Scottish Premiership: What did we learn from the weekend's games?

It was a weekend of landmark moments in the Scottish Premiership.

We had Celtic hammering Aberdeen by the biggest margin at Pittodrie for more than a decade, we had St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin becoming a diamond handler, while St Johnstone managed to win a match. No, seriously.

Here are the 12 takeaways from all of the weekend's action.


New Celtic star emerges

Jeremie Frimpong has played three games for Celtic and they have returned an aggregate score of 15-0.

The Dutch teenager may not have been seriously tested defensively in those encounters with Partick Thistle, Ross County and Aberdeen, but the 18-year-old right-back has shown what an exciting prospect he is.

He showed great energy to get from a defensive position into the box to score his first Celtic goal from Odsonne Edouard's cut-back. And now, after the departure of Swede Mikael Lustig, Celtic have competition for places at right-back with Moritz Bauer and Hatem Abd Elhamed also battling it out to be picked.

"It's everything I wanted," Frimpong, who signed after leaving Manchester City this summer, said afterwards. "I got my first assist [in the] first home game and then a goal. It's been a great experience so far and hopefully it continues."

Jeremier Frimpong's TwitterRangers

Rangers ghost back level with Celtic

Hallowe'en may still be a few days away but Rangers survived an almighty scare against Motherwell on Sunday.

That point was articulated perfectly by the "phew" tweet put out by the club after Steven Gerrard's men turned around this game. Yet, within a performance that was far from their best, Rangers can take positives from the fact a result was garnered even without hitting top gear. While the attention of the weekend will fall on Celtic and their blitzing of Aberdeen, it is worth noting that only goal difference is keeping the two halves of the Old Firm apart.

"Winning ugly is probably the best way to describe it," Gerrard said. "There was a big improvement in the second half, but - over the course of the game - we weren't at our best. We have got away with one."


Alessio's methods working

Manager Angelo Alessio had to defend his methods in September after former Kilmarnock defender Kirk Broadfoot criticised his training.

The Italian may well have had a wry smile as he settled down on Saturday evening as he enjoyed leading his team to third in the Premiership with a 1-0 win over Broadfoot's current side, St Mirren.

Alessio's influence is shining through. Although Saturday's game was devoid of goalmouth action, it was an intriguing watch as Kilmarnock stuck to their belief of playing a patient, passing game. Niko Hamalainen and Gary Dicker in particular were instrumental in midfield.

However, Alessio admitted afterwards his side need to improve. Saints had their chances and a more clinical side would have left Rugby Park with the points. But it was yet another clean sheet for his side as they enjoy just one defeat in eight games.

Kilmarnock's last eight gamesMotherwell

Double header of destiny looms for Well

Rangers boss Gerrard claimed that, outside of Celtic, Motherwell were the best team to visit Ibrox this season. Lofty praise, but it will do little to ease the frustration felt by the Lanarkshire side as they left Ibrox with nothing. A year ago, Motherwell were turned over 7-1 in this fixture, yet it took a late Filip Helander goal to deny them a deserved point in Govan this time.

At the risk of being overly dramatic, the next two games could be quite defining for Stephen Robinson's side. Currently fourth, just a point behind Kilmarnock, they host the Rugby Park side on Wednesday before welcoming Livingston to Fir Park. Two victories would not just propel them back into third but put daylight between them and many top-six rivals.

Defeat on Wednesday would allow Killie to move four points in front on the back of what would be three straight defeats. It has all the makings of a tense but fascinating night under the Lanarkshire lights.


Can McInnes fix the leak?

"Embarrassing" is how manager Derek McInnes described the way his side defended for all four goals against Celtic.

Aberdeen have injuries and suspensions, with Lewis Ferguson, Curtis Main, Scott Wright, Funso Ojo and Ash Taylor unavailable for the visit of the champions. Yet that did not stop McInnes from being able to name his strongest defence. Not only that, his centre-half partnership of Michael Devlin and Scott McKenna are Scotland internationals.

McInnes named six defenders in the starting line-up yet they conceded four. They have conceded nine goals in their last two encounters with the Old Firm.

