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Livingston 2 - 2 Celtic
Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic averted a first domestic defeat of 2020 after Tom Rogic's stoppage-time goal snatched a draw at Livingston to move them 13 points clear.

Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic averted a first domestic defeat of 2020 after Tom Rogic's stoppage-time goal snatched a draw at Livingston to move them 13 points clear.

Livingston had looked like earning an unlikely double against the champions - and an eighth home win in a row - after Scott Robinson and Jon Guthrie cancelled out Callum McGregor's strike.

But Rogic struck to earn the point that edges Neil Lennon's side further clear of Rangers, who were beaten at home by Hamilton Academical.

It was the first time in 12 domestic games that Celtic have failed to win and the second time this season that they have been unable to do so at the Tony Macaroni, after losing 2-0 there in October.

Gary Holt's Livingston, meanwhile, are now six points off third-place Motherwell.

Livingston's victory over Celtic in October formed the narrative ahead of this game. It was the only defeat Lennon's side have suffered on the road in the Premiership this season.

It was the manner of the 2-0 victory that lingered, Livingston's forwards - Lyndon Dykes in particular - giving the likes of Christopher Jullien a torrid early introduction to life in the Scotland's top flight.

Celtic would seize the early initiative this time, though. McGregor collected the ball at the edge of the area, and the Scotland midfielder lashed home to make it 1-0. It was a superb strike.

But Livingston know how to cause mayhem from long throws. Ciaron Brown hurled the ball toward goal, Fraser Forster came for it but failed to get enough of a fist on the ball and it fell to Guthrie, who hooked it over his shoulder for his fifth of the season.

Celtic would create further first-half chances. Jullien headed over from a Ryan Christie free-kick, then Odsonne Edouard struck an upright after a McGregor burst.

But, like in October, Dykes would give Jullien major problems as the second half began. The Australian striker drove into the box, leaving the defender trailing in his wake, and cut the ball back for Robinson to crash past Forster.

Celtic would throw the kitchen sink at Livingston without carving open the well-drilled home side. For most of the next 15 minutes, the champions were camped outside the penalty area.

But a poor backpass from Jullien would allow nemesis Dykes the chance to drive through the middle this time, only for the striker to loop his shot wide.

Almost immediately after that, Edouard burst through for Celtic, but his low effort was deflected wide. Eventually Leigh Griffiths was thrown into the fray against his old club, who were by now holding on as stoutly as they could against incessant Celtic attacks.

But eventually the pressure would tell as substitute Rogic's deflected shot found the net to rescue a point.



Posted by voc1967 on Wednesday 04 March 2020 - 22:55:28 | Comments (0)  |  printer friendly
 
 
 
 
 
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