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Celtic vs Livingston. Scottish Premiership.

Celtic Park.

Celtic 3

  • C McGregor (20th minute)
  • R Christie (23rd minute)
  • A Ajeti (52nd minute)

Livingston 2

  • J Holt (16th minute pen)
  • J Serrano (78th minute)

Celtic 3-2 Livingston: Champions survive late fightback from visitors to seal victory

Report as Celtic moved to the top of the Scottish Premiership

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Livingston.

Celtic came from behind for the second time this week to go top of the Premiership with a 3-2 victory over Livingston.

Neil Lennon's side had given up the first goal away to St Mirren on Wednesday night before winning 2-1 and found themselves behind at home when Livi midfielder Jason Holt scored a 16th-minute penalty.

Two goals in three minutes from Parkhead playmaker Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie had the Hoops ahead at the interval and Switzerland striker Albian Ajeti added a third seven minutes into the second half.

Livi defender Julien Serrano, on loan from Monaco, pulled a goal back in the 78th minute but it was not enough to prevent the champions going ahead of Rangers on goals for having played the same number of games, albeit the Light Blues have the chance to go back top on Sunday against Hibernian.

Ryan Christie and Greg Taylor celebrate Celtic's second goal against Livingston
Image: Ryan Christie and Greg Taylor celebrate Celtic's second goal against Livingston

How Celtic moved to the top of the table

After a tepid start to the match, there was a trio of goals, the first of which followed an unsuccessful Celtic penalty shout in the 14th minute when Livingston defender Ciaron Brown blocked a close-range shot from Christie, who had come close with a free-kick moments earlier.

Referee Gavin Duncan ignored the claim but not Livingston's moments later when Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer handled a cross from Scott Tiffoney, with former Rangers midfielder Holt slamming the spot-kick past Vasilis Barkas.

Jason Holt celebrates making it 1-0 to Livingston during the Scottish Premiership match against Celtic
Image: Jason Holt celebrates making it 1-0 to Livingston during the Scottish Premiership match against Celtic

The champions' response was perfect.

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McGregor took a pass from Ajeti and hammered it high past Livi 'keeper Robby McCrorie from the edge of the box with the help of a deflection for his 50th goal for the Hoops.

Three minutes later, the Scotland midfielder sent Greg Taylor racing down the left and his cut-back was smartly converted by the influential Christie.

Callum McGregor makes it 1-1
Image: Callum McGregor makes it 1-1

Ajeti's goal in the 52nd minute was impressive.

Olivier Ntcham picked up the ball and moved it on to Christie, whose first-time pass put the Switzerland striker through against McCrorie and he confidently swept it past the keeper.

Celtic relaxed further and tightened their grip on the game.

In the 68th minute, McCrorie made a good save at his near post from Jeremie Frimpong.

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Among a slew of substitutes, Celtic's James Forrest and his brother, Livingston's Alan Forrest, came on to play against each other for the first time before Serrano notched his first Livingston goal with a glorious strike from 25 yards.

The goal ensured an uncomfortable finish for the home side, who were let off when Livingston substitute Carlo Pignatiello missed a late chance when he headed wide.

What's next?

Celtic travel to Riga in the third round of Europa League qualifying on Thursday; Kick-off at 6pm. Their next league game sees them host Hibs next Sunday at 3pm.

Livingston host St Johnstone next up at the Tony Macaroni on Saturday; Kick-off at 3pm.

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