Firhill.

Earlier, he should have had a penalty when he was bundled over in the box and Burke's half-hour appearance off the bench certainly lifted the County performance.

Since leaving Rangers seven years ago, he's had success down south with Cardiff, Birmingham and Nottingham Forest. At 32, he's surely far from finished.

And for the Highlanders, Burke's arrival could prove to be a smart bit of business.

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