Tough at the top

Celtic reclaimed top spot in the Scottish Premiership after a feisty meeting with Livingston on Sunday lunchtime. There were no goals in this game, but enough meat on the bones to get your teeth into.

It was a very physical match. Some of the challenges might suggest a bit too physical at times by the home side.

When Celtic get into their stride, getting physical with them is sometimes the only answer an opponent has. Livingston gave a very good account of themselves, but they also got away with a few incidents.

Dedryck Boyata had a few challenges come his way. Mikael Lustig was another.

Perhaps the most significant incident was the headbutt Dolly Menga placed on Ryan Christie during a corner. A replay of the incident clearly shows the Livingston player make deliberate and significant contact.

By the letter of the laws of the game, it is violent conduct. There is no area of doubt whatsoever.

Whatever the SFA decide to do it should be a lengthy ban. Credit should also be awarded to Christie for not making a meal of it.

Menga was not short of putting himself about in that game. Although the BBC’s Brian McLauchlin chose to credit the Angolan as being “more like a £9M striker than Odsonne Edouard” on this game’s evidence.

I wonder, Brian, was it a £9M pound headbutt as well? Be sure to include that in your next article please.

Another unfortunate incident was the injury to Kris Ajer. The young Norwegian retook his place in defence at the expense of Filip Benkovic.

He continued his fine form as a ball playing central defender right up to the point he got a knock to his face. The result appears to be a broken eye socket which will require surgery and a lengthy lay off.

It’s another blow for Celtic on the injury front, but one they must soak up. As we have seen over the recent weeks, we require everyone to dig deep and apply themselves.

I want to give credit to Livingston for putting up a good fight but they were also being overly physical. Celtic may have been a bit battle weary from Thursday’s encounter with Leipzig, but the main thing was we didn’t lose this one and it has taken us to the top of the league for the first time this season.

Now we have a challenge to remain there no matter what problems we may face along the way. I’m sure that game at hand will come in handy as well.

All about being at the top.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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