CELTIC boss Ange Postecoglou celebrated his fiftieth game in charge of the Parkhead side with a crucial 3-1 win over stubborn Livingston in West Lothian this afternoon.

The Hoops had failed to even score against David Martindale’s side in two attempts earlier in the campaign – a 1-0 loss away and a 0-0 draw in Glasgow – but that all changed on this occasion with Daizen Maeda heading in the opening goal in the 17th minute shortly after skipper Callum McGregor had smacked a penalty-kick off the post.

Nicky Devlin deflected a right-wing cross from Anthony Ralston past his own keeper, Max Stryjek, 28 seconds after the turnaround and James Forrest made certain with a low angled drive in the 55th minute.

Only moments later, Andrew Shinnie scrambled in his side’s consolation effort after the visiting defenders failed to deal with a long throw-in from Devlin.

Postecoglou, though, had no complaints as his team restored their three-point advantage at the Premiership pinnacle with eight games to play.

DELIGHTED…Ange Postecoglou looks back at the latest win as Celtic stay top of the Premiership.

Asked about his team’s performance, the Hoops boss replied: “Yeah, very pleasing. We kind of know it’s a difficult place to come and win, more importantly, I thought we played really well.

“We were dominant from the first minute, we still kept our patterns, created good chances, they were always a threat from set-pieces, but that was really the only threat.

“They are a big side, so it always going to be a bit of a challenge for us, but I thought we handled it well.

“The key is to approach each game, every challenge, in the same way – and that is what we do.

“We thought the answers lay in playing our football. A good energy, a good tempo.”

FANFARE…James Forrest enjoys the acclaim of the Celtic supporters after hitting the third goal against Livingston.

Reflecting on the team’s last Premiership defeat at Livingston back in September, the team’s third league loss in six games, Postecoglou, speaking to Sky Sports News, added: “I just think the players are a really resilient mob.

“The last time we left here, we were in sixth spot. It goes to show you, they, right from the start, even though they were difficult beginnings, this group of players, whatever challenge they had they’ve overcome and continue to overcome.”

Celtic can now switch their attention to the Scottish Cup when they face Dundee United in the quarter-final at Tannadice a week tomorrow.

Livi gaffer Martindale was far from happy with the referee Nick Walsh and his assistants.

LIVID…Livi boss David Martindale wasn’t happy with the match officials.

He added: “I thought Celtic were clinical today and I thought it was a top performance on and off the ball.

“But the first two goals gives us a mountain to climb and there are two refereeing decisions in there that are disappointing from my point of view.

“I’m not saying we deserved any more from the game, I think Celtic over the piece deserved the three points, but the two refereeing decisions don’t help us.”

Martindale reckoned the Hoops should not have been awarded a corner-kick from which they scored their opening goal and he claimed Tom Rogic handled the ball in the build-up to the second strike.



About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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