Celtic still have breathing space at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership table, despite dropping points against Hamilton on Friday.
Here are five things we learned from the weekend’s action:
1. Celtic are making hard work of winning the title
Ronny Deila’s side looked in control at Hamilton on Friday night until Dedryck Boyata got himself sent off. The Hoops led through a Leigh Griffiths penalty when Boyata was red-carded, and on 65 minutes Griffiths missed a second spot-kick before Eamonn Brophy levelled. The Parkhead men looked like they had handed Aberdeen a way back into the title race with their 1-1 draw – Deila will be mightily relieved the Dons failed to take advantage against St Johnstone on Saturday.
2. Aberdeen need someone to step up and fill Adam Rooney’s shooting boots
The Pittodrie side have been rocked by the news that top scorer Rooney has been ruled out for six weeks with a calf strain. His lay-off has already hindered Derek McInnes’ team as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Tommy Wright’s Saints. Welshman Simon Church did provide Aberdeen’s goal late in the first half, but the Reds failed to make the most of the dominance as they missed the chance to close the gap on Celtic to four points.
3. Hearts’ spot of luck runs out with double penalty miss
PIC: Jamie Walker celebrates after giving Hearts the lead against Kilmarnock. pic.twitter.com/XgFE6lqXJm
— Heart of Midlothian (@JamTarts) February 27, 2016
The Jambos have had a reasonable success rate from the penalty spot this season, tucking away nine of the 11 attempts they had been awarded ahead of Saturday’s clash with Kilmarnock. But Robbie Neilson may have to reconsider his list of takers after both Jamie Walker and Abiola Dauda failed to beat Killie goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald from 12 yards. Walker at least netted on the rebound to hand his team a 1-0 win, but he may have to wait a while for his next turn.
4. Lee Clark should be worried about rejuvenated Dundee United
This. ❤️?⚽️. ? pic.twitter.com/xdIslQAsmK
— Joseph Rice (@joerice74) February 27, 2016
Former Blackpool boss Clark insisted when he took over at Kilmarnock earlier this month that his first aim was to steer the Rugby Park side out of the relegation play-off zone. But he should now be concerned about keeping his new team out of the automatic demotion spot as United continue to rally. The Tannadice team have responded to chairman Stephen Thompson’s stinging rebuke with back-to-back wins over Hearts and Ross County – the latter an impressive 3-0 triumph in Dingwall. They now trail Killie by eight points, but have a game in hand.
5. Aidan Nesbitt is learning the hard way that senior football is an unforgiving place
Half time sub for Thistle: Mathias Pogba replaces Aidan Nesbitt. #MFCvPTFC
— Partick Thistle FC (@ThistleTweet) February 27, 2016
Rated as one of Europe’s top young talents by his employers at parent club Celtic, Nesbitt has been sent on loan to Partick Thistle in a bid to give him some much needed top-flight game time. But he was left red-faced on Saturday as he gave away the first-half penalty which sent Motherwell on their way to a 3-1 win before being hooked at the interval. Jags boss Alan Archibald insisted the switch was tactical, but Nesbitt will need to show character if he is to shrug off his weekend disappointment.