Celtic’s day goes from bad to worse as Lenny says players ‘ran out of ideas’

CELTIC resorted to playing pub league standard football on that dreadful surface at Livingston and got what they deserved from this game, absolutely nothing.

This was Livingston’s first ever win over Celtic who failed to score in a match for the first time this season across all competitions. Very few Celtic players can hold their heads high this afternoon after a truly shocking performance when discipline, shape and form all went out the window.

Ryan Christie was shown a red card by Willie Collum on 25 minutes for a reckless tackle on Scott Robinson. There is perhaps little argument about the decision although Collum’s rushing over to pull that card out almost in jubilation sticks in the throat. There would be no referee in the tunnel at half time in this game apologising to the Livingston players for not showing a red card to the visitors. These are the margins.

Kevin Clancy’s two penalty calls last week – both stonewall penalties, denied Celtic of the win and will mean it is 99.99% certain we’ll go into the international break knocked off the top of the league.

The two footed challenge on Jonny Hayes by Jacobs in the closing stages was as clear a red as Christie’s – who will now miss the next two games against Ross County at Parkhead and Aberdeen up at Pittodrie. Kris Ajer ran half the length of the pitch to tell Collum all about it and picked up a yellow for his troubles.

But who can deny that the team that deserved the three points got them? Neil Lennon made just the one change to the side that was so accomplished looking in midweek in the Europa League against Cluj in a match played on grass.

When Ajer stepped forward with the ball on one of those runs he goes on now and again he ran into trouble and allowed Livingston to break. With the defence stretched a through ball found Robinson – with Bauer failing to keep the line so playing him onside. The midfielder finished well at the near post to give the eleven men of Livingston the lead right at the start of a dreadful second half for Celtic.

Neil Lennon made three substitutions with Bayo, Hayes and Ntcham all coming on and falling into the same level of dreadful play of their teammates. Hayes made a dreadful pass to no-one to concede a throw-in, a moment that summed up Celtic’s day. Bayo got a shot away that was closer to Bathgate than the rookie Livi keeper and Ntcham blasted a shot miles over the bar.

Christopher Jullien seemed to lose his discipline completely in the physical nature of the home play and that loathsome Dykes character seemed to know which buttons to push to rile the Frenchman.

The second, killer goal actually gives the rookie goalie an assist, his punt down the park was met by the nasty Dykes with Jullien slow to react and he lobbed the ball over Fraser Forster who was slow to come off his line. It was a good finish and a rare piece of quality in a game where Celtic were unable to produce anything similar.

Sandman’s Player Ratings probably won’t have too many high scores – we’ll get this to you asap – and trying to give The Celtic Star’s Man of the Match is a tough call – maybe Mo Elyounoussi who at least looked like creating something now and again?

A dreadful day when Neil Lennon said his side ‘ran out of ideas’.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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