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Rangers thrash Aberdeen to close on Celtic

Rangers took full advantage of Celtic dropping their first points of the season by trashing Aberdeen 5-0 to close the gap on their Glasgow rivals to one point at the top of the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.

Steven Gerrard’s men failed to beat the Dons in five of their seven meetings last season, but there was never any danger of Rangers dropping points at Ibrox.

James Tavernier’s early penalty was reward for the hosts’ dominance before former Aberdeen forward Greg Stewart got his first Rangers goal with an easy finish on the rebound after Joe Lewis had denied Scott Arfield.

Rangers kept their foot on the pedal after the break as Alfredo Morelos, a second Tavernier penalty and Jermain Defoe rounded off an emphatic victory.

Celtic ceded points for the first time this season as they were held 1-1 by struggling Hibs at Easter Road.

Kristoffer Ajer’s own goal gave the hosts the perfect start, but Hibs were furious at the award of a Celtic free-kick which led to Ryan Christie’s equaliser midway through the first-half.

Hibs manager Paul Heckingbottom was sent to the stands for taking his protests too far.

Celtic were then lucky Olivier Ntcham was not sent-off for a clash with Josh Vela.

However, it was the visitors who felt hard done by after the break as two strong penalty appeals were waived away in their search for a winner.

“We?re not going to win every game,” said Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

“We looked a little bit flat in the final third on occasion and our finishing let us down.”

Motherwell moved up to third behind the dominant top two with a 1-0 win at St Johnstone thanks to a goal from Devante Cole, son of former Manchester United striker Andy Cole, just before half-time.

Kilmarnock and Ross County and St Mirren and Hearts played out 0-0 draws, while Hamilton boosted their survival hopes by coming from behind to beat Livingston 2-1.

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