Scottish Premiership
LivingstonLivingston0CelticCeltic0

Livingston 0-0 Celtic: Champions fail to break down hosts but move top

By Colin MoffatBBC Scotland

Celtic moved top of the Premiership on goal difference as tenacious Livingston frustrated the champions in a goalless draw in West Lothian.

Home goalkeeper Liam Kelly made an impressive save on 85 minutes, pushing away a fierce strike from Tom Rogic.

Kelly also made two good stops to deny Ryan Christie, while James Forrest was narrowly off target with a rising shot.

Livingston defended like lions throughout and held firm in the face of a late surge from Celtic.

The promoted hosts, who have already seen off Rangers and Hibs on their much-maligned artificial surface, nudge up to seventh place after a typically robust display.

In-form Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard did not get a glimpse of goal and the tireless Keaghan Jacobs made a series of last-ditch covering tackles in front of Livingston's well-drilled back three.

Livingston spent most of the game on the back foot but did cause the odd moment of consternation in the Celtic penalty area from Alan Lithgow's long throw-ins - invariably aimed at his defensive partner Declan Gallagher.

Dolly Menga was a real handful for the visitors but the striker can count himself lucky to get away with an aggressive jut of his head in the face of Christie, while back helping out at a corner kick.

Celtic, who had won their past five league matches, rise above Hearts into top spot, having played a game less than the Tynecastle side.

The furious tempo on display in Thursday's Europa League win over RB Leipzig was missing, with influential midfielders Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor kept quiet by Livingston's relentless pressing.

Kelly, who has conceded just seven goals in 12 Premiership outings, got down smartly to keep out a low shot from Christie, with Scott Pittman blocking Rogic's follow-up effort.

There was a good save at his near post to thwart Scott Sinclair and a swift reaction to deal with a deflected strike from Christie in the second half.

However, Kelly's best moment came as Celtic upped the pressure in the closing stages when he was able to push away a powerful Rogic blast that looked destined to finish high in the net.

Heroes all over the pitch for Livingston - analysis

BBC Scotland's Brian McLauchlin

The goalless draw may well have been enough for Celtic to go top of the table for the first time this season but it was done without the swagger Brendan Rodgers' side have shown in previous weeks.

And that was mostly down to the hard work of Gary Holt's troops, who battled from the first whistle to the last.

The home team had heroes all over the pitch. Dolly Menga looked more like a £9m striker than Odsonne Edouard, who had one of his quietest afternoons in a Hoops' shirt.

The back three epitomised what their club is all about with yet another 90 minutes where they put their bodies on the line.

In Keaghan Jacobs they had a midfielder who put in tackles that were fair but firm and ensured there was little room for any creativity in that key area.

Celtic may have been feeling the effects of their European exploits but this was another example that they will not get everything their own way domestically and will need to turn on the style to pick up maximum points.

Line-ups

Livingston

Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 1Kelly
  • 31Gallagher
  • 26Halkett
  • 4Lithgow
  • 15LawlessSubstituted forRobinsonat 71'minutes
  • 8Pittman
  • 6ByrneBooked at 28minsSubstituted forSibbaldat 79'minutes
  • 7JacobsBooked at 90mins
  • 19Burns
  • 33Lawson
  • 45MengaSubstituted forvan Schaikat 90+4'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Sibbald
  • 11Cadden
  • 14Kaja
  • 17Robinson
  • 21Stewart
  • 25van Schaik
  • 30Hamilton

Celtic

Formation 4-5-1

  • 29Bain
  • 23Lustig
  • 20Boyata
  • 35AjerSubstituted forBenkovicat 72'minutes
  • 63Tierney
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forMorganat 62'minutes
  • 17Christie
  • 18Rogic
  • 42McGregor
  • 11Sinclair
  • 22Edouard

Substitutes

  • 4Hendry
  • 15Hayes
  • 16Morgan
  • 27Mulumbu
  • 32Benkovic
  • 56Ralston
  • 65Hazard
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
9,016

Match Stats

Home TeamLivingstonAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home7
Away17
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away9
Fouls
Home15
Away4

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Livingston 0, Celtic 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Livingston 0, Celtic 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Livingston. Henk van Schaik replaces Dolly Menga.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lewis Morgan (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Craig Sibbald.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Keaghan Jacobs (Livingston).

  7. Post update

    Lewis Morgan (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Scott Pittman.

  9. Booking

    Keaghan Jacobs (Livingston) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Keaghan Jacobs (Livingston).

  11. Post update

    Tomas Rogic (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Christie (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a set piece situation.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Bobby Burns (Livingston).

  15. Post update

    Lewis Morgan (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dedryck Boyata (Celtic) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Liam Kelly.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Tomas Rogic (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Craig Halkett.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Craig Sibbald (Livingston).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic128222762126
2Hearts138231913626
3Rangers1273232112124
4Kilmarnock137331912724
5St Johnstone137241618-223
6Aberdeen126331610621
7Livingston12543127519
8Hibernian125342112918
9Motherwell123271222-1011
10Hamilton13319928-1910
11St Mirren131210626-205
12Dundee131111630-244
View full Scottish Premiership table

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