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  • Celts back on top of the table with victory over Livingston

    Celts back on top of the table with victory over Livingston

    By: Paul Cuddihy on 19 Sep, 2020 16:57

  • Scottish Premiership
    Celtic Park
    Saturday, September 19, 2020

    CELTIC…3
    (McGregor, 20, Christie 22, Ajeti 51)

    LIVINGSTON…2
    (Holt pen15, Serrano 77

    CELTIC returned to the top of the Premiership with a 3-2 home win over Livingston today (Saturday,) but they were made to work for the victory by the visitors, who provided a couple of nervy moments late in the game as they searched for an equaliser.

    But goals from Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie and Albian Ajeti were enough for the champions to take all three points and top spot in the league.

    Celtic started the first half on the front foot, although it was the visitors who had the first glimpse of goal, but McGregor blocked Scott Pittman’s shot on the edge of the box.

    The Hoops came close in the 12 minute when Ryan Christie’s 25-yard free-kick skimmed the top of the net, and two minutes later, the same player had a penalty claim waved away after his goalbound shot was blocked inside the six-yard box.

    However, sixty seconds later there was a penalty, but it went to Livingston after Kris Ajer was adjudged to have blocked a cross with his arm. Jason Holt stepped up to convert and put Gary Holt’s side 1-0 up.

    That lead lasted all of five minutes before McGregor restored parity at Paradise with his 50th goal for the Hoops. Ajer strode forward and fed the ball to Albian Ajeti, who laid the ball off to McGregor. The midfielder strode forward before unleashing an unstoppable shot from 20 yards out that flew past Robbie McCrorie in the Livvy goal.

    Two minutes later and Neil Lennon’s side were in front. A ball threaded through the inside-left channel was met first-time by Greg Taylor and his cross into the six-yard box was converted by Ryan Christie for his third goal of the campaign.

    It took Celtic just six minutes of the second half to extend their lead, and it was a superb finish from Albian Ajeti. The move was started by Olivier Ntcham, who moved the ball on to Christie and he threaded a pass through the inside left channel for Ajeti to run on to and finish with an impressive first-time shot for his fourth goal in Celtic colours.

    Neil Lennon’s side were dominating possession and controlling the game, although chances were few and far between. Shane Duffy headed into the side-netting from a corner on the hour mark, while Jeremie Frimpong fired over from the edge of the box with 20 minutes remaining.

    Two minutes later, Scott Brown also tried his luck from outside the area, though his shot also went high and wide.

    And on 77 minutes, Livingston gave themselves a lifeline with a superb strike. Jullien Serrano gathered the ball 25 yards from goal and surged forward before firing a shot into the net.

    Duffy headed another corner just wide with six minutes remaining as Celtic looked for a fourth goal, but the Hoops also breathed a sigh of relief in added time when Livingston substitute, Carlo Pignatiello headed wide from eight yards out.

    CELTIC: Barkas, Taylor, Duffy, Brown, Ajeti, Christie (Elyounoussi 84), Ntcham (Turnbull 84), Frimpong (Forrest 73), Ajer (Klimala 78), McGregor, Elhamed (Bitton 73).
    Subs: Bain, Soro, Rogic, Edouard

    LIVINGSTON: McCrorie, Devlin, Ambrose, Guthrie, Brown (Forrest 73), Serrano, Bartley (Pignatiello 88), Holt, Sibbald (Robinson 67), Pittman, Tiffoney (Lokotsch 67).
    Subs: Stryjek, Taylor-Sinclair, Lawson, McMillan, Pignatiello, Poplatnik

    Website Man of the Match: Callum McGregor

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