Michael Stewart reacts as Celtic go 13 points clear of Rangers

By David Walton

March 5, 2020

Michael Stewart believes that Celtic provided themselves with a “huge boost” last night in scoring late on at Livingston.

Tom Rogic’s late equaliser snatched a point right at the death for Neil Lennon’s side at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Jon Guthrie and Scott Robinson had initially put Livingston 2-1 ahead after Callum McGregor’s fizzing opener.

Meanwhile, Rangers flopped at home to Hamilton as they went down 1-0 to Brian Rice’s men. It stretched our lead at the top of the table to 13 points, meaning that even if Rangers win their game in-hand, they would still require a four-game swing to win the Premiership title.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Stewart was a pundit on BBC’s Sportsound show last night (04/03), and has hailed Celtic for taking another big step towards the title.

“It really did look as if Livingston would hold on and not concede. They looked as if they were comfortable defending with their back five in place and the types of balls coming into the box they were dealing with and heading away.

“They (Celtic) just needed to try and get down the sides and into those wider areas to penetrate the defence. Eventually, that’s what happened and it’s paid off big-time for them.

“Yes okay it’s only one point of a difference but psychologically as well it’s a huge boost – if they really needed it. They’re comfortably top of the table. But to almost put to rest the results and the poor run that they’ve had here, to get that last-minute injury-time equaliser is a big one for them.”

How does the run-in look from here on in?

Ahead of the split, there are still some tricky games to sink our teeth into as we look to wrap nine-in-a-row up as soon as possible.

It all kicks off this Saturday when we take on St Mirren. You would expect Celtic to comfortably do the business there given Saints haven’t taken anything from Parkhead since 2007.

After that, it’s the big one. Rangers vs Celtic at Ibrox where a point would effectively kill off any small glimmer of hope they have of challenging us for the title. If we manage that, then, at the very least, we would be 13 points clear heading into the final seven games of the campaign. 10 points if they win their game in hand. Good luck on Celtic dropping 10 points in seven games right enough.

Scott Brown celebrates (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

St Johnstone at Celtic Park then await us before a trip to another bogey ground – Easter Road. Neil Lennon drew 1-1 with the Leith outfit back in September, and the Hoops haven’t won any of our last four league games on Easter Road soil.

So there are still some tricky games before the split kicks in. Winning the league before that is a tad unlikely, but it’s still definitely possible. It’s absolutely vital, however, that Celtic keep their foot on the accelerator heading into these games. The last thing we need is any late title-drama.

Lennon deserves huge credit for guiding Celtic to this position after a horrible end to 2019 when Rangers won at Parkhead. Once again, however, and just like last season, class is beginning to show when it matters.

How vital is it to keep on the winning trail? Would you take a point at Ibrox? Give us your verdict in the discussion forum below.