Livingston manager addresses Celtic penalty award as he calls out player

By David Walton

October 31, 2021

Livingston manager David Martindale has addressed the Celtic penalty award yesterday as he pointed the finger at his own player for nearly costing his side.

A moment of madness should’ve put Celtic top of the league heading into today. Livingston centre-back Ayo Obileye slapped the back of Kyogo Furuhashi’s head in the box. To his credit, Bobby Madden immediately sent the player off and gave the Hoops a golden opportunity to take 3 points.

Giorgos Giakoumakis would fluff his lines as we were left reeling with another 2 points dropped. Some on social media, meanwhile, have been questioning the validity of the spot-kick. Of course, this is mostly from fans of opposition clubs surprise surprise.

Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images

But Livi boss Martindale has moved to call out his own player for the situation. Instead of pointing the finger anywhere else, he said the following via the Scottish Sun:

“I’ll see him on Monday. If we’d have lost that game, I’d have spoken to him in the changing room. But I won’t turn a massive positive experience into a negative. He’s a good, honest lad who has been brilliant for us. If he’s lifted his hands, it’s a learning curve for him.

“I won’t stand for it and Livingston won’t stand for it – because he could have let his teammates down today. But it’s his first year in the Premiership. I’ll address it on Monday and it’ll get put to bed.

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“I thought it was Max [Stryjek] who did something but I didn’t see it. Everyone informs me that Ayo has lifted his hands and it’s a sending off. So I’ll deal with that internally. It would have been an injustice if the other 12 players came away from that with nothing. Max was unbelievable because there was a lot of pressure on him to pull off that save. I’m delighted with the point but more the clean sheet.”

No denying Celtic penalty vs Livingston was a stonewaller

The truth is that there’s absolutely no defence for Livingston’s Obileye. The Englishman was having a fine game up until that point. However, he was the red mist and produced a moment of sheer stupidity that should’ve cost his team the game.

Had we scored it, there would likely have been a raging debate on whether the penalty award was the right decision. However, considering the ball was still in play, then it was, by the letter of the law, a foul and a spot-kick.

So it was the right decision and credit to Madden for spotting it. Livingston would only have had themselves to blame for the incident. Or, being more specific, their own centre-back.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Thankfully for them, Giakoumakis produced one of the worst penalties we’ve seen for some time at Celtic Park. It looked far too casual for supporters’ liking, and it was too straightforward for Stryjek to get down and clutch it.

It’s certainly one of the most frustrating days we’ve had so far this season. If not the most. But we certainly produced enough chances to win the game. On another day, it certainly would’ve been a lot more comfortable.

But for now, we’re left ruing what has to go down as a big opportunity to pile the pressure on Rangers today. Oh well – onwards and upwards.

In other news, David Moyes credits Celtic upbringing for entertaining West Ham United style