The Scottish Premiership returned to action with James Sands making his Rangers debut and going the distance as they shared the points with Christian Ramirez and Aberdeen.

Aberdeen 1-1 Rangers

Rangers could not capitalize on their early lead as Aberdeen scored from a penalty to see the game in a draw at Pittodrie Stadium.

James Sands would play the full game in his debut, completing 81 percent of his passes and winning eight duels. Christian Ramirez also went the distance for Aberdeen, completing 77 percent of his passes and winning two duels.

The hosts came out of the gate determined to put pressure on the leaders and came very close to opening the scoring when Teddy Jenks fired from distance only for the ball to ricochet off the post.

Controversy would come later when Aberdeen’s Ryan Hedges had a clear path towards goal after racing towards a pass from Jonny Hayes. Rangers’ goalkeeper Allan McGregor ran off his mark to make the stop, but it appeared he brought down Hedges instead of making contact with the ball. The referee decided play would continue instead of giving a penalty.

The visitors would break the scoreless deadlock in the 20th minute when Ianis Hagi connected on a cross from Ryan Kent to guide the ball home.

Aberdeen labored to get any kind of attack going in the second half, but they were given a lifeline when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos was guilty of handling the ball in the area.

This allowed Lewis Ferguson to convert the spot-kick.

The hosts had a chance to score the game-winner near full-time when Rangers went down to 10 men as Ramirez crossed the ball into the path of Jenks, but the Englishman could not get his shot on target.

Celtic 2-0 Hibernian

Celtic struck early and did not look back as they came away with all three points in their win over Hibernian at Celtic Park to cut the points gap on Rangers.

Cameron Carter-Vickers went the distance for the Hoops, completing 90 percent of his passes, winning five duels, and taking one shot. On the other side Hibernian’s new signee, Christopher Mueller was on the bench.

The hosts had a scare just a couple of minutes into the game when Hibernian threatened their goal. Chris Cadden’s low cross found Kevin Nisbet, but the striker’s shot came crashing off the post.

Despite the early threat, Celtic opened the scoring after four minutes. Tom Rogic supplied a cross to debutant Daizen Maeda who swept the ball home.

That goal saw them push for more and they would be rewarded with a chance to double their lead when the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Hibs’ Josh Doig was the guilty party as he made contact with the ball with his outstretched arm.

Josip Juranovic stepped up to put away the spot-kick in the 25th minute.

The goals would prove to be enough for Celtic to come away with the win as Hibs showed no signs of putting up a challenge.

The win keeps Celtic in second place in the standings with 48 points, four behind Rangers.

Notes

Ian Harkes played the entire 90 minutes for Dundee United in their 2-1 loss to St. Mirren to extend their losing run to six games.

Down in League Two, Brian Schwake was between the sticks for Edinburgh City as they came away with a point in their 2-2 draw with Kelty Hearts.

By Kenya Brown

Born in America, but raised in Europe and Asia, Kenya has loved soccer ever since his parents put a ball at his feet. While covering some of the top U.S. players around Europe, he loves putting the spotlight on players who are based in leagues off the beaten path. He also interviews coaches and other people in the game to gain more insight.

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