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By ESPN Staff

SPL: Ferguson goal gives Rangers a lift

GLASGOW, Feb 18 (Reuters) - A late goal from captain Barry Ferguson gave Rangers a 2-1 win over Falkirk in Sunday's Scottish Premier League clash.

Second-placed Rangers are 19 points behind champions Celtic on 52 points from 28 games but moved seven clear of Aberdeen in third.

Striker Kris Boyd gave Rangers the lead with a neat, flicked shot over keeper Kasper Schmeichel from 10 metres in the 34th minute, following a diagonal ball into the box from Alan Hutton.

Falkirk fought back in the second period and Carl Finnigan latched on to a pass from Alan Gow to rifle a shot across Rangers keeper Allan McGregor from 15 metres in the 65th minute.

Rangers snatched the lead again in the 73rd minute when Charlie Adam's free kick near the right touchline sparked chaos in the box before Ferguson hooked the ball into the net from a metre out at the near post

The misery piled up for Falkirk when Thomas Scobbie was shown a straight red card by referee Stuart Dougal for bringing down Rangers substitute Chris Burke eight minutes from time.

Dundee United and Hibernian slugged out a 0-0 draw in the other Sunday fixture.

Champions Celtic moved closer to retaining their title when a 2-1 win at Aberdeen on Saturday.

Japanese midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura set up striker Craig Beattie to slot home the ninth-minute opener before adding the second with a superb free-kick 11 minutes later.

Aberdeen grabbed their consolation goal in stoppage time when Darren Mackie squeezed a shot under Polish keeper Artur Boruc.

Celtic's victory was overshadowed by a bizarre head injury suffered by substitute striker Kenny Miller in the second half when he collided with linesman James Bee during his warm up.

Miller was unable to come on in place of Craig Beattie forcing Celtic to throw on Aiden McGeady instead.

Manager Gordon Strachan played down fears the Scotland striker would miss their Champions League clash on Tuesday with AC Milan.

He told BBC Radio: 'He is away now to get stitched up, but he should be okay (for the Milan game).'

Hearts missed a fine chance to move third when they were held 1-1 by one-from-bottom St Mirren. Hearts are level on 45 points with Aberdeen but behind them on goal difference.

Bottom club Dunfermline Athletic scored their first league goal in 13 hours and 13 minutes when Steve Crawford scored a 44th-minute penalty equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock.

Motherwell also beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1-0.