FILIPE JOTA made up for lost time when scored Celtic’s final goal in the 3-0 victory at Livingston this afternoon – only EIGHT minutes after being introduced as a substitute.
The Portuguese pin-up player missed five games after coming off at half-time in the 2-1 win over St Johnstone in Perth earlier in the month.
But Jota was unleashed by Ange Postecoglou in place of Sead Haksabanovic with the champions already leading 2-0 through goals from Kyogo Furuhashi and Greg Taylor, marking his 100th appearance with his second goal in eight days.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND…Filipe Jota turns in No.3 shortly after his appearance.
The 23-year-old comeback Bhoy finished off a neat move that saw Joe Hart throw a clearance to Liel Abada who pushed it forward to pick out David Turnbull. He kept possession until sweeping over a low cross into the box at the precise correct moment and the £6.5million ex-Benfica star did the rest with an accurate left-foot finish from close range.
A delighted Jota, speaking to Sky Sports, said: “Very good to be back with the lads and I just hope that we can finish this first stage of the season on top.
“We are a very good group and support each other. And the family is a big factor, as well, in our lives, so I’m just grateful to have the perfect people and the right people beside me.
“Every time there’s a struggle, I’m just ready to bounce back and that’s what I’ve tried to do.”
JOTA JOY…Celtic’s comeback winger Filipe Jota celebrates his goalscoring return.
Colleague Taylor won the Man of the Match award following another practically flawless performance to go along with his goal that just about killed off the hosts.
The left-back, who scored his first league goal for the club eight days ago with the winner in the thriller against Hearts at Tynecastle, “put my laces through the ball” to leave keeper Jack Hamilton completely bamboozled as the effort sizzled through his legs and into the net.
Asked if adding goals to his game was something he has been working on, Taylor answered: “Not necessarily. The positions that I found myself in today, a lot was quite central, edge of the box, so it was one of those ones where I didn’t really have much choice.
HIGH HOPES…Greg Taylor is hoisted by team-mate Sead Haksabanovic after hitting the second goal.
“It was a strong team performance. We started the game well, a little bit scrappy at the end of the first-half and then second-half we were pretty dominate, so a good day all round.
“Delighted to contribute to the team again, but the most important is the three points, of course.”
The champions went about their business with a verve and vicgour as they overcame stubborn opponents to restore their four-point advantage at the Premiership pinnacle.