Friday, March 1, 2024

Celtic get back on the winning trail and see off Livingston

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 23 Dec 2023

29 Views

Kyogo Furuhashi hit his first goal in eight games to send Celtic back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Livingston.

The Japan striker opened the scoring from close range 25 seconds into the second half and Liam Scales soon headed his first goal of the season.

Celtic were comfortable but not spectacular as they restored their five-point lead over Rangers in the cinch Premiership, at least until their rivals play one of two games in hand, at Motherwell on Christmas Eve.

Bottom club Livingston did not register a single effort at goal – although goalkeeper Jack Hamilton sent a kick-out not that far wide of Joe Hart’s goal and behind for a Celtic goal-kick.

The game saw normal service resumed at Celtic Park in more ways than one.

Celtic bounced back from losing consecutive league games for the first time in a decade and losing their first domestic home match in almost three years.

And the Green Brigade were back inside the stadium after about 300 members had their season tickets suspended for six matches as well as being denied tickets for seven away games.

The fans group used a banner to thank fellow ultras group ‘The Bhoys’ for staying away in solidarity and declared “football without fans is nothing” after they reached an agreement with the club weeks after being banned over a series of issues. The gesture led to a standing ovation from several thousand fans in the opposite corner of the ground.

The Green Brigade showed they had not lost their political edge by displaying banners referring to the ongoing situation in Gaza.

With the atmosphere levels multiplied on recent weeks, Celtic started with the tempo and conviction that was lacking in last weekend’s defeat by Hearts and created several early chances.

James Penrice cleared off the line from Furuhashi, Jack Pittman blocked from Paulo Bernardo after Hamilton had spilled Luis Palma’s free-kick, and Tom Parkes produced three goal-saving interventions to deny Daizen Maeda.

Livi lost Parkes to a head injury in the 42nd minute after he got in the way of a fierce shot but substitute Michael Nottingham immediately stepped into his shoes by blocking Maeda’s effort.

The visitors briefly improved as an attacking force late in the first half without threatening Hart as Celtic’s performance dipped but the game was won inside six minutes of the restart.

Palma was the creator each time, first cutting inside from the left touchline and curling a shot towards the far post which Furuhashi helped into the net.

The Honduran winger then delivered one of his near-post corners on to the head of Scales, who guided the ball into the far corner.

The floodgates threatened to open but Livingston maintained their shape and discipline to limit the damage. Maeda headed wide and Hamilton saved well from headers from Cameron Carter-Vickers and substitute Oh Hyeon-gyu.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required *

Join the conversation!

or Register

Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

Become a Writer
More More
Top