Greg Taylor scores screamer as Celtic sink Livingston to go four points clear | Scottish Premiership

Greg Taylor celebrated his 100th game for Celtic with a stunning goal in a comprehensive 3-0 win over Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena. The 24-year-old Hoops defender set up Japan striker Kyogo Furuhashi to fire in his ninth goal of the season in the 10th minute of a game that the visitors dominated.

Taylor, signed from Kilmarnock in 2019, had an effort saved by debutant keeper Jack Hamilton just after the break but found the net in the 53rd minute with a thunderous drive from 25 yards.

Giorgos Giakoumakis hit the post with a penalty in the 84th minute before his fellow substitute Jota added a third in the closing stages as Ange Postecoglou’s side restored their four-point lead over Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

David Martindale’s side battled to a 1-1 draw with the at Ibrox last week but here they found the champions just too quick, skilful and powerful.

Celtic take on Real Madrid in their final Champions League game in the Santiago Bernabéu stadium on Wednesday with their exit from European football this season already confirmed, but they remain a formidable force on the domestic scene.

The big pre-match team news was that 28-year-old Hamilton, signed from Morton in August, was making his Livingston debut following an injury to Shamal George, with Jackson Longridge and James Penrice coming back into the side. Postecoglou reshuffled again with Anthony Ralston, Aaron Mooy and James Forrest coming into the side.

Celtic kept the ball well in the early stages but it was only after Joel Nouble’s effort from a Stephen Kelly free-kick was easily saved by Joe Hart that they took the lead. Taylor had plenty of time to slide in Furuhashi, who took a touch and thrashed the ball high past Hamilton at his near post from eight yards.

Celtic retained their grip on the game with lone striker Nouble cutting an isolated figure for the Lions. Furuhashi looked offside when he went through on goal again in the 22nd minute but stretching under pressure from Jack Fitzwater he knocked the ball over the bar.

As Celtic kept flooding forward, Forrest and Mooy both missed the target by inches with drives from the edge of the box. Hamilton parried a powerful long-distance drive from Taylor at the start of the second half but when he got another chance minutes later, after Mooy’s shot had been blocked, the Scotland defender returned a thunderbolt that fizzed through the keeper’s legs.

On the hour mark Hamilton carelessly misplaced a pass to Forrest but prevented the Scotland winger grabbing a third goal for the Parkhead side, who by then were completely in charge.

There was a VAR check when Jota’s cross hit the hands ofAndrew Shinnie and Willie Collum pointed to the spot after checking the monitor, but Giakoumakis struck the outside of the post with the spot-kick. Minutes later Jota converted a Turnbull cross to add the third.

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