Celtic 2-1 Livingston: League leaders restore nine-point lead

Celtic 2-1 Livingston: League leaders restore nine-point lead

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Livingston's own goalAyo Obiley’s own goal opened the scoring after heavy pressure from Celtic

Celtic restored their nine-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership after beating the stubborn Livingston.

Ayo Obileye’s own goal and a close-range shot from Kyogo Furuhashi put the dominant hosts under control in Glasgow.

But an immediate reply from Nicky Devlin seconds before the break threatened an unlikely comeback.

Liel Abada had controversially ruled out a third after a VAR check, but Celtic nevertheless finished the game comfortably.

Ange Postecoglou’s side, who had the vast majority of chances but were unable to establish the outcome beyond a reasonable doubt, have won both games since returning from the World Cup break, while Livingston remain sixth in over a month after playing their first game.

What was never in doubt was the direction of travel for most of this competition.

Celtic attacked with absolute relentlessness from the start, with Livingston going into reverse. What was unexpected was how low key this was going to be.

Reo Hatate first threatened with a dangerous low cross, then thundered a shot just wide.

Anthony Ralston was next with a shot just over before releasing Abada who charged to the right. His cross was accurate, but Obileye went into a fankle, distracting the house to unlock the door. Last thing Livingston needed as they tried to hold out but a deserved result albeit unlucky.

Celtic combined, checked and pushed urgently on the rare occasion they lost the ball. Livingston was still alive in the game but couldn’t get out.

But when it finally came, the second and ultimately decisive goal was exquisite.

Ralston got Abada into the full-back with a massive ball. His cross was the first time, as was Kyogo’s finish, slamming home from close range just before half-time.

That was it, at least that’s what everyone thought. How much more was the question?

Devlin had other ideas for his 100th appearance in Livingston. He squeezed into Celtic’s box, held off a challenge and jabbed home to reveal a moment of carelessness 90 seconds after Celtic’s second.

The rhythm of the hosts was disrupted. Things didn’t flow that easily. Passes missed the target, shots became scarcer. The result became less clear.

That idea was reinforced when Stephen Kelly scored the volley for the first time, but Joe Hart responded well.

Abada had ruled out an offside strike as Livingston refused to back down and referee Euan Anderson went on screen after a long layoff.

Celtic got over the line. They deserved the win, but it was far less easy than it could have been.

Player of the Match – Liel Abada

Liel AbadaAlways dangerous on the wing, Liel Abada provided two assists that proved crucial. On another night he might have added a goal or two to his impressive numbers

Postecoglou will have private frustrations – Analysis

This was an odd encounter.

Celtic tumbled wave after wave towards Ivan Konovalov’s goal and could have been in sight with a better finish.

That was until Devlin’s goal just before half-time.

Livingston’s performance improved significantly with some tactical and personnel changes and it was a far more even fight in the second half. You will really get something positive out of it.

Yes, Celtic had more possession but struggled to create clear chances. There was always a nagging thought that maybe Livingston could steal a second somehow.

It is the 10th consecutive Premiership win for Postecoglou’s side. That have regained their nine-point lead over Rangers but the manager will privately be frustrated with how this game has played out.

what they said

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: ‘It wasn’t one of our best’

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: “I didn’t think the performance was among our best. The first half was okay – but I’m disappointed that we had balls across the box and we didn’t have bodies in those areas.

“If we were 2-0 up, it should have been the end of the game for us. When you face teams that sit back, you have to find ways to get behind.”

Livingston’s Martindale disappointed with Celtic Gates’ fashion

Livingston manager David Martindale: “I think it was a fair result. We were always in the game. I was disappointed with the way the two goals were scored.

“We managed to get back into the game and in the second half, maybe 15-20 minutes, there was a period where the game was more contested and we started putting more pressure on the ball in the last third.”

What now?

Celtic host St Johnstone on Saturday (12:30 GMT) looking to extend their winning streak and at least maintain the cushion against Rangers.

Livingston travels to a Hibernian team fighting for points and will go there with encouragement (14:00).

player of the game

Kelly Stephen Kelly


Squad number11Player nameAbada

Squad Number42Player NameMcGregor

Squad number56Player nameRalston

Squad Number41Player NameHatate

Squad Number20Player’s NameCarter-Vickers

Squad Number33Player NameO’Riley

Squad number3Player’s nameTaylor

squad number17player namejota

Squad number4Player nameStarfelt

squad number1player nameHart

Squad number8Player’s nameFuruhashi

squad number25player nameBernabei

Squad number7Player’s nameGiakoumakis

Squad number9Player’s nameHaksabanovic

Squad Number14Player NameTurnbull

Squad number13Player nameMooy


squad number17player nameKelly

Squad number31Player’s nameKonovalov

squad number9player nameAnderson

Squad number18Player nameHolt

squad number2player’s nameDevlin

Squad number10Player nameEsmael Gonçalves

squad number8player’s namePittman

Squad number29Player namePenrice

squad number5player nameFitzwater

squad number22player’s nameShinnie

Squad number11Player nameCristian Montaño

Squad number3Player nameLongridge

Squad Number15Player NameBoyes

squad number6player nameObileye

Squad number33Player nameOméonga

Squad Number24Player’s NameKelly



Formation 4-3-3




11Abada8Furuhashi17Neves Filipe

1Hart56RalstonSubstituted forBernabeiat 56’minutesBooked at 86mins20Carter-Vickers4Starfelt3Taylor33O’RileySubstituted forMooyat 82’minutes42McGregor41HatateSubstituted forTurnbullat 64’minutes11Abada8FuruhashiBooked at 62minsSubstituted forGiakoumakisat 82’minutes17Neves FilipeSubstituted forHaksabanovicat 64’minutesSubstitutes6Jenz7Giakoumakis9Haksabanovic13Mooy14Turnbull25Bernabei31Siegrist38Maeda49Forrest


Formation 5-4-1





31Konovalov2Devlin5Fitzwater6ObileyeSubstituted forBoyesat 45’minutesBooked at 77mins3Longridge11MontañoBooked at 57minsSubstituted forShinnieat 69’minutes17Kelly33OméongaBooked at 47minsSubstituted forPittmanat 70’minutes24KellySubstituted forHoltat 70’minutes29Penrice9AndersonSubstituted forEsmael Gonçalvesat 76’minutesSubstitutes7Bahamboula8Pittman10Esmael Gonçalves15Boyes18Holt19Nouble22Shinnie25Cancar32Hamilton

live text

Game ends, Celtic 2, Livingston 1.

Second half ends, Celtic 2, Livingston 1.

corner, celtic. Cashed in by Morgan Boyes.

attempt blocked. Sead Haksabanovic (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexandro Bernabei.

attempt failed. Sead Haksabanovic (Celtic) left footed shot from the center of the box is too high. Assisted by Greg Taylor.

Foul by Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic).

Jason Holt (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

attempt failed. Liel Abada (Celtic) right footed shot from the center of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Greg Taylor.

attempt blocked. Aaron Mooy (Celtic) left footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. Assisted by Giorgos Giakoumakis.

Alexandro Bernabei (Celtic) is yellow carded.

Foul by Alexandro Bernabei (Celtic).

Jason Holt (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Celtic. Aaron Mooy replaces Matt O’Riley.

Substitution, Celtic. Giorgos Giakoumakis replaces Kyogo Furuhashi.

Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jason Holt (Livingston).

attempt failed. Liel Abada (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by David Turnbull.

attempt saved. Liel Abada (Celtic) header from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sead Haksabanovic with a cross.

Morgan Boyes (Livingston) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

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