By Blair McNally
Celtic’s winless run at the Tony Macaroni Arena continued as Livingston pulled off yet another impressive result, holding out for a 1-0 Scottish Premiership win.
Andrew Shinnie’s first half goal was enough to see Livingston claim their first league win of the season, taking them off the foot of the table and into ninth place. Celtic haven’t won in West Lothian since 2007.
Celtic started the brighter of the pair, pressuring the Livingston backline from the first whistle. Against the run of play, It was the home side who made the breakthrough in the 26th minute. Makeshift forward Shinnie latched onto the end of Jackson Longridge’s cross, touching past Stephen Welsh and finishing emphatically into the top right corner.
Celtic’s best chance of the half came five minutes before the half. A quick interchange between Tom Rogic and David Turnbull saw the latter flash just wide of the post, much to the delight of scrambling Livingston goalkeeper Max Stryjek.
Going into half time, Celtic were lucky not be two goals down. Free in the six-yard box, Livingston’s Jack Fitzwater was on the end of a free kick, his volley stopped remarkably by the hand of Joe Hart. Despite waves of pressure, Livingston held on without too much fuss in the second half, gaining a vital three points. Here ate three things we learned.
Time and time again, David Martindale’s Livingston prove the critics wrong. This was no different. Winless and bottom of the league, against a side in goalscoring form, Livingston were up against it. But they outperformed the opposition and kickstarted their season.
Shinnie has been moved about the park and battled fitness issues since his return north of the border. Stepping in as a false nine, the midfielder more than equaled his attacking counterparts, grabbing the winner with the finish of an experienced number nine.
Voted Man of the Match, Ayo Obileye looks to be a star in the making. The Championship Team of the Year defender joined from Queen of the South in the summer and has more than lived up to expectations. If these performances continue, the defender may be looking at moving up the ladder once again.
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