Celtic downs Inverness, closes gap on Rangers

Anthony Stokes scored twice after half, place Rangers with a 2-0 win over Inverness on Saturday.

After a scoreless first half at the Caledonian Stadium, Inverness was not able to hold on after Greg Tansey was handed his marching orders in the 37th minute as Stokes scored in the 61st and 72nd for his ninth and 10th goals.

Celtic picked up two points on Rangers, which was held 0-0 by St. Johnstone at Ibrox, and now trails the leaders by 10 points with a match in hand. Celtic is at Parkhead on Wednesday against promoted Dunfermline.

Inverness lost for the third time in a five-game stretch and still sits at the bottom of the standings with just 12 points from 15 matches.

Rangers 0, St. Johnstone 0

Glasgow, Scotland - St. Johnstone held unbeaten Scottish Premier League leader Rangers to a 0-0 draw at Ibrox on Saturday, as the hosts dropped points in their own stadium for the third time despite a perfect record on the road.

Rangers has won all seven road matches this season, but was unable to score on St. Johnstone, which has the third-best defensive record in the league but its winless streak reached three games.

St. Johnstone is fourth with 20 points from 14 games, but still 19 points off the pace of Rangers, which saw its 12 points cushion over Celtic close to just 10 points after the Bhoys, who have a game in hand, beat Inverness 2-0.

Motherwell 2, Aberdeen 1

Aberdeen, Scotland - Omar Daley scored the winner early in the second half and Motherwell rebounded from a loss to Celtic with a 2-1 win over Aberdeen at the Pittodrie Stadium on Saturday in the Scottish Premier League.

Motherwell had won four of its previous five matches before falling to Celtic, but its ninth win was enough to remain level on points with the Bhoys and move just 10 points back of first-place Rangers.

Michael Higdon's sixth goal of the season opened the scoring after 6 minutes, and Aberdeen equalized through Scott Vernon in the 10th, but Aberdeen slumped to its third straight loss after Daley scored in the 53rd, and is only out of last place on goal differential.

Hibernian 1, Kilmarnock 1

Edinburgh, Scotland - Manuel Pascali scored in the opening half and Kilmarnock won a point at Easter Road with a 1-1 tie against Hibernian on Saturday in the Scottish Premier League.

Kilmarnock has three draws and a win in its last five matches, while Hibs has just one win in its last six. Killie is just four points off the bottom, while Hibernian is just two out of last.

St. Mirren 2, Dunfermline 1

Paisley, Scotland - Kenny Mclean and Nigel Hasselbaink scored in the opening half and St. Mirren downed Dunfermline, 2-1, on Saturday at St. Mirren Park in the Scottish Premier League.

St. Mirren won for the second time in its last three and sits just nine points out of second place. Dunfermline, which snapped a nine-match winless streak in its last game, has just one win in its last 11 and is one point out of last.

Dundee United 1, Hearts 0

Dundee, Scotland - Scott Robertson scored in the 24th minute and Dundee United defeated Hearts, 1-0, on Saturday at Tannadice Park in the Scottish Premier League.

Dundee won just its fourth match and is 22 points off the pace of Rangers, and Hearts lost for third time in its last four and fell 20 points off the top.