Celtic pair Callum McGregor and Jota react to penalty miss vs Livingston

By David Walton

October 31, 2021

Celtic duo Callum McGregor and Jota have given their immediate reaction to the controversial Giorgos Giakoumakis penalty miss yesterday.

The big Greek forward took spot-kick duties off of Josip Juranovic after the Hoops were awarded a penalty in the final minute against Livingston at Celtic Park. However, a tame effort was easily saved by Max Stryjek as we dropped 2 vital points in the title race.

Ange Postecoglou confirmed after the game that he made the decision to put Giakoumakis on penalties. That’s despite the fact Juranovic went into the game with a 2 for 2 record after strikes against Real Betis and St Johnstone respectively.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And now both McGregor and Jota have moved to ease the controversy surrounding the penalty. Firstly, the captain made the following remarks via Celtic TV: “It’s all worked out before. That’s the plan. If Giorgos was on the pitch then it was him and if not then it was Josip, so there’s no debate about that.”

Jota, meanwhile, dismissed the idea Giakoumakis needed to apologise for the miss as he pointed to the other chances Celtic created and spurned. As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Jota said: “I think a moment doesn’t describe a game. So we just have to be with each other, support each other and be a team.

“It’s not because of him that we drew this game. We are a team. You have to work together and fight together to win together. It’s a penalty and it’s a moment in the game, but it doesn’t describe it.”

Celtic 0-0 Livingston | Full-Time Reaction

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Celtic 0-0 Livingston | Full-Time Reaction
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Giorgos Giakoumakis will bounce back from Celtic penalty miss in time

There’s no denying there was plenty of stick coming Giakoumakis’ way for his spot-kick yesterday. It felt like a major moment in the title-race, and the way in which he stepped up to take it certainly didn’t impress anyone.

However, the amount of anger being directed at the Greek forward has been a touch over the top. Yes, the run-up was casual-looking, but it’s clearly something he’s had some success with in the past. It wasn’t born out of a player who couldn’t be bothered to take the moment seriously.

There’s a real rawness to yesterday’s draw. Many Celtic fans may even feel as if it’s the most down they’ve felt so far this season. It was a chance to go top of the league and we blew it big time.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

There are still major questions to ask about this team’s bottle in the long run. If we are to be title-winners, we’re going to have to do a lot more than go on 5-game winning runs. You need to double that and perhaps even triple that to build a commanding lead.

That the fixture list looked kind to us after Easter Road only moved to raise the expectation levels tenfold. Especially when you consider how easily we dismantled Jack Ross’ side in Leith.

Failing to do so yesterday will continue to be a bitter pill to swallow. But Giakoumakis, just like Celtic in general, will get over it in time. It’s promising to see he still has the backing of the dressing room. In time the trust of the supporters will also come back, so long as he gets back on the goal trail.

In other news, Ange provides “important” update on Celtic midfielder James McCarthy