In truth, Celtic could have added more to their tally had they not been so wasteful in the second half, while, inevitably, the exertions from Thursday night against Lazio eventually took their toll on Neil Lennon's side.


County prove their mettle

For a good hour of Saturday's contest with Hibs, Ross County were absent as an attacking force. They trailed 2-0 and had mustered a solitary shot on target.

Following their 6-0 humiliation at Celtic Park, the visitors could have been expected to fold or surrender - far from it.

The substitutions made by co-managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson bore fruit in stunning fashion. Brian Graham and Joe Chalmers fired home superb goals to haul County level and they could even have won it at the death.

Having scored late winners against St Mirren and Motherwell, the dramatic fightback was further evidence of the newly promoted side's mettle.


Livi rely on character

Head coach Gary Holt praised his side's "character, drive and determination" for holding on for 40 minutes with 10 men.

To dig in for a draw against a sustained Hearts attack spearheaded by Uche Ikpeazu was a measure of Livingston's defensive organisation.

Aymen Souda was sent off for cutting down Chirstophe Berra early in the second half. Pragmatism and organisation were required. Luckily for Holt, his men had all those things in abundance.


Shot-shy Accies punished in Perth

While bottom side St Johnstone were even more desperate for the points, another two chucked away by Hamilton, and their importance, will not be lost on Accies manager Brian Rice.

Although the Lanarkshire side are eighth in the table, they are now just two points above the team that turned them over in dramatic fashion on Saturday. In front of goal, Accies looked particularly blunt after Mickel Miller's unlikely opener and required a penalty to provide the opportunity for a late goal. They scored with their only two shots on target.

Rice will be looking for more creativity when his side host under-fire Aberdeen on Wednesday.


'Frustrated' Levein rues chances

Hearts' travelling support booed referee Greg Aitken off the pitch at half-time, but the fault at not beating 10-man Livi surely lies with the visiting players and management.

Uche Ikpeazu had been pulled, pushed, scythed and bullied by the home team and it evidently got to him. His hesitation when one-on-one with Matija Sarkic was enough for the goalkeeper to shut down the big striker.

With this result leaving Hearts just a point off the bottom of the league, the pressure on Craig Levein remains intense. His men have just one win in eight games. Perhaps the saving grace is that Hibs and St Mirren are in a similar position.

A win in Wednesday's trip to St Johnstone would certainly buy the Tynecastle manager some much needed breathing space. A defeat, however, may put them in the automatic relegation spot.

St Mirren

'Another hard luck story' for Buddies

St Mirren have lost just one home game all season, but away from Paisley, the form of Jim Goodwin's side has them languishing just one point ahead of bottom-of-the-table St Johnstone.

Saturday's loss to Kilmarnock makes it five away defeats in a row for the Buddies. Yet, in what was an even game, they would have been worthy of a point had Gary Dicker not found a late winner for the hosts. Their next away day is a visit to Celtic Park.

"I don't think there was much between the two, we were evenly matched," manager Goodwin said afterwards. "I think a point on the road anywhere in this league is a positive one. We need to be more clinical."


Pressure mounts on Heckingbottom

Paul Heckingbottom needs wins - and fast. His team have surrendered winning positions in six of their 10 league games and have not won in the league since the opening day of the season.

Saturday was one of the most infuriating afternoons of the campaign for Hibs fans. Their team were 2-0 up and cruising against a Ross County side that had managed one shot on target and were thumped 6-0 at Celtic Park the previous weekend yet still contrived to ship the lead and draw.

Heckingbottom says he feels the pressure and that it will sharpen his focus for the games ahead.

With Livingston heading to Leith on Wednesday night before a League Cup semi-final against Celtic on Saturday, this could be a week of consequence for the Hibs boss.

St Johnstone

Red Letter Day at Perth

Good things come to those who wait. Especially those who are pushed through the emotional mincer to get it.

St Johnstone don't make things easy for themselves. The Perth side have a habit of going behind, as they did against Hamilton, but this is the first time this season they have managed to turn things around. Tommy Wright praised the character of his team and they have the opportunity to leap out of the danger zone with victory over Hearts in midweek.

"We're just pleased for the players and fans," Wright said. "It has been a long time coming. We showed everything - throughout the performance there was a lot of quality."

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