Four-star Celtic close gap on Rangers
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Celtic moved up to second place in the Scottish Premier League as they demolished Motherwell 4-0 to ensure Rangers will have only a one-point advantage going into next Sunday's Old Firm derby.

In the early kick-off, Rangers had piled the pressure on as they edged a 1-0 win away at ten-man Dundee United, who had Johnny Russell sent off, thanks to a second-half header from Kyle Lafferty.

However, at Parkhead it took Celtic just eight minutes to ease any nerves when James Forrest opened the scoring. Joe Ledley doubled the lead in the 33rd minute before a spectacular strike from South Korean international Ki Sung Yeung made it 3-0 in the 67th minute.

Forrest scored his second seven minutes later as Celtic geared up to meet Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Europa League next Thursday, before the first Old Firm derby of the season takes place at Ibrox on Sunday.

Neil Lennon said it was an excellent win. "It was the best we have played all season," the Celtic coach said. "I was delighted with the manner of the performance, delighted with the result and delighted with the four goals as I thought they were great goals as well."

Celtic captain Scott Brown missed out with an ankle injury, while deadline day signing Badr El Kaddouri was handed his debut at left-back.

A good passing move saw Gary Hooper release Anthony Stokes down the right wing and the Irish striker rolled the ball across the box into the path of Forrest, who dinked the ball over Darren Randolph for an eighth-minute opener.

It was the best we have played all season.
Neil Lennon, Celtic coach

Motherwell immediately tried to hit back and when Stevie Hammell found Michael Higdon in the box, the Englishman was unlucky to see his shot on the turn go just by the post.

Hooper saw a spectacular bicycle-kick come crashing off the bar in the 27th minute and a minute later Forrest cut in from the left and rifled in a shot that Randolph stopped with an outstretched foot. Celtic's pressure paid off shortly after, though,  when Ledley knocked home their second of the game.

Forrest found Stokes at the edge of the box and he poked the ball forward to Ledley, who took a touch before slotting low past Randolph into the bottom right-hand corner. A third goal was always coming and it arrived through a superb strike from Ki.

Ledley teed the ball up for the South Korean 20 yards out and he hit a first-time shot with the outside of his right foot that swerved past the outstretched Randolph and into the net.

Mohamed Bangura came on for his debut as he replaced Stokes before Forrest got his second of the match in the 74th minute when he raced on to Hooper's through ball to fire a deflected shot past the goalkeeper.

Rangers see off Dundee
At Tannadice, Dundee United started well but the game swung in the favour of Rangers on the half-hour mark when Russell was sent off for aiming a headbutt at Kirk Broadfoot.

Despite their man advantage it took the Gers until the 61st minute to open the scoring, when Gregg Wylde crossed for Lafferty to bullet a header past Dusan Pernis. Steven Davis' shot then crashed off both posts before being cleared as Rangers pushed for a second goal.

There were chances at both ends in a frantic finish, but Rangers held on to record their fifth successive clean sheet and retain top spot.