Rangers beat struggling Kilmarnock to close the gap on Scottish Premiership pacesetters Celtic

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Gers players and fans were still smarting from the Viaplay Cup final defeat to Old Firm rivals Celtic at Hampden Park last Sunday, Michael Beale's first defeat as boss, as they turned their attention back to the cinch Premiership. Defender Connor Goldson's goal after six minutes prevented the visitors settling into the game and winger Fashion Sakala doubled the lead with a drive in the 25th minute before skipper James Tavernier scored from the spot just before the break after VAR had identified handball. Supporters' contentment turned to consternation however, when Killie defender Jeriel Dorsett reduced the deficit on the hour mark and the home side could not get back into their first-half stride. However, the victory enabled Rangers to move to within six points of league leaders Celtic, who play at St Mirren on Sunday. Josh Ginnelly scored a brace as Hearts tightened their grip on third spot with a 3-0 home win over St Johnstone.

The Englishman notched in either half before Jorge Grant sealed an ultimately comfortable victory for Robbie Neilson's side, who remain five points clear of city rivals Hibernian in the battle for a European place. Jack Baldwin's 70th-minute red card proved costly for Ross County as they lost 2-0 to Motherwell, who pulled further away from relegation trouble. Baldwin was sent off for bringing down Kevin van Veen, who then went on to score twice for the Steelmen. Hibernian recovered from conceding a ninth-minute goal to Joel Nouble to hit back and win 4-1 at Livingston. Elie Youan scored twice before the break for Hibs, with Jack Fitzwater then sent off for Livi. Stephane Omeonga then put through his own goal and Mykola Kukharevych added a fourth. Aberdeen ended a winless away run stretching back to October 22 with a 3-1 success at Dundee United - Jim Goodwin's first game in charge of the Tangerines, just weeks after he was dismissed by the Dons. Duk gave Aberdeen a 56th-minute lead and although United equalised through Jamie McGrath's 73rd-minute penalty, the visitors responded with goals from Ross McCrorie (79) and sub Marley Watkins (83).

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