Scottish Premier League

Champions Celtic goes joint top

Charlie Mulgrew scored Celtic's second goal against St Johnstone.
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Celtic recovered from their midweek European frustration with a 2-1 Scottish Premiership victory over St Johnstone at Parkhead which should have been more comprehensive.

The Hoops had performed well in the 2-0 defeat at AC Milan in their Champions League Group H opener in the San Siro on Wednesday night but they responded with a strong first half on Saturday.

In a one-sided opening, Finnish striker Teemu Pukki, making his first start for his new club, opened the scoring with a drive in the 10th minute with midfielder Charlie Mulgrew adding a second in the 26th minute with fine left-footed shot.

The second half was mostly a non-event until Perth substitute Liam Caddis, on for David Wotherspoon, bundled in a Dave MacKay cross with nine minute remaining before another Saints replacement, Stevie May, hit the post in added time with the Hoops hanging on for the final whistle.

Aberdeen brought Inverness' six-game unbeaten run to an end and helped Celtic move level with the Highland club at the top of the table.

The damage was done by substitute Scott Vernon, who struck with a glorious strike to secure a 1-0 win at Pittodrie.

Ross County left it late to claim all three points against Hearts as two goals in the last two minutes guided them to a dramatic 2-1 victory at Global Energy Stadium.

County looked down and out as Hearts led thanks to a Callum Paterson goal midway through the first half after the home side had dominated.

Despite County's ascendancy, they did not look like they were going to find the net until a dramatic finish.

Substitute Melvin De Leeuw turned the game County's way with a goal in the 89th minute before he crossed for Richard Brittain to head home in injury time.

Strikers James Collins and Paul Heffernan heaped yet more doubt on Danny Lennon's long-term prospects as St Mirren boss as they gave Hibernian a 2-0 win at Easter Road.

The duo were combined for the first time a week ago as they both struck to confirm victory at St Johnstone and they repeated the feat to give the Leith side a third Scottish Premiership victory of the season.

Kilmarnock were left searching for their first win of the season despite a spirited comeback in the 1-1 draw against Partick.

Thistle dominated the first half at Firhill and headed into half-time with a deserved lead after Aaron Muirhead successfully converted from the penalty spot.

Killie threw themselves a lifeline after the break thanks to a Kris Boyd leveller early in the second half but could not find a second goal to secure the elusive victory.

On Sunday, Lionel Ainsworth struck a glorious first goal for Motherwell to earn a 2-2 draw from an entertaining clash with Dundee United at Tannadice.

The on-loan Rotherham winger hit a superb long-range strike in the 76th minute, on his second appearance off the bench, after Dundee United had cancelled out Henri Anier's opener with two goals in four minutes early in the second half.

Anier's well-executed volley had given the visitors a deserved lead on the half-hour mark but United, who were without Gary Mackay-Steven, got going soon after following a slow start and Nadir Ciftci and Andrew Robertson both exploited space down Motherwell's right-hand side.

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