LIVINGSTON recorded the first victory over Celtic in their history at the Tony Macaroni Arena today - and dealt their opponents a savage blow in their bid to win a ninth consecutive Ladbrokes Premiership title in the process.

The ordering off of Ryan Christie midway through the first-half after a crude challenge on Scott Robinson was a huge setback for Neil Lennon’s side and Gary Holt’s team took full advantage. Second-half goals from Robinson and Lyndon Dykes secured a fine win.

So did Christie deserve to walk? Were the Almondvale club worthy winners? What on earth happened to the Parkhead outfit? And what does it all mean going forward? Here’s what we learned from an incident-packed afternoon.

Livingston were immense

The playing surface at the Tony Macaroni Arena may give the home team a huge, some would say unfair, advantage over any visitors to West Lothian. Having a man more for more than an hour also worked in Livingston’s favour. But nothing should be taken away from Holt’s men. They were the better team and merited the three points.

They pressed Celtic relentlessly from kick-off to the final whistle and prevented them from gaining a foothold in the match, they threw themselves into every 50-50 challenge with scant regard for their own wellbeing and they dealt comfortably with the high balls which were shelled into their area.

Livingston goalkeeper Matja Sarkic was certainly tested during the course of the 90 minutes. When he was facing Vakoun Bayo and Odsonne Edouard in the second-half particularly. And at the end as Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien went up front to complement their attack. But even going with four in attack proved to no avail.

A team which had been on a four game losing streak going into this game also scored two outstanding goals. It was an exceptional all-round display.

Christie cost his side dear

It could have had something to do with the unusual bounce of the ball on the artificial surface or it might have been down to a desire to give opponents who were, as always, taking a decidedly physical approach to the game a taste of their own medicine.

But Christie could have no complaints about being ordered off for his reckless challenge on Robinson in the 25th minute whatever the reason or his moment of utter madness.

Referee Willie Collum wasted no time in reaching for his red card after Christie had scythed down Robinson directly in front of him. It was the correct decision.

The Scotland player was fortunate his rival, who required medical attention before resuming the match, wasn’t seriously injured. He could quite easily have suffered a broken leg. He was lucky his limb wasn't planted on the turf when contact was made.

Being at a numerical disadvantage proved costly for the away side. They would have fared far better with a full complement of players. It was the first time in no fewer than 20 games that Celtic have failed to score and their first domestic defeat of the season.

There are still 30 league games to be played and 90 points up for grabs in the 2019/20 campaign. But could this defeat prove important come May? There is, on the evidence of the opening nine games, not going to be too much between the two Glasgow clubs. Every draw and defeat is important. This loss, then, could prove important.

Ajer had another off day

The Norwegian centre half didn’t give away a needless penalty, as he had against Rennes in France earlier this month, or net an own goal, as he did against Hibernian at Easter Road eight days before, yesterday. But this was another afternoon for the defender to forget.

He was caught flat-footed by Crawford’s pass for the first goal and will, along with Christopher Jullien, shudder when he sees the second again. Dykes was allowed to breeze between the two centre backs and get on the end of long ball that should have been dealt with and cleared to safety.

The 21-year-old made several powerful surges up the park with the ball at his feet and tested Sarkic with a shot in the first-half. But he is in the team to keep the ball out of his own net and once again failed in that duty.

Dykes for Scotland?

National manager Steve Clarke was an interested onlooker in the stand and the performance of Dykes up front for Livingston is sure to have grabbed his attention; the 6ft 2in 23-year-old gave Jullien a torrid afternoon and converted his opportunity when it came brilliantly.

Dykes was born and brought up in Canberra and on the Gold Coast in Australia. But his mother and father both hail from the Dumfries area. He is, then, eligible to play for this country. Holt, who won 10 caps during his playing career, certainly believes he would be worth a look.

Scotland aren’t exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to strikers. The selection of Dundee United front man Lawrence Shankland in the squad for the Euro 2020 double header against Russia and San Marino this week has underlined that. If a player who is plying his trade in the second tier can be considered then so should Dykes.

More teams will drop points at the Tony Macaroni Arena

Celtic can console themselves with the fact that they will not be the only Premiership team to drop points against Livingston away this season. Marvin Bartley and his team mates may not produce slick passing football that is entertaining to watch. But they are a handful. The trip to West Lothian is now one of the most challenging in the Scottish game.