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Hibs stun Celtic as Rangers snatch derby win

ESPN staff
December 29, 2012
Leigh Griffiths celebrates his goal © PA Photos

Celtic's lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League was reduced to six points as they suffered defeat to Hibernian, but their closest rivals could only draw, with Motherwell and Inverness both held.

Meanwhile, Dundee's dilemma continued as they were beaten at home to Aberdeen.

SPL results and table

Celtic saw their five-match winning streak come to an end as they were beaten 1-0 by Hibernian at Easter Road.

Hibs grabbed an early lead through Leigh Griffiths and the SPL champions were unable to find a way back into the match as the Edinburgh side kept up their hopes of qualifying for Europe next season.

Celtic, seven points clear at the start of the day, found themselves trailing to an early goal after Griffiths latched onto a long ball from Lewis Stevenson before beating two defenders to slot the ball past Fraser Forster.

Griffiths and Eoin Doyle both had chances to double Hibs' lead in the first half before Celtic found their rhythm. After a shaky first half, the visitors desperately pressed for an equaliser, but were left to rue a hatful of missed opportunities.

Mikael Lustig's ball across the six-yard box evaded both Lassad Nouioui and Georgios Samaras before Victory Wanyama tickled the bar with his 25-yard effort.

Efe Ambrose contrived to scoop the ball over the bar from point-blank range, and Hibs keeper Ben Williams pulled off a stunning save to deny Gary Hooper in the dying minutes to secure a hard-earned three points for the hosts.

Celtic's rivals failed to take full advantage of their slip-up as Motherwell were forced to settle for a point after a 2-2 draw at home to Kilmarnock.

The hosts looked to be heading for defeat when Kilmarnock took a two-goal lead at Fir Park, but two late goals secured a hard-earned point.

Borja Perez gave the visitors an early lead before Paul Heffernan gave Killie some breathing room shortly after the hour mark, reacting to Perez's cross from a corner to nod the ball home at the far post.

Jamie Murphy pulled a goal back on 71 minutes to give Motherwell hope of a comeback, and Henrik Ojamaa curled a shot past Cammy Bell three minutes later for a share of the spoils.

Bob McHugh nearly secured a stunning comeback win for Motherwell, but Bell was there to tip his header over the bar in the dying minutes.

Second placed Inverness Caledonian Thistle also closed the gap at the top to six points after they were frustrated in a 0-0 draw at St Johnstone.

Niall McGinn scored a hat-trick to condemn bottom side Dundee to a third successive defeat as they lost 3-1 at home to Aberdeen.

McGinn took his tally to 14 for the season after a second-half treble at Dens Park, while Mark Stewart scored a consolation for the visitors.

The Dons took a deserved lead shortly after the break when McGinn stabbed home from close range after Dundee failed to clear the ball from the penalty area.

McGinn grabbed his second with a delicate header from a Jonny Hayes cross, and after Stewart pulled one back for Dundee, the Northern Ireland international completed his hat-trick to seal an impressive victory.

The stands were full at Hampden Park for a rare Glasgow derby between Queen's Park and Rangers © PA Photos

Hearts' game against Ross County was called off less than an hour before kick-off due to a waterlogged pitch at Victoria Park.

Earlier in Division Three, substitute Fraser Aird scored a last-gasp winner as Rangers beat ten-man Queen's Park at Hampden Park.

In a scrappy Glasgow derby, neither side hit the target in the first-half, but the Spiders' task was made harder when James Brough was sent off for a second bookable offence after his late challenge on David Templeton.

Rangers, who had won nine league games in a row coming into the match, looked like they would be forced to settle for a point, only for Aird to net his first Rangers goal in the 92nd minute, curling in a shot from the edge of the area for a timely winner.

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