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Celtic: Hoops midfielder Nir Bitton was a rock today

Every time Celtic travel to today’s hosts, it has a tendency to be a bit of an unhappy hunting ground for the Hoops and when Callum McGregor hit the post with a penalty early in the first half, it looked as though Ange Postecoglou’s Bhoys were in for a rough afternoon again.

However, on this occasion, the manager’s team rose to the challenge and eventually did score through Daize Maeda’s close-range finish.

Celtic would score twice more, once through an own goal and then courtesy of James Forrest who found the net precisely with a rare goal this term in a 3-1 victory.

Forrest, in particular, has not been at his best this term and in recent weeks, Jota had been off the pace too, scoring only once in his last four.

Should Bitton be a regular starter at Celtic?

No chance!

No chance!

Of course!

Of course!

Yet, on Sunday he was undoubtedly back to his best, running the Livi defence ragged with a whopping seven key passes and two dribbles.

Although he deserves praise for his performance, another member of Postecoglou’s starting XI should be hailed.

That honour goes to Nir Bitton, somebody who hasn’t always been the flavour of the day at Parkhead.

The Israeli was dubbed a “walking joke” at one stage last campaign by Bhoys Analytics but he’s actually been rather safe in 2021/22, something that was epitomised by his rock solid performance this weekend.

Bitton was deployed at the base of the midfield and never put a foot wrong, looking assured in possession and striding forward when presented with space in central areas.

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According to SofaScore, 30-year-old was successful with an impressive 91% of his passes, catching the eye with his 78 touches of the ball.

Furthermore, he was a brute in the middle, winning four duels and completing a solitary tackle. Bitton isn’t always the most comfortable in possession but his two dribbles showcased that he doesn’t just bring a physical presence to Postecoglou’s side.

The decision to start the Israel international was certainly a surprising one but he more than justified the faith his manager put in him.

AND in other news, Sold for £990k, now worth 500% more: Lawwell call on 6ft4 “weapon” will haunt Celtic…