Celtic remain hopeful of overcoming the odds and securing second place in the Premiership

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Many criticised Celtic’s choice to press ahead with their trip to Dubai, but the decision appears to have been vindicated.

Plucky Celtic secured their third draw in a row as they simply refused to be overawed by the 2017 League One winners.

With Hibs and Aberdeen six and seven points respectively behind Neil Lennon’s men prior to kick-off, Celtic knew they could put themselves firmly in the driving seat for that coveted second-place finish.

The visitors bravely held out for 15 minutes, but Ciaran Brown took advantage of Celtic having signed Shane Duffy to put Livingston ahead.

An upset appeared to be on the cards at half-time as Celtic went in 2-1 up thanks to goals from Moi Elyounoussi and Nir Bitton, but normal service was resumed when Jay Emmanuel-Thomas levelled the scores on the hour mark.

Most would have expected Lennon’s men to capitulate at that point, but at a snowy Tony Macaroni Arena the time spent in Dubai’s notoriously bitter conditions paid off.

Indeed, Celtic were so confident that, instead of throwing on a striker, they brought on a 35-year-old midfielder to make some faces at inferior players and pretend he didn’t feel cold.

It proved to be yet another inspired substitution from Lennon, as Brown went on to dominate the 77th, 78th, 79th, 80th and 81st minutes.

The result maintains Celtic’s impressive six-point lead in the fight for second, with Jack Ross and Derek McInnes forced to watch on helplessly in their living rooms.

With their opponents desperate for a goal in order to spare their blushes, Celtic remained calm and saw the game out.

Tonight’s result has led to calls for the manager to be sacked, but Livingston insist they remain fully behind David Martindale.

In other news, Celtic confirm £18m-rated star linked with Roma is set to leave