Football Round-Up: Rangers replace rivals

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The Independent Online
RANGERS' personnel may be about to change, with speculation that three players are to move to Everton, but the club restored the one constant feature of the last six years by moving back to the top of the Premier Division, writes

David McKinney.

The Ibrox master plan is, of course, to stay there and new players will be recruited, but their rivals, Celtic, whom they replaced on Saturday, will have to make do with mainly the same players.

Only Phil O'Donnell, a pounds 1.7m purchase from Motherwell, has arrived since Tommy Burns took over in the summer and, while the Celtic manager admits he is in need of a forward and a defender, he has refused to rush into the transfer market.

It has been like old times, with the two exchanging places over the last few weeks, but Celtic, unbeaten so far this season, are now threatened by suspensions and injury.

At Motherwell, they left out Paul McStay and still retained an impressive midfield, but illness to Tony Mowbray left an inexperienced central defence of Mark McNally, 23, and Brian O'Neil, 22.

The sending off of Peter Grant was a further setback to Celtic, who dropped two points when a defensive error allowed Motherwell to score with two minutes remaining. Rangers disposed of Dundee United at Ibrox with goals from Mark Hateley and Brian Laudrup.

Aberdeen fell further behind in the table when they lost 2-1 at Kilmarnock - their first win of the season - with Tom Brown hitting a late winner. Eoin Jess, the Aberdeen forward, missed the game after breaking a bone in his foot in a training accident. The injury will put him out of action for a month and therefore rule him out of the Scotland squadfor the forthcoming match against the Faroe Islands. Hibernian moved into third place after a 3-0 win over Partick Thistle.