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Celtic vs Livingston. Scottish Cup Quarter Final.

Celtic Park.

Celtic 4

  • D Maeda (7th minute, 22nd minute, 86th minute)
  • K Furuhashi (95th minute)

Livingston 2

  • D Mackay (12th minute)
  • T Yengi (54th minute)

Celtic 4-2 Livingston: Daizen Maeda's hat-trick helps Hoops into Scottish Cup semi-finals

Match report as holders Celtic beat Livingston 4-2 to reach the Scottish Cup semi-finals; Daizen Maeda scored a hat-trick at Celtic Park; Kyogo Furuhashi came off the bench to score the fourth

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 10: Celtic's Daizen Maeda celebrates as he scores to make it 1-0 during a Scottish Cup Quarter Final match between Celtic and Livingston at Celtic Park, on March 10, 2024, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Image: Daizen Maeda scored a hat-trick against Livingston

Daizen Maeda marked his 100th Celtic appearance with a match-winning hat-trick as the holders saw off a spirited challenge from Livingston to reach the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

Maeda put Celtic ahead for the third time in the 86th minute to take his tally for the club to 27 goals after the Premiership bottom side had twice equalised at Celtic Park through Daniel MacKay and Tete Yengi.

Substitute Kyogo Furuhashi was on target deep into stoppage time as Celtic sealed a 4-2 triumph.

Celtic missed both Callum McGregor and Cameron Carter-Vickers through injury, but they did just enough to seal a Hampden trip next month.

How Celtic continued their Scottish Cup defence

Celtic are the Scottish Cup holders
Image: Celtic are the Scottish Cup holders

Carter-Vickers was withdrawn as a precaution after the defender's hamstring caused concern in training, while Luis Palma failed to shake off a knock, which allowed Nicolas Kuhn to make his first start at Celtic Park.

Livingston also had injury issues to contend with, mainly in midfield. Jason Holt dropped out through illness and Andrew Shinnie with a groin problem, while the cup-tied David Carson joined Scott Pittman on the sidelines.

David Martindale lined up with full-back Jamie Brandon and winger Steven Bradley as part of his central trio.

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Celtic had an early warning when Ayo Obileye hit the post, although Willie Collum blew for a home free-kick.

Kuhn had already shown flashes of promise before setting up the seventh-minute opener with an excellent cross from the right.

Right-back Michael Nottingham allowed Maeda to go but the forward was level when the cross came in and he took a touch before finishing from six yards.

Livi levelled five minutes later after Cristian Montano's ball in between Stephen Welsh and Alistair Johnston put MacKay in behind.

The winger, who scored against Celtic for Inverness in last year's final, had time to wait for the ball to bounce before curling into the top corner.

Livingston's Daniel McKay celebrates as he scores to make it 1-1 against Celtic
Image: Livingston's Daniel McKay celebrates as he scores to make it 1-1 against Celtic

Left-back Montano undid his good work 10 minutes later when he dithered in possession on the edge of his box after Livi appeared to have thwarted a dangerous counter-attack.

Matt O'Riley won the ball back and Maeda stooped to head home after Michael McGovern had stopped the midfielder's shot.

Celtic had chances to enjoy a more comfortable half-time break with Adam Idah the biggest cuplrit, making a mess of two shooting chances when he got in behind, although he forced a good stop with a header.

McGovern also saved well from Maeda twice before the break and both the Japan international and Idah failed to convert a low cross from Kuhn after the interval.

Yengi stabbed Stephen Kelly's cross just wide before netting Livingston's second equaliser in the 54th minute.

Kyogo Furuhashi scored Celtic's fourth vs Livingston
Image: Kyogo Furuhashi scored Celtic's fourth goal

O'Riley was caught in possession by Brandon on the halfway line and, although the Celtic midfielder got back to hold up Yengi, the striker turned and curled a brilliant finish into the far corner.

The home support were almost stunned further moments later when Nottingham's header was stopped by Joe Hart's foot on the line.

Celtic took time to react and McGovern was equal to efforts from Johnston and Kuhn when they got going.

Furuhashi, Daniel Kelly and James Forrest - making his first appearance of 2024 - came on and the latter added a spark before being involved in taking the lead for a third time.

The winger fed Tomoki Iwata's run beyond and the Japanese midfielder's low cross was tapped in by Maeda.

The attacker almost got his fourth, but hit the crossbar from close range and Furuhashi was played through in the closing seconds to slot home, which was initially denied, before a VAR review overturned an offside decision.

What the managers said...

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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers admits his side put in a below par performance as they beat at stubborn Livingston to reach the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

​Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers: "Credit to the players. It wasn't the performance we want, but we got into the semi-final, which is great, so I think it's credit to the players for that.

"They dug in and they kept fighting, and credit to Livingston. It's been a difficult season for them, but they came here and they made it difficult.

"We didn't close the spaces anywhere near as much as we would want and the level and speed of our game was not at the level we want, and understanding of that [is perhaps needed].

"But the guys fought till the very end. The scoreline looks more comfortable than what it actually was, but we are in the hat and I am really, really happy for that."

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Livingston manager David Martindale admits big moments cost them as they lost to Celtic in the Scottish Cup despite levelling the match twice.

Livingston manager David Martindale: "I'm disappointed for the players because I think they put a lot into the game. They stuck to the gameplan, the shape was good, the discipline within the shape, the aggression in the shape was good.

"They created problems for Celtic on two or three occasions and we took our chances when they came, so to be sitting here after losing the game 4-2 is disappointing. I'm not saying we should have beaten Celtic, it was a difficult game and they created the better chances.

"But at 2-2 there was a big save from Joe Hart from a Michael Nottingham header which I think was huge save so late in the game, which could have potentially seen us to 3-2, and I think the group dynamics changed at that point. They go and take the next chance."

What's next?

Celtic return to Scottish Premiership action on March 16 at home to St Johnstone, while Livingston are away to Hibs.

Both games kick off at 3pm.

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