20.01.2021 23:52 h

Brown sent off as troubled Celtic held by Livingston

Scott Brown was sent off as troubled Celtic's fading Scottish title hopes were damaged by a 2-2 draw at Livingston on Wednesday.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has spent the last few days embroiled in a feud with critics of the club's controversial trip to Dubai.

Lennon let rip on Monday as he claimed the Scottish champions had been hit with a "barrage of absolute hypocrisy" in the wake of their winter training camp.

The curiously timed trip, amid Scotland's coronavirus lockdown, ended in chaos with Lennon and a host of players having to self-isolate after Hoops defender Christopher Jullien contracted Covid-19.

Scottish government officials led the condemnation of Celtic and there was more bad news as their winless run extended to four games.

Ciaron Brown's opener for Livingston was followed with goals from Celtic pair Mohammed Elyounoussi and Nir Bitton.

But Jay Emmanuel-Thomas levelled for David Martindale's team and Celtic finished the game clinging on for a draw after seeing captain Brown sent off just five minutes after being introduced from the bench.

Second-placed Celtic are almost certain to fail in their bid to win a 10th successive title with Rangers 20 points clear at the top.

Lennon was back in the dugout after his quarantine, while Vasilis Barkas, Kristoffer Ajer, Ryan Christie, Elyounoussi and Leigh Griffiths were also welcomed back.

Ciaron Brown gave Livingston a shock lead from Julien Serrano's free-kick before Elyounoussi clipped a sublime equaliser off the underside of the bar for his 13th goal of the season.

Celtic were in front 10 minutes later when David Turnbull's corner was cleared only as far as Ismaila Soro, who then fed to Callum McGregor on the edge of the area.

Jack Fitzwater was fooled into thinking a shot was coming as he jumped to block.

Instead, McGregor slid the ball under his feet for Biton, with the defender finding the top corner via a slight ricochet off Robby McCrorie's body.

But Celtic found themselves pegged back level on the hour mark.

Jaze Kabia fed the ball back to the left-back who fizzed a low ball into the box.

Brown's cross found Emmanuel-Thomas and got beyond Greig Taylor to prod home.

Livingston had worked all day to clear snow from their plastic pitch but the final 15 minutes were played on a frozen surface as more fell.

Celtic's misery was complete with seven minutes left as Brown was dismissed by referee Willie Collum for aiming a swinging arm at Kebia.