McGregor and Forrest hit the target as Celtic finally break through the Livingston hex

James Forrest’s first Cinch Premiership goal of the season helped Celtic to their first win at Livingston since 2007.

Orrest scored Celtic’s third goal in a 3-1 win, their first in six games at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Daizen Maeda put Celtic ahead in the 17th minute just after Callum McGregor missed a penalty and Nicky Devlin’s own goal doubled the visitors’ lead in the opening moments of the second half.

Andrew Shinnie scored within a minute of Forrest’s shot in the 55th minute but there was never a threat that Celtic would give up their lead as they restored their three-point lead over Rangers in the table with eight games to go .

Celtic had not scored in their last two games against Livi this season and the home side had progressed into the top six with 17 points so far in 2022.

Ange Postecoglou recalled longtime quartet Anthony Ralston, Nir Bitton, Forrest and Tom Rogic to find solutions to their West Lothian difficulties.

His side put on a commanding performance that extended their unbeaten streak to 29 games since their last visit.

Celtic had some crosses early on but it was the hosts who posed the first serious threat as Ayo Obileye hit a corner. Joe Hart made an impressive dive stop.

The visitors soon increased the pressure and were handballed a penalty by Nick Walsh in the 15th minute when Maeda’s shot found a downed Jack Fitzwater from close range.

With key penalty taker Josip Juranovic on the bench, McGregor stepped forward but his attempt hit a post.

It was his second missed penalty of the season and Celtic’s second against Livi this season, Giorgos Giakoumaki being the culprit last time out.

McGregor had an equally good chance within seconds, but headed over the goal after Jota’s cross from eight yards.

The goal came from a hotly contested corner after Ralston slipped trying to cross the ball under pressure from Jason Holt.

Jota delivered and Carl Starfelt headed in to the near post. Max Stryjek made a good lob stop but Maeda was there to nod the ball over the line.

Rogic and Jota threatened from long range while Celtic maintained control without maintaining the same intensity. Forrest looked like he was in as he pushed Bitton’s ball over the top but injured his ankle. The chance was missed but the winger recovered after treatment.

Obileye got even closer to half-time in the final minute when he hit a free-kick and headed it off the bar. Joel Nouble went wide from the rebound.

Celtic extended their lead seconds after the restart. Maeda missed Ralston’s cross and the ball flashed off Devlin with Jota close by.

Stryjek came out to thwart Rogic before Forrest made it 3-0 when he ran to Jota’s through ball and fired a left footed shot past the keeper.

Livi reacted immediately when Devlin’s long throw activated, stabbing Shinnie home at the near post.

Celtic stayed in control and could have extended the lead. Forrest threatened again and Stryjek stopped Maeda’s first attempt with his foot after a sweeping movement.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/other-soccer/mcgregor-and-forrest-on-target-as-celtic-finally-break-livingston-hex-41417219.html McGregor and Forrest hit the target as Celtic finally break through the Livingston hex

Fry Electronics Team

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