THE more things change for Celtic, the more they stay the same. At least on the road.

Celtic now haven’t won on their travels in the league since February, and though manager Ange Postecoglou was only responsible for this season’s defeats at Tynecastle and Ibrox before this trip to the Tony Macaroni Arena - a venue where they haven’t won now in their last five visits -

There is little doubt that this latest reverse on their travels thanks to a wonderful Andrew Shinnie goal is damaging to the groundswell of early good will that Postecoglou has enjoyed from the Celtic support, as questions start to be raised over the poor win ratio that the Australian has managed to rack up to date. That is now just seven wins from 14 matches.

When Angeball clicks as it has at Celtic Park, it is a thrilling spectacle. But here there was very little to differentiate between his Celtic side and the one who also toiled to break down teams away from home last season. The lack of an alternative plan when the chips are down is worn like a badge of honour by the Celtic manager, but he may not be able to suffer too many more of these results before his idealism begins to be interpreted as stubbornness.

All of this should not detract from Livingston’s performance, which was full of guts, no little guile and built upon some wonderful defensive organisation. How they must wish they could play Celtic here every week.

David Martindale’s side came into this game with just one point from five, and were rooted to the bottom of the table. Martindale has been trying to evolve his side’s style from the up and at’em physicality that has worked well for them in the past, and at last, it looks to be paying off.

It is now the craft and graft of Shinnie in attack rather than the relative battering rams of old, with the likes of James Penrice and Ben Williamson busting a gut to get up and support.

Postecoglou said he was going to rotate after the exertions in Seville on Thursday night, and he pulled a major surprise by bringing Boli Bolingoli back in from Siberia to take his place in the starting XI at left back.

Stephen Welsh was back in at centre-back after Carl Starfelt failed to recover sufficiently from the Real Betis game, and there was a first start for James McCarthy in midfield too with captain Callum McGregor not risked.

For all that Livingston may not present the same physical challenge of old, they had three bookings within the opening 20 minutes or so. But the new fluid style was fully evident when they took the lead with their first real attack of the game.

Jackson Longridge sprung down the left, centring for Shinnie to take a nice touch away from Welsh – who could certainly have been stronger - with his right foot before lashing a beauty of a half-volley across Joe Hart and into his top left-hand corner.

Celtic were rattled, and the control they had earlier in the match slipped away as they took their time to regroup. It wasn’t until five minutes before the break that they crafted a decent opportunity for an equaliser, Tom Rogic’s quick feet allowing him to find Albian Ajeti in the area to touch back for David Turnbull, but the midfielder pulled his shot wide.

In fact, it was Livi who came closest to finding the net again before the interval, an outswinging set-piece from Adam Lewis on the left being met by Jack Fitzwater, but Hart flicked out an instinctive left hand and somehow diverted the ball over from point-blank range.

The second half had the feeling of a massive 45 minutes for Postecoglou. It wasn’t quite Neil Lennon being three down at Rugby Park levels of panic stations, but given the gap that already existed to Rangers at the top of the table, it seemed significant,

A Welsh header from a Turnbull corner was well kept out by Max Stryjek to keep Celtic at bay as they searched for the leveller, but it was more of the same huffing and puffing from the visitors without getting very far.

Turnbull and Rogic didn’t seem to have the key to unlocking the home defence, while McCarthy’s use of the ball behind them was poor. The problem for Postecoglou was though that he didn’t exactly have a wealth of attacking options on the bench to present the hosts with a new problem. Only winger Mikey Johnston, just back from injury, was really a viable option to ask fresh questions of a Livi backline expertly marshalled by Jack Fitzwater.

Turnbull’s corner was nodded wide by Ajeti before Postecoglou pulled the trigger, Johnston, Nir Bitton and Ismaila Soro replacing Welsh, McCarthy and Rogic.

Ajeti immediately got into a great position to bring out a great low save from Stryjek, the keeper diving low to his right to tip the shot around the post, but it was Livi substitute Alan Forrest who went closest to scoring the second of the day, his shot from the angle just being diverted past the post by Hart.

There was a late scare for Livi as Stryjek fumbled a Joao Jota dinked cross, but as he had been all day, Fitzwater was on hand to mop up the mess, and Livi were over the line.

Mopping up the mess created by another loss away from home may be a touch more difficult for Postecoglou.