23.09.2023 18:10 h

Celtic beat Livingston despite Hart red card

Scottish champions Celtic cruised to a 3-0 win at Livingston on Saturday despite goalkeeper Joe Hart's first half dismissal.

Brendan Rodgers' side were leading through Reo Hatate's penalty when former England international Hart was sent off for a foul on Mo Sangare in the first half.

Celtic were able to cope comfortably with 10 men as second-half goals from Matt O'Riley and Daizen Maeda wrapped up their fifth win in six Scottish Premiership games this season.

The Glasgow outfit sit two points clear of second placed St Mirren, who beat Hearts 1-0 thanks to Ryan Strain's seventh minute goal.

"It was a monumental win in terms of getting back in after playing with nine men during the week," Rodgers said.

"Livingston is a notoriously hard place to come anyway, never mind with 10 men, so to play with that mentality was very good.

"Attitude and energy are what you need and that is what we had. You don't get points here for style. You have to dig in and be resilient.

"I thought we played well on a difficult surface and stylistically I thought we played better with 10 men."

There was only one change to the Celtic starting line-up from their midweek Champions League loss to Feyenoord as James Forrest was handed his first start since January.

Livingston threatened an early goal when Bruce Anderson's drive was saved by Hart, with Callum McGregor clearing Scott Pittman's rebound effort off the line.

But Celtic quickly took control and went in front after 13 minutes.

Luiyi de Lucas needlessly brought down Hatate and referee John Beaton immediately awarded the penalty.

Hatate took the spot-kick himself and his shot squeezed under Shamal George.

Hart saw red when Sangare reached James Penrice's ball ahead of the former Manchester City keeper, who rushed off his line and tripped the Livingston player on the edge of the area.

After Hart trudged down the tunnel, Penrice curled the resulting free-kick into the side-netting in what would prove Livingston's last chance to salvage something from the game.

Ignoring their numerical disadvantage, Celtic doubled their lead early in the second half.

Maeda failed to turn in Kyogo Furuhashi's cross from close range but O'Riley helped him out by lashing in the rebound.

With seconds left in stoppage-time, Maeda smashed Celtic's third goal past George from long range to cap a comfortable victory for the Hoops.

In Saturday's other games, Hibernian beat St Johnstone 2-0 and Dundee drew 2-2 with Kilmarnock.