Celtic moved to the top of the Scottish Premiership with a 3-2 win over Livingston at Celtic Park.
The Hoops went a goal behind thanks to Jason Holt’s penalty. However, two quick-fire goals from Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie put the Hoops into the lead. Albian Ajeti scored his fourth goal of the season in the second-half. Julien Serrano pulled a goal back with a great strike, but Celtic held on for the win.
The pre-match talk might have been dominated by Kristoffer Ajer’s future, whoever, he was selected to the start for the Hoops.
Once more Neil Lennon made a raft of changes to his starting line-up. The most notable being that Odsonne Edouard started on the bench.
Here are our individual player ratings for the match:
Vasilis Barkas – 6
Was a tad unfortunate not to save Jason Holt’s penalty as he went the right way. Made a decent block to prevent Scott Tiffoney from equalising. Had no chance with Jullien Serrano’s goal either. However, he looked imposing in goals, and week by week he is becoming a better player for the Hoops.
Hatem Abd Elhamed – 6
Spent a lot of time getting forward, but didn’t really have much of an impact on the game. Had a pretty quiet game aside from that, but he performed better than he did against St Mirren in midweek. Interesting to see that he has replaced Christopher Jullien in two games recently, perhaps that indicates his place in the Celtic pecking order.
Shane Duffy – 6
Was a tiny bit hesitant at times but for most of the game was a commanding presence in defence. He is very good at heading the ball at both ends of the pitch. Almost scored for the third game in a row with a header into the set net. Still getting used to life at Celtic, but for the most part an encouraging performance.
Kristoffer Ajer – 5
Didn’t have the best of starts with an early error, this was compounded as he conceded a penalty. However, he eventually got that bad start out of his system, and had a decent enough game. Is the speculation surrounding his future affecting his game? Probably not, but it will be a concern for Neil Lennon.
Greg Taylor – 6
Showed the attacking side of his game with a fine assist for Ryan Christie. That seems to be the part of his game that he excels at. Seemed to pick up a knock in the first-half, but managed to play on. However, if he picked up a knock that would have been bad news for Celtic, due to the lack of left-backs at the club. Played well enough though, and will be happy with his assist.
Jermie Frimpong – 6
Similar to Hatem Elhamed, spent plenty of time getting forward, but found it hard to get the better of Julien Serrano. Was full of enthusiasm, but his end product could have been better. Didn’t stop trying though, and came close to a goal in the second-half. Can perform better, but Neil Lennon will be pleased enough with how much he gave to the game.
Scott Brown – 6
Had a quiet game by his standards, was content to stick to the middle of the park. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but he has been far more influential for the Hoops. Interesting that he has started three games in a week, he could easily have been rested but that shows how important he is to Neil Lennon.
Callum McGregor – 9
Brought Celtic back into the game with a great goal from the edge of the box. The ball took a slight deflection but it was an excellent strike. Then put in Greg Taylor who set up Ryan Christie’s goal. His goal was his 50th for the Hoops, and that landmark was celebrated with an excellent performance. Man of the match for sure.
Olivier Ntcham – 6
Had quite a lot of the ball in the middle of the park, but at times found it difficult to pick the pass that he wanted. That was because at times Livingston put a lot of players behind the ball. At times, he looked very good though, and made enough contributions to show why is having a run in the team.
Ryan Christie – 8
Was at the centre of a lot of Celtic’s good attacking play. Gave the Hoops a 2-1 lead with a fine close range effort, typical of his goals from last season. Still has a tendency to shot from all over the pitch, but you can’t really complain as he has scored three goals so far this season. Looks like he is going to be a very influential player for the Hoops this season.
Albian Ajeti – 8
Made an excellent contribution to Callum McGregor’s goal with a nice pass into the midfielder’s path. Scored his fourth goal for the season with an excellent strike to put the Hoops 3-1 up. Five league appearances and four goals, that can’t be argued with. He has been Celtic’s best buy of the close season and if he keeps fit he could easily score 20 goals this season.
James Forrest – 5
Almost scored after coming on with a shot that went just past the post, didn’t really do much other than that.
Nir Bitton – 4
Didn’t really make much of an impact when he came on.
Patryk Klimala – 4
Didn’t really have an impact on the game, aside from a late booking.
Mohamed Elyounoussi – 4
Didn’t have an impact as the game ticked down.
David Turnbull – 4
Made his second appearance for the Hoops, but didn’t much have time to contribute.
In other news, Ewan Henderson wants more first-team football at Celtic.