Celtic spilled crucial points in the title race as a late David Watson equaliser for Kilmarnock saw them fail to win at home for the fourth time in the league this season.

Kyogo Furuhashi had the champions ahead in the first half with a brilliantly taken header, but Watson dealt a massive blow to their hopes of retaining their title as he nodded home a Fraser Murray cross at the back post in stoppage time.

Here are the talking points from a frustrated Celtic Park…


Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers had pleaded for patience from the home support ahead of this game, but it only stretched so far. And when the Celtic players started to continually play passes in deep areas at the start of the second half, it snapped.

If you wanted an indication of how nervy things are with the title race neck and neck going into this one, it was laid bare here in the reaction from the stands as Killie pressed the Celtic players high and came within a whisker of nicking the ball in the home box on a couple of occasions.

The tone was set when Joe Hart inexplicably punched what looked to be a regulation catch and conceded a corner, setting nerves jangling that didn’t really calm down for the rest of the afternoon.

Even Mr Reliable, captain Callum McGregor, was at it as he swiped the ball up into the air in the centre circle under no pressure, and Killie smelled blood.

It looked as though their creditable performance would count for nothing as the board was held up indicating five minutes of added time, but they would get their twist in the tale as Murray got in down the left and clipped the ball up to the back post for Watson to beat Hart at his near post.

Cue howls of anger from the home end and loud chants against the board and chairman Peter Lawwell, and if indeed the title is lost in the end, these spilled points on their own patch will have been the fatal factor.


On a brighter note for Celtic, Kyogo looks to have been revitalised by the arrival of Adam Idah.

When Idah arrived at Celtic in January, it may have been thought that his presence would provide a threat to the position of their off-colour hitman, particularly when the Japanese was relegated to the bench for the win over Hibs with Idah starting up top.

When Kyogo came on in that game though, it was to play in tandem with Idah from a slightly deeper position, and there was an immediate spark between the pair. So much so that Rodgers persevered with that set-up for the Scottish Cup win over St Mirren and again here, and he was rewarded for doing so.

The division of labour was less clear against Kilmarnock though, with the forwards interchanging regularly. Sometimes Kyogo would play as the furthest man forward and Idah would drop into the hole, allowing the on-loan Norwich man to showcase his impressive link-up play and an array of clever flicks.

It also allowed Kyogo to use his movement effectively from a deeper position at times, and it was from such a scenario that Celtic got their opener.

The hosts had to be patient against a typically well organised Derek McInnes outfit, but they fashioned the telling opening as Anthony Ralston clipped a clever ball up to the back post where Kyogo had peeled into acres of space to meet the ball brilliantly with a header and guide it back across Will Dennis and into the far corner.

They failed to build on that advantage though, and paid the price.


It is fair to say that despite posting some impressive numbers, and playing well last week in Paisley, Palma has yet to fully convince a sizeable section of the Celtic support, and when he let an early pass slip under his foot and out of play early on here it seemed he was going to have one of his off days.

So it proved, with the winger proving predictable for Lewis Mayo to read as he continually cut in on his right foot. Indeed, he blew a great chance as a clever Idah flick found McGregor steaming through the centre to play him in on the left-hand side of the box.

Instead of hitting the ball on his left foot, he was desperate to shift it back onto his favoured right, and by the time he did Dennis was on top of him to smother his effort.

It was no surprise to see him hooked at the interval with Yang replacing him, but he failed to make much of an impression either, much to Mayo’s credit.


Another nervy moment for the home support came just after they had opened the scoring, with Marley Watkins nipping in to get a foot to the ball just as Stephen Welsh was in the act of clearing it on the edge of his own six-yarder.

In real time, the audible inhalation of air around the stadium told you everything you needed to know about how strong a claim Killie appeared to have for a spot kick, but not only was referee John Beaton unmoved, but he wasn’t invited to look at the incident on the pitchside monitor either.

On closer inspection, it seemed that Welsh had just got his foot to the ball before Watkins, much to the relief of the defender and 60,000 odd punters inside the stadium. Temporarily, at least.


The former Motherwell midfielder had an impressive game sitting in front of the Killie backline, excelling in his defensive duties and coming close to finding the net on a couple of occasions at the other end too as he proved a real threat from set-pieces.

An early intervention denied Matt O’Riley what looked to be a certain goal, and he was doing a decent enough job of cutting out the service to the Celtic frontmen too when they were in advanced positions.

But for a couple of good saves from Hart, he may have pulled his side level too. First, he got on the end of a Danny Armstrong corner to nod at goal and draw a fine stop from the former England number one, and then he met a free kick to force Hart into action again after the break.

He wouldn’t get his personal reward in the end, but his team did, and it is hard to argue that they didn’t deserve it.