Resident statto @splstats looks at some of the numbers behind the weekend games, with the focus on Celtic, Hearts, Dundee United, Brechin City and Forfar Athletic.
3 Celtic extended their lead at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership table after an emphatic 5-1 victory over Rangers at Celtic Park. Moussa Dembele was the Hoops hero with a perfect hat-trick, making him just the sixth Celtic player to score a hat-trick in an Old Firm fixture. The last Bhoys player to score a treble against Rangers was Harry Hood in the League Cup semi-final in December 1973, while the last hat-trick in the league was scored by Stevie Chalmers in January 1966. Celtic have won their opening four league fixtures for the first time since 2010/11, which oddly enough was the last time they failed to win the league title. Brendan Rodgers’ side have been prolific at Celtic Park this season – they have netted 24 goals in six home matches.
14 Hearts moved into second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership after defeating Hamilton Accies 3-1 at Tynecastle on Saturday. The Jam Tarts have now recorded 14 consecutive victories against Accies in Edinburgh. The last time Hamilton picked up any sort of positive result at Tynecastle was a 0-0 draw in December 1979, and their last victory was in October 1977. Robbie Neilson’s side have lost just three of their last 17 Premiership matches at Tynecastle, and two of those defeats were against champions Celtic.
3 Dundee United goalkeeper Cammy Bell had an amazing Saturday afternoon, saving three penalties in the first half of his side’s 3-1 victory over Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park. The first save came from Gavin Reilly in the ninth minute, with the score at 0-0. United then went a goal ahead before Nicky Clark’s 27th-minute effort was again stopped by Bell. Finally, in the 32nd-minute, with the score still 1-0, Paul McMullan stepped up but the Pars were once more thwarted by the United goalkeeper. It is possible Bell is the first goalkeeper to save three spot-kicks in a single Scottish match – I can find no previous record of this occurring.
9 Brechin City moved to the top of Ladbrokes League 1 after defeating Airdrieonians 3-2 at Glebe Park on Saturday. With 13 points from 15, Darren Dods’ side have made their best start to a league season since 2001/02. Back then, they won their opening six fixtures before going on to clinch the Third Division title. Brechin have not lost a league match at Glebe Park since late February – since then they have picked up eight wins and a draw. This is their best unbeaten run in just over five years – the last time they went nine unbeaten was back in 2010/11 when Jim Weir was in charge.
5 Forfar Athletic extended their lead at the top of Ladbrokes League 2 to five points after defeating Annan Athletic 2-1 at Galabank. Forfar have recorded five league wins out of five this season, which is their best ever start to a league campaign. The last team to begin a fourth-tier season with five straight victories was East Fife back in 2007/08 – they went on to win the title by 23 points. The Loons have won seven consecutive matches in all competitions, equalling a club record which was most recently set back in March and April 2010.