BRENDAN RODGERS witnessed his Celtic goal machine hit a brick wall in the champions’ scoreless stalemate at Livingston yesterday.
The team that had fired in a remarkable 23 strikes in the previous five domestic encounters could not squeeze a solitary effort behind the inspired Liam Kelly who defied the Hoops frontline and made at least three breathtaking saves.
However, the point was still enough to take the seven-in-a-row title-winners to the top of the Premiership table for the first time this season.
And Rodgers was not too dismayed the Parkhead juggernaut had been derailed – for the time being, anyway.
The Hoops boss said: “I’ve been so pleased with the last seven weeks or so – the performance level. We were never going to reach that level on this occasion in terms of goals and creativity as the surface is really difficult for that.
“You add to that a team which defends really well and it was always going to be difficult for us. It’s a good point here on the back of all the games we’ve had.
“So, we’ll take the positive from it of which there were a lot. Their keeper made some great saves. Had we won the game, no-one would be able to say we didn’t deserve to.
“You give credit to Livingston, as well, because the basics of the game they did well. They made us have to do them well. We both take a point and move on.
“It’s where we aim to be. This is a positive point for us especially after all the games we’ve had. In this period we’ve found some new players – the likes of Ryan Christie coming into the team and doing fantastic.
“Our form and our rhythm has been really positive.”
Kelly deservedly won the Man of the Match award with an assured performance that included excellent stops from Ryan Christie (twice) and Tom Rogic late on.
On the spectacular stop from the Aussie midfielder, the Livi keeper said: “I just knew as soon as he shifted it that there was a chance he was getting it on target because of the quality he has got. I saw it late and went for it and, thankfully, I got something on it to take it over the bar.”
It was that sort of day for the champions.