Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou blasts ‘unacceptable’ display in edgy win over Livingston despite Scottish Premiership leaders stretching their lead over Rangers to nine points
- Kyogo Furuhashi’s first half strike was enough to separate the two sides
- An own goal from Livingston’s Ayo Obileye gave Celtic a 23rd minute lead
- Nicky Devlin pulled one back in first half stoppage time to give Livingston hope
Ange Postecoglou accused his Celtic front men of failing to do their jobs properly.
The champions stretched their lead over Rangers at the summit of the Scottish Premiership to nine points with an edgy 2-1 win over Livingston
An Oyo Abileye own goal and a Kyogo Furuhashi strike put the champions in a comfortable position before half-time.
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou was unhappy his side were unable to finish off the game
Livingston claimed a lifeline during added time, however, when captain Mikey Devlin scored with their first shot on target.
Unhappy with the failure of his attacking players to take up the right positions to finish off the game off sooner Postecoglou called the failings ‘unacceptable.’
‘It was important to win,’ said the Celtic boss. ‘The performance wasn’t our best.
‘I thought first half we controlled the game and did the things we wanted to but I was disappointed.
Kyogo Furuhashi’s celebrates Celtic’s winner in their 2-1 victory over Livingston on Wednesday
‘We created good chances but people in the box weren’t doing their jobs. Balls flashed across goal but people weren’t there. It’s disappointing because we work on that constantly.
‘We’ve had a lot of success playing that way so when it doesn’t happen I get frustrated because there’s no reason we shouldn’t do it.
‘It’s not clinical it’s just being disciplined and being in those areas. We still created chances but those numbers should be greater if we got on the end of things.
‘It’s unacceptable – we work on it constantly so players know they should be in that area.
Celtic players embrace after Ayo Obileye’s own goal gave them a 1-0 lead in the first half
‘At 2-0 the game should have been over. We conceded a soft goal which we’ve not done a lot of either. We lost concentration for a moment. The second half was ok. We controlled the game but there wasn’t a great deal of rhythm.
‘I was disappointed we didn’t take advantage of the chances we created.’
Celtic were denied a comfortable end to the game when a VAR check saw Liel Abada’s strike ruled out by referee Euan Anderson for a debatable offside.
Refusing to make a huge issue of the incident Postecoglou said: ‘I didn’t realise offside was something the referee gets sent to the monitor for.’
David Martindale saw his side make a nuisance of themselves in the second half of the game
Celtic ended the night with an injury worry at right-back after Anthony Ralston limped off with a back problem.
With Josip Juranovic resting after the World Cup and new signing Alistair Johnston ineligible until January 1 Ralston could be a doubt for Saturday’s game against St Johnstone.
I don’t think it’s anything too bad. He had a bang on the nose and his back seized up after a challenge but I’ll wait till the after the physio has seen him. I don’t think it’s anything too serious.’
After a strong second half display Livingston boss David Martindale expressed disappointment with the two first half goals lost.
‘Ange has done a fantastic job. I was disappointed the in the two goals we lost.
Nicky Devlin’s strike in first half stoppage time gave Livingston some hope against Celtic
‘To lose those goals was bitterly disappointing but I was delighted with their reaction when we scored.
‘At half-time we got some more information into them. There were slight changes. It helped us get a bit more pressure in Celtic’s mid third.
We were very competitive in the game. My goalkeeper wasn’t as busy as I thought he’d be and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way.
‘I’ve seen save after save, bars hit, deflections. It wasn’t one of those games. Our shape should get a lot of credit.
‘People talk about parking the bus but you need players who are disciplined and their game management has to be top and I thought it was for a large majority of the game.’