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Celtic extend lead in Scotland to four points

  • Story Highlights
  • Celtic beat Hibernian 3-1 to extend lead in Scotland to four points
  • Challengers Rangers held 0-0 by Aberdeen who beat Celtic last week
  • Dundee United and Hearts both score exciting 3-2 wins in battle for UEFA Cup spots
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(CNN) -- Two goals from Australian international Scott McDonald helped Celtic to a 3-1 win over Hibernian at Parkhead on Saturday to extend their lead in Scotland to four points.

McDonald continued his fine scoring form this season for Celtic.

McDonald continued his fine scoring form this season for Celtic.

Reigning champions Celtic took full advantage after Rangers had been held goalless at Aberdeen in the early kickoff.

McDonald slammed the ball home after three minutes and skipper Stephen McManus put Celtic two up with a close range strike six minutes later.

But Hibernian skipper Rob Jones pulled a goal back with a header in the 17th minute and it was left to McDonald to grab his second 15 minutes from time late to seal a deserved victory.

Rangers manager Walter Smith left top scorer Kris Boyd on the bench and later had to defend his decision after they failed to find the target at Pittodrie.

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"I don't think it was detrimental to the way we played. I felt it was a worthwhile change today and with the way the game eventually went I felt it was the correct one," Smith told the Press Association.

"We didn't take the two best opportunities that came our way. It's obviously disappointing not to take three points away from a game that we largely dominated."

In the battle for third place, Dundee United beat St. Mirren 3-2 to head of Hearts, winners by the same score over Inverness, on goal difference.

In Saturday's other game, Motherwell drew 1-1 with Falkirk.

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