We didn’t have any Premiership action this weekend but there’s still been plenty of football…
After last weekend’s focus on the League Cup, the Scottish Premiership was back with a bang with another fascinating round of fixtures that led to some eye-catching results.
Gary Holt made his debut in the Livingston dugout and overcame the league’s other newly-promoted side when they beat St Mirren 2-0 away from home, Aberdeen and Hibernian played out a 1-1 draw at Easter Road while on Sunday, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers conceded with the last kick of the game in a thrilling 3-3 draw in Motherwell.
The weekend’s results have, as always, impacted our manager power rankings and there’s been a fair bit of movement all across the table. After three Premiership fixtures so far this season, our Premiership power rankings look like this.
This season, however, we’ve broadened our scope and we’ve been tracking managers’ performances across all competitions. This way, coaches are rewarded for results in the domestic cups – as well as European wins – and we get a better representation of how any given manager is faring. You can read about how it all works here. Six weeks into the season, the standings are below.
The two Premiership newcomers faced each other on Saturday afternoon when Livingston travelled to Paisley with the visitors still searching for their first league win since gaining promotion. Kenny Miller was unable to collect three points on either of his two league fixtures in charge but his successor Gary Holt managed to do so at the first time of asking. Jack Hamilton and Alan Lithgow struck in the first half and the Lions managed to see the rest of the match out, with the game finishing 2-0.
The win means that Holt picks up three points in our rankings – as the Buddies were the bookies’ favourites before the game – giving the 45-year-old the perfect start to his new managerial role. His opposite number, Alan Stubbs, was docked the same amount for losing and now finds himself on +2 overall – quite a fall from grace for the manager who lead our rankings for the opening few weeks. However, Stubbs’ positive score indicates that he’s still performing well overall, but another defeat could cost the ex-Hibs boss dearly.
Aberdeen’s trip to Easter Road on Saturday was probably the most eagerly anticipated fixture this weekend and the match finished level in an entertaining 1-1 draw. The Dons took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Tommie Hoban poked home and looked like they would see the game out, only for substitute Jamie Maclaren to grab an equaliser for Hibs with just a few minutes to go.
Neil Lennon was docked a point for the draw as Hibernian were expected to win, leaving the former Celtic boss tied with his predecessor Stubbs on +2 at this early stage of the season. Derek McInnes, meanwhile, kept up his strong start to the season and picked up a single point – which, after all the other results are factored in, leaves the Aberdeen boss tied in third place with Steven Gerrard on +5 points.
Celtic hosted Hamilton on Sunday afternoon in the last Premiership game of the weekend and all eyes were on Dedryck Boyata as the Belgian returned to the Celtic starting lineup. It would turn out to be an important decision from Brendan Rodgers, as Boyata scored the game’s only goal in a routine 1-0 win for the champions. Celtic fans will be glad to see their team get back to winning ways in the league, even if the result was a little underwhelming.
Rodgers gained a point for the win but remains as he was last week on -1 overall: the Northern Irishman was also docked a point midweek for the Hoops’ 1-1 draw away to FK Suduva. Martin Canning joins Rodgers in the negative scores but edges ahead on -1 – the Accies boss is yet to have a positive tally in our rankings so far this season.
After last season’s memorable touchline spat, it’s fair to say that Tommy Wright and Neil McCann don’t get on too well. The pair resumed hostilities at McDiarmid Park on Saturday, with both teams searching for their first Premiership win of the season. In the end, it was the Saints who were victorious – thanks to Tony Watt’s fifth goal of the season – and Dundee are now the only team in the division to have lost their opening three matches.
It’s been a poor start to the season for Dundee and McCann and the 44-year-old sits dead last in our power rankings with a score of -6 altogether. There’s now a four point gap between McCann and Clarke in eleventh place, meaning the Dundee boss will be there for another week at least. Wright, on the other hand, gained a point for the win and is now in second place with +6 – a poor result against Hamilton in St Johnstone’s next fixture would result in Wright sliding down the table, however.
Rangers travelled to Fir Park for the early kickoff on Sunday and the two sides put on a treat of a spectacle. A fast-paced, urgent match eventually finished 3-3 in what was surely the game of the weekend. Motherwell captain Peter Hartley scored at the death to level the scores after Rangers had recovered from a poor start to lead the game 3-2 at halftime, with Kyle Lafferty marking his return to the club with two goals.
The draw cost Steven Gerrard a point in our rankings after the 38-year-old gained one earlier in the week for Rangers’ home win over Ufa in the Europa League, giving the Englishman a total of +5 altogether. Stephen Robinson saw his team notch up their first Premiership point of the season and can take heart from their display, in which they looked far more like the formidable side we grew accustomed to seeing last season. The Northern Irishman is now on 0 overall, suggesting that he’s doing just about fine across all competitions.
League leaders Hearts faced a difficult away fixture at Rugby Park on Saturday to face a Kilmarnock side that have struggled to recapture last season’s impressive form. In an unsurprisingly tight and cagey game, Killie’s Gary Dicker was shown a red card with around 20 minutes to go before Uche Ikpeazu scored that game’s only goal late on to keep Hearts top of the table with a 100% record.
Kilmarnock were the pre-match favourites so Steve Clarke was penalised to the tune of three points, resulting in the former West Brom boss falling into a negative score for the second time this season already – last year, Clarke’s score was positive for the entire season. His score of -2 leaves him lagging just behind Rodgers in eleventh place. For Craig Levein, though, the good times just keep on coming and the ex-Scotland boss is now the clear leader at the summit of our rankings. And with a four point gap between him and his closest challenger, he’ll stay there for at least another week too.