Celtic returned to the top of the Scottish Premier League with a 3-0 win at home to Gretna - only hours after Rangers overtook them by winning 2-1 away to Hibernian. Australian striker Scott McDonald scored his 17th goal of the season in the first half while Scott Brown and Aiden McGeady scored after the break as Gordon Strachan's team ensured they go into Wednesday's Old Firm match two points ahead of their Glasgow rivals.

Earlier in the day Rangers, who have played two games less, had moved to the top of the table with a 2-1 victory away to Hibernian. Steven Naismith put the Ibrox side ahead early on and Gabon international striker Daniel Cousin doubled their advantage with his eighth goal of the season, before Hibs' Moroccan midfielder Merouane Zemmama ensured an exciting finish with a late goal.

Rangers manager Walter Smith said: "Easter Road is a difficult place to win and Hibs have already beaten us at Ibrox so we knew it would be a hard game and it's a good, hard fought victory."

At Celtic Park Gretna were without three of their players - including centre half Chris Innes - who had been prevented from reaching the ground by a road accident which closed the M8 motorway.

But this did not stop them making a bright start to the match. Celtic's Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc, who was returning for the first time after knee surgery on December 6, was called into action in the 16th minute.

Ryan McGuffie's free-kick found Allan Jenkins running unchallenged into the six-yard box and his flick required Boruc to palm away. Boruc was again called into action in the 34th minute to save Uruguayan Fabian Yantorno's drive from 16-yards.

However, as the Celtic crowd became increasingly edgy their side opened the scoring in the 35th minute. Republic of Ireland international McGeady sent McDonald in on goal and the striker showed top class composure to side foot the ball home via the inside of the post.

In the 49th minute Celtic doubled their lead when Brown drove towards the penalty area, played a neat one-two with Italian teammate Massimo Donati and smashed a low left-foot shot into the corner of the net from 20 yards.

Gretna's Kenny Deuchar was denied a goal in the 53rd minute when his header was cleared off the line by Gary Caldwell. At the other end Paul Hartley, who replaced Derek Riordan in the 63rd minute, crashed a header off Gretna's bar in the 70th minute and a minute later a McDonald shot rebounded off the post.

But in the 88th minute McGeady cut in from the left and smashed in a shot which deflected off Gretna defender McGuffie to wrong foot goalkeeper Tony Caig to make it 3-0.

In the other SPL games third placed Motherwell won 5-3 at home to Dundee United. Stephen Hughes, Chris Porter and Ross McCormack put the home side in control before David Robertson pulled one back near the end of the first half.

However, David Clarkson scored a double for 'Well in the second half before Noel Hunt scored twice for United.

Falkirk came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Hearts. Spanish playmaker Ruben Palazuelos put Hearts ahead in the first half but Carl Finnigan and Michael Higdon scored for the Bairns after the break.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle won 3-1 at home to Kilmarnock. Romanian Marius Niculae scored one in each half for Caley with Don Cowie getting the second, while Colin Nish scored a late penalty for Killie.

And Stevie Lovell scored the only goal of the match as Aberdeen won 1-0 at St Mirren.