McLeish warms to Arveladze's hot streak

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The Independent Football

Alex McLeish was spared a second successive draw in his brief Rangers career when Ronnie O'Brien blew a chance to earn Dundee United a point at Ibrox yesterday. The former Middlesbrough and Juventus midfielder was left with just goalkeeper Stefan Klos to beat in the last minute but shot wide, allowing McLeish to celebrate a 3-2 victory thanks largely to Shota Arveladze's ruthless finishing.

The Georgian striker scored twice to take his total to 11 goals in 13 games since signing from Ajax but United, managed by Alex Smith, who had McLeish under his tutelage at Aberdeen a decade ago, merited something from an absorbing game. Arveladze struck after 20 minutes with his left foot after Ronald de Boer's assist, but Steven Thompson equalised nine minutes later with a header after Jim Lauchlan struck the bar. Lorenzo Amor-uso restored Rangers' lead with a 43rd-minute header and set up Arveladze to score again after the interval with a piercing pass. But Thompson drilled in a fine left-foot shot to ensure a nervous finale.

Livingston remain third but could not beat Dunfermline Athletic at Almondvale. Kilmarnock won 2-1 at Dundee thanks to a sublime left foot shot by the 18-year-old midfielder Stephen Murray, his first in his third game. Ally Mitchell's fierce first-half volley put Kilmarnock ahead but Gavin Rae clipped in Temuri Ketsbaia's lay-off after half-time to equalise.

Hearts are sixth after a 3-1 win over Motherwell at Tynecastle following spectacular goals from Ricardo Fuller. Stuart Elliott gave the visitors a 20th-minute lead but Fuller equalised on 53 minutes with a diving header. Motherwell's Eddie Forrest was sent off on the hour and Kevin McKenna headed Hearts in front before Fuller clinched it, the Jamaican evading four tackles.

Bottom club St Johnstone overcame an injury crisis – manager Billy Stark had 10 players out – with a goalless draw at home to Hibernian.