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Summary

  1. Leaders Celtic win to go 16 points clear as Rangers draw
  2. Partick Thistle up to sixth, Motherwell go seventh

Live Reporting

By Colin Moffat

All times stated are UK

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What a difference a year makes

At the midway point of last season's league campaign, Celtic had 43 points from 19 games and were only a point clear of Aberdeen, who had played a game more.

Under Brendan Rodgers they are 12 points better off at the same stage of this campaign and with a 16-point advantage over nearest challengers Rangers, who have played a game more.

Cantering to the title...

We'll be back on Friday for Hearts v Aberdeen. Bye for now!

Celtic cruised to a 2-0 win over Ross County
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High praise for Motherwell win

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee on BBC Sportsound

"It rates as the best result we've had since I've been back at the club. It was a big, big challenge under the circumstances.

"Coming here and getting a result justifies what I've been saying about the team. We've been nearly there and I just wanted to push it over the line.

"The conditions were difficult and Inverness are a difficult side to play against regardless of where they are in the league."

Rodgers anticipates 'a great battle'

FT: Celtic 2-0 Ross County

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is looking forward to his first visit to Ibrox on Saturday.

"It will be a great battle. We've been on an amazing run and we want that to continue in the last game of what has been an incredibly tough but exciting period.

"We aim to go there and play our game, be aggressive and attack. We know if we do that, we have an opportunity to win."

Slump continues for Caley Thistle

FT: Inverness CT 1-2 Motherwell

That's nine games without a win for bottom club Caley Thistle but they are still very much in touch, just four points behind tonight's winners Motherwell, who move up to seventh.

It's a derby in Dingwall on Saturday for Richie Foran's side, while the Steelmen travel to take on local rivals Hamilton with an extra spring in their step.

'Celtic had to be patient'

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers on BBC Sportsound

"Every player that has come in has done very well. Ryan Christie was excellent for us.

"We had to be patient. It's been like that for a number of home games here and the pitch is quite bobbly, which interrupts the flow sometimes. 

"I was pleased with the second half until the last 10 minutes, when I think we could have managed the game better."

Early misses frustrate Staggies boss

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre on BBC Sportsound

"We had a game plan to be hard to break down and be a threat on the break. We had two early chances with Liam Boyce and Alex Schalk and you need to take one of those at a place like this.

"Scott Fox has been brilliant for us so I can't be too critical but he should be saving that first goal.

"It's a hard shift when Celtic are moving the ball around like that but we defended stoutly and limited them in the second half."

Rangers sweat on duo's fitness

Rangers manager Mark Warburton on BT Sport

"It's just a mistake, we're all human [Rob Kiernan's mistake for Steven MacLean's equaliser].

"Disappointed to come away with just the one point."

Warburton added getting both Lee Wallace and Clint Hill fit in time for Saturday's meeting with Celtic at Ibrox would be "tight".

'A great point' for Saints

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright on BBC Sportsound

"Rangers started well and we needed to change our system. Once we made that change, we limited them. My side are disciplined and understand how to alter our shape during games. 

"I can't be disappointed. It's a great point. It stops their winning run and it keeps our run going.

"Macca [Steven MacLean] put in a real shift and I'm delighted he got his goal."

FULL-TIME Partick Thistle 2-0 Dundee

Just a second home win of the Premiership season for Thistle - thanks to goals from Callum Booth and Kris Doolan - and it's enough to lift Alan Archibald's side into the top half of the table.

They were bottom last Friday...

FULL-TIME Inverness CT 1-2 Motherwell

Once again the away team prevails in this fixture. Craig Clay thumped in a stunning goal and Scott McDonald added another for the visitors before a last-gasp goal from Greg Tansey.

Most of the home fans missed the consolation strike after streaming out at 2-0. The Highlanders remain bottom of the pile.

FULL-TIME St Johnstone 1-1 Rangers

Saints and Rangers remain unbeaten in December but the visitors will be frustrated to see their four-game winning streak coming to an end as they created a host of early chances.

Barrie McKay scored the opener after a Zander Clark spill but soon after a Rob Kiernan blunder led to Steven MacLean's leveller.

From that point on it was an even contest, with nothing much going on in front of goal in the second half.

Rangers stay in second, five points ahead of Aberdeen, who have a game in hand.

FULL-TIME Celtic 2-0 Ross County

Celtic extend their lead at the top to a whopping 16 points, with Erik Sviatchenko and Stuart Armstrong banging in the goals late in the first half.

CLOSE!

St Johnstone 1-1 Rangers

Martyn Waghorn has not had much of a look-in since he got on as a substitute but he fires narrowly wide of the St Johnstone goal after cutting in from the right.

GREAT SAVE!

Celtic 2-0 Ross County

Moussa Dembele, looking to impress Brendan Rodgers ahead of the Old Firm derby, cracks in a powerful strike and it needs a impressive stop from Scott Fox to keep it out. 

GOAL Inverness CT 1-2 Motherwell

Greg Tansey

Maybe it's not over yet...

A corner is whipped in and a real stramash breaks out as the ball bobbles around the goal-line before Greg Tansey prods it home from a few yards.

Do the home side have time to find a leveller?

GOAL Inverness CT 0-2 Motherwell

Scott McDonald

Motherwell have surely sealed the points now. 

A ball is clipped high into the box, hanging in the wind, and Scott McDonald uses all his experience to hiold off his marker and fire a low finish past Owain Fon Williams.

An eighth goal of the season for the veteran striker, and this one appears to have finished the job for Motherwell in the Highlands.

GREAT SAVE!

Celtic 2-0 Ross County

Ross County defender Andrew Davies steers a powerful header on target and Craig Gordon appears to be wrong-footed before sticking out a hand to bat the ball away.

