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Celtic won again last Saturday, beating Motherwell 2-1 off late goals from Scott McDonald and Georgios Samaras, while Rangers drew with Hibernian 0-0 on Sunday, giving Celtic a 7 point lead with 3 games in hand over Rangers.

Though coming into their match against Motherwell on Saturday eight points up in first place, Celtic needed another win in order to hold off any remaining surges from Rangers.

Hoops fans held their breath as Bobo Balde took the Central Defender role for injured captain Stephen McManus in a must win game against a good Motherwell squad.

Celtic played well for the majority of the game at Fir Park, a stadium that has been under much scrutiny after numerous postponments due to poor field condition throughout the season, but Motherwell took the lead in the 60th minute from a Chris Porter strike.

Gordon Strachan brought on Scott Brown and Georgios Samaras in an effort to equalize, Celtic scored in the 62 minute when Shunsuke Nakamura lifted a cross to the back post, where Scott McDonald headed the ball home.

The pace quickened on both sides of the field, but it was Celtic that took the lead and the game when Samaras scored in the 79th, giving the Bhoys a hard-fought and deserving win.

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Shunsuke Nakamura was the victim of some questionable tackles during Celtic's win over Hibernian.

Rangers, who had recently earned a trip to the UEFA Cup Final against FC Zenit with a Penalty Kick win over the Italian club Fiorentina during the week, met Hibernian on Sunday. After Celtic's win over Motherwell the day before, Rangers were eight points behind with four games left to play.

Though Rangers fought hard against the tough Edinburg squad, the game finished in a goal-less draw, earning Rangers a single point, which means Celtic has a more comfortable lead in first: 7 points with 3 games in hand.

The draw may be accredited to the Gers' rest issues. Rangers are still involved in the UEFA Cup, Scottish Cup and have six Scottish Premier League games to play in the last few weeks of the season. In an effort to get their players some much needed rest, Rangers petitioned to the Scottish Premier League to extend the season into early June, but the petition was declined.

How will Rangers fair with the fixture overload? If what we've seen is a sign of what's to come, Celtic may just be able to hold on for another Scottish Premier Title.

Barry Ferguson

Ranger's Barry Ferguson shows disapointment after a 0-0 draw with Hibernian that saw Rangers come dangerously close to scoring on several occasions

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