GLASGOW, Sept 29 (Reuters) - A hat-trick from Scott McDonald put Celtic top of the Scottish Premier League on goal difference as the champions beat Dundee United 3-0 on Saturday while rivals Rangers were held to a 1-1 draw at Motherwell.
Australian striker McDonald put Celtic ahead after seven minutes with a close range effort and added two more in the second half.
Celtic have 19 points after eight games, the same as Rangers who fought back from a goal down at Motherwell to earn a 1-1 draw with a Kris Boyd penalty.
Chris Porter gave Motherwell a deserved lead in 24 minutes, squeezing a low shot under Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor.
But Motherwell's Keith Lasley conceded a penalty in 66 minutes by bringing down American midfielder DaMarcus Beasley allowing Boyd to finally blast the equaliser into the bottom right corner of the net.
Rangers suffered an injury blow ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash against Lyon in France when their French striker Jean-Claude Darcheville limped off with a hamstring strain.
Manager Walter Smith told the club website: 'It's true Jean-Claude will miss our match against Lyon. We now have to accept that we will be without him for the trip...but we have a number of players who can come in.'
In other games, Hibernian beat 10-man Kilmarnock 4-1 with Clayton Donaldson scoring a hat-trick, Inverness Caley Thistle beat Falkirk 4-2 and Aberdeen defeated Gretna 2-0.