cult pivotal, new nonsense VAR; 3 things we learned when Celtic beat Livingston

Celtic moved nine points back at the top of the Scottish Premier League table after beating Livingston 2-1 at Celtic Park this evening.

An Aio Obili own goal and Kyogo Furuhashi’s finish made the Bhoys 2-0 before a quick response from Nicky Devlin at the other end of the field. Celtic dominated large swathes of the game and deserved to win, despite failing to continue to add an advantage in the second half.

What are the most important talking points in the meeting? Here are your three after three other important points…

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

A night of worship is at the center of it all

After a fine showing off the bench against Aberdeen at the weekend, Abada was given ample opportunity to impress in the starting line-up and did so during 90 minutes on the field.

It was his cross that wreaked enough havoc on Livingston’s defense for Obili to go home for the OG. Then, his well-timed run bolsters Livingston’s defense once again, as his square volley is blasted into the net by Kyogo. The 21-year-old Israeli winger appeared again in the second half as well, getting the ball into the back of the net before his goal was ruled out for offside after a bizarre and long VAR check.

It bodes well that he has found form again during this busy period and will be well valued for playing another prominent role this weekend when St Johnstone comes to town.

The VAR continues to be an oddity in Celtic matches

Celtic really does seem to have pulled the ‘Chaotic VAR’ card from Scottish football’s squad since its introduction, with more action thrown in tonight that is likely to be much talked about.

First, there was Devlin’s clear handball into Celtic’s chest from a ferocious shot from Reo Hatate, which wasn’t even shown to referee Euan Anderson for side review.

Then, Abada’s goal – which was ruled offside – was ruled out by a long VAR check. He was in an offside position when the ball was played forward but the defender headed the ball and missed it, allowing Abada the advantage to finish the ball.

The check took a very long time, as the referee also went to the sideline to determine whether or not the defender was deliberately playing the ball. It is very rare for referees to review offside decisions. This was not a good advertisement for the Scottish Confederation of Technology with fans and players left in the stadium confused.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Anthony Ralston’s injury is far from ideal

With Alistair Johnston unable to play until January and Josip Juranović still recovering from the World Cup, the injury that Ralston sustained was not what we wanted to see tonight.

He came off in the second half after a physical altercation with Livingston that required treatment from the physio on multiple occasions.

We obviously don’t know the extent of his injury, but missing at least one of the upcoming matches wouldn’t be surprising, which could mean Greg Taylor filling in on the right wing for longer than he switched from left back this evening.

in other news, “This is my frustration”; Celtic chairman Ange Postecoglou wants to change refereeing.

previous article Celtic vs Livingston confirmed: Abada call, broadcast details, immediate reaction


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