Celtic defeated Livingston 3-0 at the Tony Macaroni Arena, as they extended their lead at the top of the table with a comfortable victory.

The visitors made a strong start to the game, with Greg Taylor in particular pulling the strings. He would play a pass to Hatate, who was taken down in the box by the Livingston defender. The same player would step up and just about convert the penalty, though Shamal George in the home side's goal.

The dynamic of the game would change soon after, as Joe Hart was sent off, following a foul outside the box on a Livingston player. James Forrest would be taken off, and Celtic would play with 10 men for the remainder of proceedings. Despite this pressure, Celtic would go in at the break leading 1-0.

They did not take long to double their lead following the restart, as a fortuitous opportunity found its way to Matt O'Riley, with Celtic's star man making no mistake from close range. Daizen Maeda rounded off the scoring with a lovely finish that left the Livingston goalkeeper with no chance.

Celtic made just one change from the side that were defeated 2-0 against Feyenoord on Tuesday. Luis Palma made way for veteran Forrest in what was an otherwise settled outfield contingent of players for Brendan Rodgers. Reo Hatate was given another opportunity to get up to match sharpness, whilst Liam Scales continued his recent run of starts alongside Gustaf Lagerbielke at the back.

What did The Celtic Way make of the game? Our writers have their say on today's proceedings...

READ MORE: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers praises 'unbelievable' Maeda

Terrific Taylor shows his class

It has been no secret that the left-back has had a difficult start to the season. A player essentially reborn under the previous manager Ange Postecoglou, Taylor has found readjusting to life as a more traditional full-back a tricky one, with poor performances in the majority of his appearances for Celtic so far this campaign. That changed today, as the Scotland international was terrific for the visiting team. It was his pass that set Hatate on his way to a stonewall penalty decision, which was reminiscent of his inverted days under the Australian. With no real competition in his position (Scales is playing centrally and Alexandro Bernabei is so far out of the picture), Taylor has free reign at the moment to continue deputising in the left-hand side of the defence. Today felt like the first game under Rodgers that everything fell into place for Taylor, and long may that continue for both player and club. A graphic that showed up midway through the first half on Sky Sports was the number of touches specific players had, and Taylor was on top for both Celtic and the game as a whole. Critics have been extremely vocal towards this particular player, but performances like these will no doubt silence them quickly, especially if he can consistently keep these displays coming at a regular rate. Baby steps for Taylor, but a solid performance that he can work with and build upon in the coming weeks and months all the same.

Ryan McGinlay

Reckless Joe Hart 

It's been a week to consign to the dustbin for Hart. The former Manchester City and England number one looked culpable for the concession of the opening goal against Feyenoord in the Champions League on Tuesday night in Rotterdam. The most experienced man in the Celtic team compounded his miserable few days even further in West Lothian when he came charging out of his box to catch Mohammed Sangare. The midfielder beat him with a toe poke to nothing more than a high agricultural ball forward yet Hart somehow managed to misjudge it and put the studs into the Livi player's chest. Referee John Beaton had no hesitation in flashing a straight red card. Hart had hoped that VAR would come to his rescue but to no avail. It was a reckless moment in the extreme from the Celtic goalkeeper which put his team under severe pressure and he paid the heaviest price for his rashness. It will be deemed violent conduct and Hart will now have to sit out the next three domestic games giving Scott Bain an early season opportunity. Hart does not exactly have his critics to seek these days so his red card has just added more fuel to the fire of those who feel and believe that his days as a goalkeeper are numbered.

Tony Haggerty

Red cards are racking up 

That's three red cards for Celtic in the space of two matches with Gustaf Lagerbielke, Odin Thiago Holm and now Hart all being sent off. It is becoming a growing concern for Rodgers. Ironically none of the dismissals can be explained away by indiscipline. The orderings off have all come about due to every individual displaying poor judgement at key moments. The Celtic manager will need to drive home the fact that the decision-making has to be on point at all times. Lagerbielke threw out an arm in Holland and suffered the consequences. Thiago Holm went full-blooded with studs up into a challenge that he never really needed to make. Hart also had a rush of blood to the head when he came out and thundered into Sangare and again you would have to question the shot-stopper's wisdom to come that far knowing the outcome if he didn't make contact with the ball. It's been a long time since Celtic have had three players sent off over the course of successive matches and whilst it may not be a concern Rodgers has to make sure that it certainly does not become a major issue moving forward.

Tony Haggerty 

Imperious Matt O'Riley

The Celtic supporters should enjoy him while they can. The Danish under-21 international once again came up trumps for his team at a crucial juncture with a killer second goal in 48 minutes to give his side much-needed breathing space in the contest. He timed his run into the danger area to perfection as he stabbed home his fourth goal in eight games this season. He is a sublimely talented footballer. Whilst Daizen Maeda took fresh air swipes at a loose ball bouncing around the six-yard box it was O'Riley who arrived and kept his cool to steer home and give the ten-men a crucial two-goal lead when his team needed him most. This is a player who is positively thriving and flourishing under Rodgers. He has listened intently to what knowledge his manager has had to impart to him and has added goals to his arsenal this season. Rodgers had the same effect on James Maddison at Leicester City and turned him into a £40 million footballer. O'Riley is wise enough to know that his career path could follow the same trajectory if he continues to listen, learn and progress at the rapid rate of knots he is doing under the tutelage of Rodgers. 

Tony Haggerty

Maeda involved in everything

Clint Eastwood’s 1966 film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (or the title, at least) springs to mind when watching the bald-headed winger in action for Celtic. Indeed, there are parts of Maeda’s game that are outstanding, such as his physical pace, his work rate and his determination to win the ball back for his team. However – as harsh as this sounds – there is a reason why he does not play at a higher level, as his deficiencies are clear for all to see when he plays, which is the case most of the time. If all players worked as hard as Maeda did, then every game would be played at a ferocious pace. Of course, this is not the case, though his positive work both on and off the ball makes him a useful asset to utilise for Rodgers and his coaches. Funnily enough, his rashness in front of goal led to his teammate O’Riley effectively securing a tap-in for Celtic. Despite all of his deficiencies laid bare for all to see in most weeks, he is one of the first names on the team sheet, as he was under former manager Postecoglou. He is dependable, with 100 per cent effort guaranteed in every game, regardless of his performance on the park at that time. Despite all of this, Maeda would score right at the death, with a much-deserved goal to go with his non-stop effort. Celtic may have better individuals such as Palma, Liel Abada or even Forrest, but none of them can hold a candle to Maeda on the left wing. An incredible athlete, even if his footballing ability leaves a lot to be desired at times.

Ryan McGinlay

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