HITS THE WOODWORK

Inverness CT 0-1 Motherwell

Caley Thistle so close to an equaliser.

The ball drops to Aaron Doran at the edge of the box and he does wonderfully well to control his shot on the half-volley but it rises an inch too high and comes crashing back off the underside of the crossbar. 

Good save

Celtic 2-0 Ross County

Martin Woods tests Craig Gordon from long range, but the Celtic goalkeeper turns the effort round the post.

Dundee probing for a way back

Partick Thistle 2-0 Dundee

Thistle are living dangerously, sitting back and allowing Dundee to press. This time, Rory Loy heads straight at goalkeeper Tomas Cerny from Paul McGowan's curling cross.

Swanson on for Saints

St Johnstone 1-1 Rangers

St Johnstone's star man and top scorer Danny Swanson follows Liam Craig on from the bench with David Wotherspoon making way after Chris Millar did likewise moments ago.

Rangers make their final change - Michael O'Halloran on for Kenny Miller.

Boiling over

Partick Thistle 2-0 Dundee

Tempers are becoming frayed at Firhill, with Darren O'Dea pushed to the ground inside the Thistle penalty box by Danny Devine as Dundee prepare to take a free-kick.

Both players receive yellow cards and Marcus Haber heads straight at goalkeeper Tomas Cerny once the set-piece is eventually taken.

PENALTY APPEAL

Celtic 2-0 Ross County

Loud boos at Celtic Park as referee Nick Walsh allows play to continue after Scott Sinclair goes down under a challenge from Marcus Fraser. 

"He definitely had a hand on him," says BBC pundit Pat Bonner. 

Dembele on to stake a claim

Celtic 2-0 Ross County

Leigh Griffiths is replaced by Moussa Dembele as Celtic drop down the gears with this game in the bag. Which one of those two will start against Rangers on Saturday?

Liam Henderson and Patrick Roberts are also on for the champions, with Ryan Christie and James Forrest the men making way.

Leigh Griffiths
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Griffiths missed with a close range header, much to his obvious frustration

Argy-bargy

Partick Thistle 2-0 Dundee

Things get heated at Firhill with plenty of pushing, shoving and finger pointing between the two groups of players after Christie Elliott's strong challenge on Dundee's Kevin Holt. Holt eventually dusts himself down, while Elliott escapes with a yellow card.

Samson to the fore

Inverness CT 0-1 Motherwell

Craig Samson has to look sharp in the Motherwell goal as Ian Vigurs' free-kick curls dangerously towards the net, the keeper taking no chances by turning the ball behind.

Moments later Samson is called into action again to beat away a stinging drive from Aaron Doran.

Injury concern for Rangers

St Johnstone 1-1 Rangers

Clint Hill hobbles off to be replaced by Lee Hodson in Rangers' latest change. The veteran defender may struggle to be fit for Celtic's visit on Saturday.

Waghorn gets the call

St Johnstone 1-1 Rangers

Rangers go to the bench for the first time tonight with Martyn Waghorn replacing Joe Garner in attack.

Pot shot or wonder goal?

Inverness CT 0-1 Motherwell

The two club Twitter feeds have slightly different opinions on that opening goal from Motherwell's Craig Clay....

Motherwell open the scoring, a wind assisted pot shot leaves Fon Williams stranded as it finds it's way into the right of the goal.

50' | 0-1 WHAT A GOAL!!!!! Clay picks it up on the edge of the box and fires a beauty into the top corner!!!

CLOSE!

Celtic 2-0 Ross County

Leigh Griffiths jumps just a little early and can't keep his header from six yards down. That really should have been 3-0 to Celtic.

End to end at Firhill

Partick Thistle 2-0 Dundee

Chances at both ends, with Thistle's Chris Erskine brushing the top of the net with a long-range drive then Kevin Holt fires low and powerfully from 15 yards but straight at goalkeeper Tomas Cerny.

CLOSE!

St Johnstone 1-1 Rangers

Josh Windass is in on goal for Rangers but a deflection carries his shot over.

Congestion charge from Jags

Partick Thistle 2-0 Dundee

On Friday, Partick Thistle were bottom of the Premiership pile. As it stands, they are heading into the top six.

Partick Thistle celebrate
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GOAL Inverness CT 0-1 Motherwell

Craig Clay

We've been waiting for a moment of inspiration and it has arrived in spectacular style.

Craig Clay receives the ball from a throw-in and is allowed time and space to ping a shot from 25 yards that sails over the head of Owain Fon Williams and into the top corner.

The strike seemed to catch the wind a little, rising before dipping sharply and completely catching out Fon Williams.

A belter.

Craig Clay
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Clay enjoyed that one!

Sight of goal for Cole

Inverness CT 0-0 Motherwell

Larnell Cole breaks free of the Motherwell defence and advances into the penalty area but seems to get caught in two minds whether to shoot or square the ball for a team-mate and his effort trundles wide.

Celtic 2-0 Ross County

Celtic threaten again but Leigh Griffiths' powerful drive is straight at goalkeeper Scott Fox.

Christie catches the eye

Celtic 2-0 Ross County

Chick Young

BBC Scotland at Celtic Park

Ryan Christie started this game as the one in the Celtic starting eleven unlikely to get a start against Rangers on Saturday. But actually his first half performance may have given Brendan Rogers food for thought.

Ryan Christie
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Celtic 2-0 Ross County

Straight from kick-off Celtic win a corner as Ryan Christie embarks on a strong run and links with Leigh Griffiths. The visitors stand firm from the set-piece but there's no sign of Celtic sitting on their lead.

KICK-OFF

We're up and running again.