Livingston boss bemoans bad luck against Celtic

By Euan Davidson

January 22, 2021

Celtic drew 2-2 with Livingston on Wednesday night, in a game which will have enraged Bhoys supporters.

After conceding early due to comedic defending from a set-piece, the Bhoys fought back to lead 2-1. A late goal from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas levelled Livi, while the Hoops supporters lamented more dropped points.

Celtic had most of their first-team available after two matches without 13 important squad members. In front of cardboard cut-outs and on a slippery surface, the Bhoys still couldn’t get the job done (BBC).

Neil Lennon’s side now have 20 points to make up on Rangers if there’s any microscopic chance of 10IAR this season.

From a Livingston perspective, however, it’s easy to see why manager David Martindale might feel aggrieved in his own way. Livi’s 10 game unbeaten run featured two draws with Celtic, and had things been ever so slightly different, they would’ve won all 3 points.

Nir Bitton’s goal was inarguably offside, while there were shouts for a penalty late on. Scott Brown was sent off for a bizarre altercation with Jaze Kabia. However, sharper refereeing decisions could’ve led to a completely different result.

Kristoffer Ajer in action for Celtic in Livingston / (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic 2-2 Livingston: Martindale wanted far more

In quotes attributed to Not The Old Firm, Martindale said:

“I thought the boys were brilliant. We go a goal up and Celtic came back into the game, and we allowed them too many passes in our half and never got close enough to the ball.

“We end up going in 2-1 down at half-time, and I got into a couple of boys and they answered me in the second half. I was delighted for them.

“Celtic went to 10 men and I felt we were a wee bit unlucky not to win the game at that point. We should have had a stonewall penalty and I think Celtic’s second goal was offside too.

“We didn’t have many chances in the first half to be honest, but they were good quality chances that we should have done better with. It’s very similar to Saturday, but I’m just delighted for the boys. We’re seeing it as a positive, but we’re a wee bit frustrated because I think we could have got a bit more out of the game.”

You know what? Fair enough. If either decision had gone against Celtic, we’d be absolutely furious. And rightly so. Martindale can still hold his head high, however, given Livingston’s mark on the game in general.

Bearing in mind the fact that Livingston rested players against Celtic, a 2-2 draw was an impressive result for Livi. For Celtic, though, it was the latest in a long list of failures.

Two days removed and you have to say fair play to David Martindale. The Bhoys, meanwhile, have a lot of work to do before Hamilton on Wednesday.