5 things we learned in the cinch Scottish Premiership this weekend

Aberdeen’s run without a win was stretched to six games.

Ronnie Esplin
Sunday 12 September 2021 16:53
Steven Gerrard’s team remain top of the Scottish Premiership (Ian Rutherford/PA)
Steven Gerrard’s team remain top of the Scottish Premiership (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Rangers stayed on top of the table and Livingston picked up their first point of the season.

Here, PA news agency looks at another weekend in the cinch Premiership

Aberdeen revolution halted

Scott Brown and Aberdeen went down at Motherwell on Saturday (Steve Welsh/PA)

There were hopes of big things to come this season from Aberdeen under boss Stephen Glass and with the recruitment of former Celtic skipper Scott Brown It started well with two cinch Premiership wins and the Dons making it through two qualifying rounds of the Europa Conference League but it started going wrong with a 2-1 defeat by Ross County in the Betfred Cup. The Dons were knocked out of Europe by Qarabag and Saturday’s 2-0 cinch Premiership defeat by Motherwell at Fir Park, albeit their first in the league, made it six games without a win.

Albian Ajeti stakes a claim at Celtic Park

With Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths and Ryan Christie off to other clubs, Kyogo Furuhashi injured and new Greek striker Giorgos Giakoumakis still getting up to speed, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou had little option but to give Ajeti his chance against Ross County on Saturday. The Switzerland striker has failed to pin down a first-team place since signing from West Ham in the summer of 2020 for a reported fee of £5million and there were familiar groans when he missed a good chance in the first-half by shooting weakly at Staggies keeper Ross Laidlaw. However, Ajeti kept plugging away and after debutant defender Cameron Carter-Vickers opened the scoring with a deflected strike from distance, he grabbed a brace of close-range headers – his first goals since February – to keep the points at Parkhead.

Livingston up and running

It will not be candidate for game of the season but that will not worry Livingston boss David Martindale. After four successive league defeats, the West Lothian side’s goalless draw against Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday put the first point on the board for the visitors. After five fixtures, Livingston remain bottom of the table with one point – one behind Ross County and two behind St Johnstone, Dundee and St Mirren – but Martindale will be looking to start moving upwards.

Life in St Johnstone is promising

Callum Davidson extended his contract as St Johnstone manager (Andrew Milligan/PA)

With no victories from their opening five league games and key duo Ali McCann and Jason Kerr having been sold, it would be easy to assume St Johnstone’s period of buoyancy under Callum Davidson is over. However, despite their tough start, there remains reason to suspect the Perth side will soon be back in business. Manager Davidson is clearly optimistic about the future, as evidenced by the fact he has extended his contract until 2025, and the performance his team delivered against champions Rangers was full of promise. Only a wonder goal from Ibrox captain James Tavernier denied the Perth side what would have been a well-earned point. With plenty players still to add to the mix, it is surely only a matter of time before the Saints get on the march again.

Edinburgh sides looking strong

Five games in and although they have both been overtaken at the top of the league by Rangers, Hearts and Hibs are the only two sides in the Premiership who remain unbeaten. The pair cancelled each other out in a Tynecastle stalemate on Sunday, but the lack of goals was largely due to the excellent form of goalkeepers Craig Gordon and Matt Macey. Both sides played their part in a captivating Edinburgh derby and managers Robbie Neilson and Jack Ross are entitled to be confident about their respective teams’ chances for the remainder of the campaign.