Celtic 2-1 Livingston

Celtic 2-1 Livingston

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Celtic extended their nine-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 2-1 win over Livingston.

Ange Postecoglou’s side dominated action at Parkhead as an own goal from Ayo Obileye and a superb team goal from Kyogo put them in control before Nicky Devlin struck an unexpected consolation goal minutes from half-time.

Kyogo completed a brilliant team move for the hosts

Image: Kyogo completed a brilliant team move for the hosts

Liel Abada was controversially ruled out for offside in the second half, but that didn’t matter as Celtic reclaimed their healthy lead at the top of the table with an 11th straight league win.

The result means Postecoglou’s side are now mathematically certain of heading into the Old Firm derby at the top of the table at Rangers on 2 January live on InNewCL Sports.

How Celtic managed 11 straight wins

Celtic started the game strongly, with many of their attacks coming from their right scrimmage, which was occupied by Abada – the only change Postecoglou made after the weekend’s win over Aberdeen.

First, Anthony Ralston’s low cross caused chaos in the Livingston box and the loose ball landed on Kyogo, who fired wide from the turn.

As Celtic continued to show their dominance, Obileye was warned of a potential own goal when he headed a Celtic free-kick onto the roof of the away net, but goalkeeper Ivan Konovalov was able to tip it over.

Ayo Obileye scored an own goal for Livingston early on

Image: Ayo Obileye scored an own goal for Livingston early on

Ralston’s raspy shot flew over the far corner and Reo Hatate fired another good shot wide of Konovalov’s near post – but it wasn’t long before the champions took the lead.

Unfortunately, Abada’s cross from the right was sent high into the net by Obiley, who wasn’t under pressure, which Postecoglou’s side deserved the least.

Celtic went in search of more when Abada slipped in Kyogo but Konovalov rushed off his line to thwart him from close range. The Livingston keeper was forced into similar circumstances to deny Hatate moments later, this time on Celtic’s left.

Livingston looked to hold on, Celtic sliced ​​them open for a second as the clock ticked into first-half injury time. Ralston broke the visitors’ defense with a through ball to Abada, who crossed Kyogo to put the ball in from close range.

Nicky Devlin scored for Livingston after Kyogo's strike

Image: Nicky Devlin scored for Livingston after Kyogo scored

There was still time for Livingston to pull one back, however, when Devlin slid onto goal and he touched the ball just past the previously unconcerned Joe Hart on the visitors’ first attack of the game.

Livingston reappeared with attacking intentions in the second half when Cristian Montano missed a good chance at Hart’s near post when he was found in space on the left.

The visitors closed in again just after the hour mark when Stephen Kelly tested Hart’s palms with a sharp long-range shot – the Celtic keeper awkwardly palmed the shot away.

Abada, who ended the game with two assists, had a goal for himself that was ruled out by VAR

Image: Abada had ruled out a goal for himself from VAR

There was time for VAR controversy when Callum McGregor’s forward pass was headed back at his goal by substitute Martin Boyes, while Abada – who was flagged for offside – ran on and scored from the chance.

Referee Euan Anderson was sent to monitor and ruled out the goal, to the dismay of many in Parkhead.

Aaron Mooy, Abada and Sead Haksabanovic all came close to a Celtic third-place finish but barring a few jittery moments in seven minutes of added time, the champions held on to their 11th straight league win.

Postecoglou: It wasn’t our best performance

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou talks to InNewCL Sports News:

“It wasn’t our best performance. We controlled the first half well, I’m just disappointed that we didn’t have enough numbers in the box to capitalize on those areas. With a 2-0 lead to concede a goal It was a soft goal today after we hadn’t conceded easy goals for so long.

“We have to be better in the penalty area, those were good opportunities. It’s not easy when the opponents camp there to find the space, but we do it and we don’t have enough people in the end. The players have it.” a bit far from that and we have to emphasize that.

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Ange Postecoglou recalls Celtic’s 2-1 win over Livingston that put his side nine points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

“Abada is good. He’s such a positive player and he’s always causing problems for opponents. There were a couple of times where he could have ended up.

“I won’t ask for it [an explanation about the third goal]. I’m not going to keep talking about VAR and the interference in the game. He doesn’t need to go to the monitor.

“Hopefully Ralston isn’t that bad, he’s been in the wars to be fair. He took a hit on the ankle, a hit on the nose, and then his back spasmed.

“I had the feeling that we needed a bit of rhythm and cohesion [with just the one change for the line-up] but with the short processing time and another game in three or four days we will try to make changes. But there are other players who deserve their chance.”

Martindale: I can’t complain about the result, but I’m proud

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David Martindale admits Celtic deserve to beat their Livingston side in the Scottish Premiership.

Livingston manager David Martindale speaking to InNewCL Sports News:

“I was disappointed with the two goals we gave away. I knew that was one of their strongest points and we worked on that midweek. We set up the wide areas too much. The first goal is an easy distraction on the cross and secondly we have to deal better with the front area.

“We scored a decent goal ourselves and got more information about the lads at half-time and in the second half we were more up front. We had a small chance in the game and they made bad mistakes so we could get higher. We had a 10-15 minute period after the second period, then Ange and I make some changes and we don’t get back in the game .

Abada is challenged by Cristian Montano

Image: Abada is challenged by Cristian Montano

“I was really proud of the boys, they stuck to the schedule. Other teams play low block and get beaten by four or five. Ivan wasn’t really busy. In low block you have to have discipline and the boys had it.” that. Apart from the two goals, I’m really proud.

“It’s thanks to the players – I’m not saying we should have had three points or a point. Celtic are dominating the game. We were always in the game.”

“I’m very happy for the boys. People talk about parking the bus, but we were always there. don’t bitch about it.”

What’s next?

Celtic’s next game in the Scottish Premiership is at home in St Johnstone on Christmas Eve. Kick-off 12:30 p.m.

Livingston is also in action that day, away with Hibernian. This game starts at 2 p.m.

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