Scottish Premiership: Tavernier breaks Dundee United’s resistance

James Tavernier’s penalty earned Rangers a narrow victory over Dundee United to open up a seven-point gap on rivals Celtic. The Parkhead side have a game in hand and play Hibs in the League Cup final on Sunday.

Despite the visitors fielding four teenagers due to Covid, Tam Court’s side put in a stoic performance for the first 70 minutes at Ibrox before conceding a soft penalty. Alan Muir awarded the spot-kick when Scott McMann handled. Tavernier, the captain, then showed his composure to break the deadlock. The home side thought they had a second goal shortly after when Alfredo Morelos had the ball in the net but the goal was ruled out for offside.

A second-half strike from the substitute Jamie Walker gave Hearts a narrow 1-0 win over Dundee in a drab contest at Dens Park. A shot from the edge of the box from his fellow substitute Aaron McEneff deflected off Liam Fontaine and on to the post, falling kindly to Walker.

A late header from Ayo Obileye rescued a point for Livingston at home to Ross County. David Cancola’s finessed strike from outside the penalty area opened the scoring for County after 45 minutes and provided the only piece of real quality in the first half. There were chances aplenty for both sides in the second period but the Livingston fans had to wait until the 89th minute before Obileye headed in the equaliser at the back post. Livi came close again when Jason Holt struck the post from 25 yards but the contest finished 1-1.

Goals from Dean Cornelius and Kevin van Veen produced a fine 2-0 home win for Motherwell against St Johnstone. The win pushed the Steelmen above Dundee United and into fourth place. Graeme Alexander’s side opened the scoring with a long-range strike from Dean Cornelius after 17 minutes played. Van Veen added a second goal from the centre of the penalty area after being assisted by Sondre Solholm Johansen. St Johnstone have not won in six games.

In the Championship, Kilmarnock announced they had sacked Tommy Wright as manager after a poor run of form left them five points off the top of the league. Killie’s match against Dunfermline on Saturday was abandoned at 1-1, with 64 minutes played, due to fog.