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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Bhoys extend advantage

Gary Hooper's second-half strike was enough to give Celtic a 1-0 victory over Motherwell and take his side 23 points clear of administration-hit Rangers at the top of the table.

SPL Analysis: St Mirren 1-1 Aberdeen (UK/ROI)

After a lacklustre first half, the former Scunthorpe striker latched on to a Georgios Samaras knock-down in the 59th minute and fired in from close range for his 20th goal of the season.

Celtic were not at their best, but it was a game they never looked like losing and Darren Randolph was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers.

The Hoops fans left after watching their side record their 14th straight win as they continue their quest for the treble, but with so little competition in the league there may be a few more days like this before the title is clinched.

St Johnstone are fourth in the table after a 3-1 win over bottom side Dunfermline at McDiarmid Park.

The Perth side took the lead through Murray Davidson and Callum Davidson quickly added a second. Paul Burns pulled one back for the Pars before Lee Croft killed the game off.

Francisco Sandaza was heavily involved in the Saints' opening two goals, with a sublime disguised pass leading to Callum Davidson's goal. Burns' curling shot gave the Pars hope in the 73rd minute but Croft's precise finish five minutes later gave Steve Lomas' side just their second win in six SPL matches.

Dundee United leapfrogged Hearts into fifth by beating them 2-0 at Tynecastle.

Striker Jon Daly struck with a header from Barry Douglas' free-kick after 41 minutes and defender Gavin Gunning headed in a second from a corner after 85 minutes to leave the Edinburgh side with just one point from their last five SPL matches. The win extended the Tangerines' unbeaten run to five.

St Mirren and Aberdeen ended their recent goal droughts but neither side could get back to winning ways with a 1-1 draw in the lunchtime kick-off.

Nigel Hasselbaink gave St Mirren a 57th-minute lead that brought to an end a run of four SPL games without a goal, but the hosts were pegged back almost immediately as Scott Vernon netted Aberdeen's first league strike in three matches to earn his side a point.

The result is St Mirren's fourth consecutive league draw while Aberdeen had to settle for a third successive tie.

Hibernian moved three points clear of Dunfermline at the bottom with a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Tom Soares, on loan from Stoke, opened the scoring after latching on to Leigh Griffiths' through-ball and Roy O'Donovan extended the advantage when the loanee from Coventry cracked a stunning 30-yard effort in the second minute of the second half.

Soares grabbed his second goal after 65 minutes when he connected with Griffiths' cross. Dean Shiels' curling free-kick provided mere consolation for Killie.

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