SPL wrap: Sorry St Mirren dragged into relegation battle after Celtic rout

SPL wrap: Graham Barr reflects on the weekend of Scottish football as St Mirren suffered a 4-0 loss to Celtic

By Graham Barr

Sorry St Mirren dragged into relegation battle

Only a week ago, St Mirren were sitting nine points clear of 11th-placed Ross County and six clear of Partick Thistle in 10th. On Sunday, they were beaten 4-0 by league leaders Celtic to make it back-to-back defeats for Danny Lennon’s men. The Saints looked poor throughout and failed to muster a single shot on target. Below them in the table, there were wins for both Ross County and Partick. County picked up a valuable three points with a 1-0 victory over St Johnstone on Saturday before Thistle comfortably defeated Hearts 2-0. These results mean that the Saints now sit only three points clear of the relegation play-off spot after only one win in their last eight games. With Ross County and Partick meeting next weekend in the Scottish Premiership, the gap may close even further if St Mirren fail to pick up anything against St Johnstone.

Inclement weather helps Aberdeen move into second

After Motherwell’s game with Inverness, scheduled to take place on Saturday, was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, Aberdeen had the chance to move into second place with victory over Kilmarnock on Sunday. The Dons did just that and made it six wins in their last seven games with a 1-0 victory thanks to an 83rd-minute winner from Mark Reynolds. Kilmarnock will feel hard done by after having Kris Boyd’s first-half strike was disallowed for a soft foul in the build-up. The result now leaves Motherwell trailing Aberdeen by a point with a game in hand in what appears to be a two-way battle for second place.

Late comeback rescues a point for Dundee United

Dundee United narrowly avoided making it four defeats in a row with two late goals to earn a 2-2 draw against Terry Butcher’s Hibs. Hibernian skipper Liam Craig had put his side 2-0 ahead with goals either side of half-time and it looked as if it would be four wins in a row for Butcher. However, late strikes from David Goodwillie and Brian Graham rescued a valuable point for Jackie McNamara’s side.

Could Samaras be on his way out?

While the Celtic team will be jetting off to Turkey for a mid-season break this week, Georgios Samaras will stay behind to ponder his future with the club. The Greek striker was left out of Lennon’s squad to face St Mirren at the weekend amid speculation that he will be leaving this month. Samaras only has six months left on his contract and it is likely that a reasonable offer from another club would be accepted by Celtic. This has fuelled further speculation regarding incoming strikers with the club being linked with a £6m move for Sunderland forward Steven Fletcher.

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