Celtic won 3-0 at Livingston to extend their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership on Saturday lunch time despite goalkeeper Joe Hart picking up a first-half red card.
Things were going according to plan for the champions at the Tony Macaroni Arena when Reo Hatate just about converted a 14th-minute penalty, awarded after Luiyi De Lucas had hacked down the Japan forward in the box.
However, the match appeared to turn on its head after Hart was shown a straight red card for taking out Mo Sangare just outside the area as the Livi striker latched on to a long ball over the top just before the half-hour mark.
But Brendan Rodgers’s side saw out the second period with few problems and extended their lead thanks to further strikes at the start of the half from Matt O’Riley – his fourth already in the league this season – and a wonder goal from Daizen Maeda at the death.
Livi made two alterations from the team that drew at Ross County last time out, with midfield duo Mo Sangare and Scott Pittman coming in for the benched Stephen Kelly and Mikey Devlin, who is injured.
Meanwhile, Celtic made just the one change to the side that lost 2-0 to Feyenoord in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday night with James Forrest replacing Luis Palma, who was a substitute, in what was his first start since against Rangers in the new year.
As a result, Celtic extended their lead over second-placed St Mirren, who play later on Saturday afternoon, to five points, while David Martindale’s team stay in seventh place.
More to follow shortly…
Celtic’s next Scottish Premiership match is away to Motherwell on September 30. Kick-off 12.30pm.
Livingston have a Viaplay Cup quarter-final at Rangers on Wednesday night. Kick-off 8pm.
Their next Scottish Premiership game is at St Johnstone on September 30. That game kicks off at 3pm.