Football: Rangers swoop past flu setbacks

Scottish round-up
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Another Saturday, another controversy. Rangers retained their 14-point lead at the top of the Premier Division, but only after a victory at Hibernian achieved with just four fit players. The Ibrox club had offered 28 sick notes to the Scottish Football League as evidence of a flu epidemic, but their request for a cancellation fell on deaf ears.

Against the odds, Erik Bo Andersen and Jorg Albertz scored the goals in a 2-1 win. But there was anger from Hibs at the decisive penalty award. The home side claimed that Jim Leighton, their goalkeeper, made no contact with Brian Laudrup as the Rangers player embarked on a run inside the penalty area.

While Rangers continued their domination, their Thursday victims, Celtic, papered over the cracks with a 5-0 win over Motherwell. All goals were down to their foreign contingent: Paolo Di Canio, Pierre van Hooijdonk, a double from Jorge Cadete and a final goal by Morten Wieghorst.

Several players, however, could be on the verge of leaving the club. Van Hooijdonk has had a long-running pay dispute and is attracting interest from Feyenoord, Leeds United and Blackburn, while Andreas Thom is a target for Karlsruhe.

Aberdeen's fall from grace continued as they suffered their first-ever Premier Division defeat by Dunfermline, a result which gives Roy Aitken's side just two points from their last six games. They are down from third to fifth in the league, while Dundee United have moved into third, a 2- 0 win over Kilmarnock being the latest fine result for their new manager, Tommy McLean.

Hearts are beginning to see a return on the pounds 200,000 they paid Dundee for Jim Hamilton. He has scored four goals in the last three games, his latest being the winner in a 2-1 victory over the bottom club, Raith Rovers.