Celtic allowed Livingston to “impose their type on us”, admitted coach Gavin Strachan after his makeshift have been held to a Scottish Premiership draw.
The hosts struggled of their second sport with out 13 self-isolating and supervisor Neil Lennon and stay winless after three outings in 2021.
Josh Mullin hit the crossbar for Livingston as their eight-game profitable streak ended.
“They made it actually troublesome for us,” mentioned Strachan.
“Clearly the scenario is not very best however we nonetheless had greater than sufficient that we might show a greater efficiency than we did.”
Celtic are 20 factors behind leaders Rangers, whereas Livingston keep fifth after their first dropped factors in seven league video games.
Celtic retain two video games in hand on the Ibrox aspect, however are actually three with out victory and this newest blow to their already paper-thin hopes of a tenth successive title was no actual shock.
With Christopher Jullien’s optimistic Covid-19 take a look at following the membership’s Dubai coaching journey having decimated Celtic’s squad as shut contacts self-isolate, the absence of a recognised striker prompted Strachan to deploy midfielder Tom Rogic up entrance. That lack of cohesion was evident all through the aspect.
Nir Bitton’s return from suspension to companion Shane Duffy a minimum of gave Celtic an skilled worldwide centre-back pairing. However the defence – so usually Celtic’s Achilles heel this season – was creaking from the beginning as Livingston swarmed throughout them with a high-intensity, urgent gameplan.
Duffy particularly was suspect, sending passes astray and needlessly inviting strain.
For all Livingston’s spectacular play, although, their wayward ending was the important thing issue in the long run to David Martindale’s profitable begin as head coach.
Defender Jon Guthrie wasn’t distant from discovering the highest nook with a volley from the sting of the world, and Scott Robinson flashed a header large moments later in Livingston’s sturdy opening.
Nevertheless it was Celtic who got here closest to a first-half breakthrough as Callum McGregor fired inches over the bar and Jeremie Frimpong wriggled free contained in the field to drive a stable near-post save from Max Stryjek.
Celtic’s defensive flaws have been once more evident after the break as they carelessly gave away possession and Robinson pounced to curve narrowly large.
Livingston defender Efe Ambrose ought to have marked his return to his former membership with the opener, solely to screw a free header horribly off course, and Scott Pittman could not convert on the again submit.
Livingston regarded the likelier in a pulsating finale, but both aspect might have nicked it. Mullin thought he’d scored with a close-range strike that Conor Hazard one way or the other tipped on to the bar.
And younger Celtic substitute Armstrong Okoflex was then inches away from connecting with Anthony Ralston’s inviting ball throughout the six-yard field as the sport completed goalless.
Man of the match – Josh Mullin
What did we study?
Not one of the Celtic fringe gamers given an opportunity to impress amid the membership’s Covid troubles this week have made a compelling case.
This was a largely insipid efficiency from a crew containing greater than sufficient particular person expertise to safe a much-needed win.
Livingston, in the meantime, will probably be kicking themselves at failing to attain the milestone of a first-ever away victory over Celtic. After 13 earlier fruitless visits, this was their probability to make historical past.
They nullified the hosts and had a verve about their play that Celtic could not match, however an absence of composure in entrance of aim was Livingston’s downfall.
What did they are saying?
Celtic coach Gavin Strachan: “Powerful afternoon. We count on a bit extra from the gamers and have been disillusioned with the first-half efficiency. We had a bit extra management within the second half, however wished extra pictures at aim.
“With occasions which have gone on, the gamers’ confidence has in all probability been affected.”
Livingston head coach David Martindale: “I believed we might have gotten extra out of the sport however Celtic had probabilities as effectively.
“A few of the gamers are disillusioned, so it reveals how far we’ve come as a membership.”
A rematch. Celtic may have their gamers, and supervisor Lennon, again from quarantine when the edges meet once more within the Premiership, this time at Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Stadium, on Wednesday (20:15).
Celtic then have a free weekend whereas Livingston face St Mirren within the Scottish League Cup last at Hampden on Sunday, January 24 (16:00).
- 56RalstonBooked at 29mins
- 19JohnstonSubstituted forHendersonat 66′minutes
- 18RogicSubstituted forOkoflexat 80′minutes
- 33LawsonBooked at 84mins
- 6BartleyBooked at 67mins
- 10SibbaldSubstituted forForrestat 62′minutes
- 17RobinsonSubstituted forHamiltonat 75′minutes
Stay Textual content
Match ends, Celtic 0, Livingston 0.
Second Half ends, Celtic 0, Livingston 0.
Shane Duffy (Celtic) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Foul by Jack Hamilton (Livingston).
Diego Laxalt (Celtic) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Foul by Jack Hamilton (Livingston).
Try missed. Steve Lawson (Livingston) proper footed shot from exterior the field misses to the left following a set piece scenario.
Foul by David Turnbull (Celtic).
Alan Forrest (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Try missed. Nicky Devlin (Livingston) proper footed shot from the suitable aspect of the field is shut, however misses to the left. Assisted by Steve Lawson.
Steve Lawson (Livingston) is proven the yellow card for a nasty foul.
Ismaila Soro (Celtic) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Foul by Steve Lawson (Livingston).
Foul by Ewan Henderson (Celtic).
Nicky Devlin (Livingston) wins a free kick within the defensive half.
Nook, Livingston. Conceded by Conor Hazard.
Try saved. Josh Mullin (Livingston) left footed shot from the left aspect of the field is saved within the prime left nook. Assisted by Scott Pittman with a cross.
Try missed. Nicky Devlin (Livingston) proper footed shot from exterior the field is excessive and large to the suitable.
Substitution, Celtic. Armstrong Okoflex replaces Tomas Rogic.
Try missed. Efe Ambrose (Livingston) header from the centre of the field misses to the suitable. Assisted by Josh Mullin with a cross following a set piece scenario.