GLASGOW, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Celtic marched 16 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League when a late goal from Maciej Zurawski earned a 1-0 home win over Aberdeen on Saturday.
The Polish substitute swept in a low cross from Lee Naylor after 71 minutes to give Celtic 44 points from 17 games. Second-placed Rangers, with 28 points from 16, play at Falkirk on Sunday.
'We were patient, we kept trying to break them down and after we did we could have scored more,' Celtic manager Gordon Strachan told BBC Radio.
'Aberdeen are fit, good technically and also well organised.'
Rival manager Jimmy Calderwood said third-placed Aberdeen, also on 28 points, deserved a draw.
'We took everything Celtic threw at us and played well,' said Calderwood.
Hearts, without captain Steven Pressley, drew 2-2 at St Mirren.
Pressley was dropped when he criticised the running of the club while manager Valdas Ivanauskas was on sick leave.
Lithuanian Ivanauskas was back in charge on Saturday but declined to comment on the absence of the skipper, who had been fit to play.
Saulius Mikoliunas put Hearts in front after 20 seconds only for St Mirren to surge back with two goals from striker Stewart Kean.
Hearts levelled after 51 minutes when substitute Marius Zaliukas headed in a free kick from stand-in captain Paul Hartley.
Hartley was sent off with 15 minutes to go for a second caution.
Kilmarnock demolished bottom club Dunfermline Athletic 5-1, fourth-placed Hibernian won 2-1 at home to Dundee United while Motherwell triumphed 1-0 at Inverness Caledonian Thistle with a Richie Foran penalty.