Scottish Premiership fans were treated to an attacking masterclass by Steven Gerrard’s men on Match Week 14. After conceding a late equaliser in their mid-week European clash to Benfica, the Gers were determined to make amends in the domestic league. Going up against an inferior Hamilton Academical side, for whom relegation might already be a foregone conclusion despite playing only a third of the season, Rangers were expected to slot home a few and continue their brilliant home record.
What fans and pundits didn’t expect was that the Hammies would be torn to shreds in a matter of 90 minutes. In what could end up being their biggest win of the season, the Light Blues hammered 4 goals in each half, with Joe Aribo, Kemar Roofe, and James Tavernier grabbing braces. With such a huge margin, surely nothing could make the win more impressive. But while they attacked relentlessly, the backline did their jobs efficiently, as the Hammies weren’t even allowed to get a single shot off during the entire run of play.
Their victory in the Old Firm derby was the first step towards ensuring that their long-standing rivals would not be in with a direct shot of winning 10IAR. This win in Match Week 14 firmly places them in the driver’s seat and outlines their credentials as potential champions of Scotland.
After their loss against Rangers in the Old Firm derby, the Celts struggled in all competitions as they managed to win only once in their next 5 games, a 2-0 win against Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup. Three of these fixtures were in the group stages of the Europa League as they faced off against Milan, Lille, and Sparta Prague, in what would be a tight group. Unfortunately, the Celts were bang average against Milan and dismal against Prague, with their solitary point coming against Lille who managed to make a comeback for a late draw.
After early season success with a back three, it looked like Lennon would plan on utilising the formation for the rest of the season. However, losses against their Glaswegian rivals and Italian giants Milan forced him to rethink their strategy, as they reverted to a 4-2-3-1 formation. Unfortunately, it only came good this weekend in Match Week 14, as they endured a draw against Aberdeen and the defeat to Prague.
Celtic came into the game against Motherwell with their confidence low and their tactics looking ineffective. Facing off against Steve Robinson’s side wouldn’t be easy as the Dossers won 4 of their last five league fixtures and were knocking on the doors of Kilmarnock as they sought to enter the top half.
However, it was not to be for them as Celtic romped to a 4-1 victory, 2 goals coming on either side of half time for Lennon’s men. The standout performer was Southampton loanee Mohamed Elyounoussi as he bagged a hat trick to take his tally to 10 goals this season. Trailing by 9 points but with two games in hand, it is up to Celtic to find their mojo and fight for the title as they look to win it for the tenth time in a row.
In a match that would determine the Best of the Rest in the Scottish top flight, Aberdeen faced off against Hibs at home, as fans on both sides hoped and prayed for a win. Aberdeen were coming into the game on the back of a late draw against Celtic and no losses in their last five league games while Hibernian were playing decently but were unable to close out their games and acquired only 8 points from a possible 15 in their last five. This game was monumental for both sides as it would give them a platform to get into Europe for the next campaign.
Derek McInnes deployed a back three while his counterpart Jack Ross went for the 4-4-2. In a game marred with fouls and duels, Hibernian looked to be the better side as they passed the ball more and created several half chances. Unfortunately, 2 early goals conceded due to individual errors led to their eventual defeat as they were unable to capitalize on their chances. The match ended with a 2-0 scoreline at the Pittodrie, with Lewis Ferguson picking up a couple of assists for Scott Wright and Sam Cosgrove.
In the rest of the Scottish Premiership, Dundee United and Saint Mirren played out a goalless draw at the Simple Digital Arena, with United now drawing 3 of their last 4 games and the Saints picking up their first point after successive losses. Another draw ensued in north Scotland as Livi took on Ross County. With both teams scoring a goal each, they escaped with one point. In the final game of Match Week 14, Kilmarnock suffered their third defeat on the trot as they were brought down by a single goal scored by St. Johnstone’s Dan McNamara, as they won their fourth game of the season.