Celtic survived a late scare to take home all three points, in a 3-2 victory over Livingston, with Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie and Albian Ajeti all getting on the scoresheet, as the hoops get themselves back to the top of the table.
Livingston were the side to open the scoring. Just seconds after the home side had a penalty claim, Livingston were able to go up the other end and get a spot kick of their own.
A sliding Kristoffer Ajer attempted to block the cross but the ball seemingly hit his hand. Jason Holt was the man to step-up from 12-yards and slot the ball home past Barkas.
The hoops were able to level the scoring just four minutes later though, through midfielder Callum McGregor.
Celtic’s number 42 was given too much space on the edge of the box, which allowed him to pick his head up and put a brilliant strike into the top left-hand corner of the Livingston net.
It had been a quick start to the game, in terms of goals with Celtic taking the lead three minutes later.
Some good play down the left, led to McGregor playing a lovely threaded ball into Greg Taylor. The left-back then had the job of sliding the ball across to Ryan Christie, who’s brilliant, striker like movement, allowed him to tap the ball home.
Early in the second-half there was a question as to whether Livingston could have been down to 10 men. A poor challenge by Craig Sibbald on Callum McGregor could have been judged as a red from some referees
Celtic looked to have finished off the game by getting a third goal, in the 55th minute of the game. A brilliantly weighted through ball by Ryan Christie, saw Albian Ajeti bare down on goal. As the keeper attempted to pressure Ajeti, the Swiss striker finished superbly, first time in to the top corner.
After a period of Celtic dominating possession as they had been the entire game, Livingston were able to grab a goal back in the game. Some nice play in the middle of the park, Julien Serrano was given too much space around 25-yards out. The Frenchman’s effort on goal was a thunderous one, that have Barkas no chance of saving.
This had the potential to be a nervy last 10 minutes for the hoops.
Neil Lennon’s side were able to hold out for the victory though, despite late pressure from the away side.
The score line probably doesn’t replicate the dictation of today’s play. Celtic deserved to win by more, after an improved performance from Wednesday night. The goals that Livi scored were also almost unstoppable for Celtic’s number one, Vasilis Barkas, with one coming from the penalty spot and the other being a superb strike from outside the area.
There are positives for Lennon to take from this game but at the same time, his side do still have some work to do but it is still early stages and there is time to do the work on the training ground.
We now move on to a must win game, away from home in Latvia, in the Europa League on Thursday night as we face off against Riga.
Celtic starting 11
Barkas, Frimpong (Forrest 73’), Elhamed (Bitton 73’), Duffy, Ajer, Taylor, Brown, McGregor, Ntcham (Elyounoussi 84’), Christie (Turnbull 84’), Ajeti (Klimala 79’)
Bain, Bitton, Soro, Turnbull, Rogic, Forrest, Elyounoussi, Klimala, Edouard
Livingston starting 11
McCrorie, Devlin, Ambrose, Guthrie, Brown (Forrest 74’), Serrano, Bartley (Pignatiello 88’), Holt, Sibbald (Robinson 69’), Pittman, Tiffoney (Lokotsch 69’)
Stryjek, Taylor-Sinclair, Lawson, McMillan, Pignatiello, Robinson, Forrest, Poplatnik, Lokotsch
Celtic- McGregor (20’), Christie (23’), Ajeti (55’)
Livingston- Holt (16’), Serrano (79’)
Celtic Yellow- Klimala (89’)
Livingston Yellow- Sibbald (49’)
Venue- Celtic Park
Next Match- Riga, Skonto Stadium, 24/09/20