Yang returns after two-game ban, scores the winning goal as Celtic beat Livingston 3-0

Yang Hyun-Jun, who was suspended, came off the bench to score the game-winning goal.

Celtic defeated Livingston 3-0 in the 31st round of the 2023-24 Scottish Premiership at Almondvale Stadium in Livingston, Scotland, at 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The victory moved Celtic into first place with 23 points, five wins, three draws and three losses (74 points).

Yang Hyun-joon was named to the substitutes’ bench. For the second time in two games. Yang earned his first start of the season against Hearts of Midlothian on March 3. Yang had been slowly improving his form since the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar. Heading into the game against Hearts, Yang had provided an assist for the second consecutive game. He was even named the first official MOTM against Dundee.

However, things took a turn for the worse against Hearts. In the 16th minute of the first half, Yang put his foot high in the air while competing for an aerial ball on the flank. The referee initially pointed to the spot, but the video assistant referee (VAR) showed a red card. However, after communicating with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), he changed the decision to a direct red card. As a result, Yang was sent off in the early hours.

After the game, Brendan Rodgers expressed his frustration with the officiating. According to Sky Sports, “I don’t like to comment on referees, but today we paid a heavy price (for the errors). The refereeing was really poor. There was no collision (with Yang). The ball bounced. It’s really disappointing to have 10 men for that,” he sighed.

Rodgers was disciplined for his comments. “The Scottish Football Association (SFA) Disciplinary Committee has handed Rodgers a two-match suspension,” Celtic announced on the club’s website on April 28. As a result, Rodgers was forced to manage the Livingston game from the stands instead of the bench.

Despite not being in charge of the game, Celtic put on a dominant performance and earned all three points against Livingston. The first half ended 0-0, but Celtic took the lead at the start of the second half. In the fourth minute of the second half, Hatate’s shot was saved by the goalkeeper after a scramble in the penalty box, but it was deflected back into the defense for an own goal.

With a 1-0 lead, Celtic made a substitution in the 26th minute of the second half. Kyogo Furuhashi and Nicholas Quinn were subbed out and Adam Aida came on for Yang Hyun-Joon. Celtic added another goal soon after. In the 27th minute of the second half, Paulo Bernardo rattled the net with a fantastic mid-range shot.

Celtic drove a wedge into the game. In the 38th minute, Yang picked up the ball on the right flank and made a bold run, drawing the attention of the opposition’s back four. His pass was played through Ida and finished by O’Leary to seal the game.

Eight minutes of second-half stoppage time were awarded. After coming on as a substitute, Yang continued to work hard down the right flank, looking to add to his tally, but was unable to find the back of the net. In the end, the game ended with a 3-0 victory for Celtic.


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