sport

Celtic and Aberdeen claim wins

Kris Commons scored twice as Celtic beat St Mirren 4-0 in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday, with Aberdeen and Partick also victorious.

Hoops manager Neil Lennon was looking for one big effort from his players before they fly out to Turkey on Monday for a winter break - albeit they are scheduled to play two games in the Antalya Cup, a tournament which also involves Galatasaray, Trabzonspor and Dutch champions Ajax.

And he got the performance he wanted against a Saints side who battled hard but who were ultimately outclassed.

Celtic midfielder Charlie Mulgrew, who, along with Commons, had struck the woodwork in the first half, opened the scoring in the 52nd minute to break the Buddies' resistance.

Striker Anthony Stokes grabbed a second in the 58th minute before Commons grabbed a quickfire brace as the Hoops extended their unbeaten league run to 20 games on their march towards the title.

Partick climbed back out of the Scottish Premiership relegation play-off place and compounded Hearts' woes at the basement with a 2-0 win at Tynecastle.

Lyle Taylor, making his second appearance after joining from Sheffield United on loan, scored his first goal for the club before Aaron Taylor-Sinclair added a second with a header before the interval.

The win for the Jags sees Alan Archibald's side leap-frog Ross County into 10th place. The writing seems to be on the wall for Hearts, however, after they were left 19 points adrift of County.

The only blot on an otherwise flawless afternoon for Thistle was the sending off of Stuart Bannigan for two yellow cards seven minutes from time.

Mark Reynolds headed Aberdeen into second place in the Scottish Premiership as his late goal clinched a 1-0 victory at Kilmarnock.

The centre-back made a decisive run and leap to meet Niall McGinn's 82nd-minute corner and head home from six yards to move the Dons above his former club, Motherwell, whose game against Inverness was postponed on Saturday.

The Dons dominated after half-time, although both goalkeepers made two good saves in the second half, and they were thankful for a dubious decision that robbed Kris Boyd of a goal during a first half that Kilmarnock largely controlled.

Dundee United avoided a fourth successive league defeat thanks to substitute Brian Graham's late equaliser which secured a 2-2 draw against Hibernian in a hard-fought clash at Tannadice.

Terry Butcher's Hibs looked on course to chalk up their fourth consecutive league win thanks to midfielder Liam Craig's double either side of half-time.

But Jackie McNamara's battling Tangerines side refused to give up and earned a point after David Goodwillie's 83rd-minute strike spurred them on to get an equaliser through Graham.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez was in the stand to run the rule over Dundee United's promising youngsters who had lit up the first half of the SPFL season.