Another Glasgow Derby, another 2-0 defeat for Celtic

Much like the Celtic Derby performance yesterday, Celtic faced another backs to the wall performance today as the SWPL league season kicked off away to Glasgow City at Clyde’s Broadwood Stadium.

In the end the short passing counter attacking plan from Fran Alonso’s side fell short as tired legs and a sharp opponent eventually wore down the Celts this evening as Glasgow City prevailed with a deserved 2-0 win.

Celtic finally succumbed to second half goals from Rachel McLaughlin and Kirsty Howat as Glasgow City very much deservedly grabbed the three points as the 20/21 season kicked off with a tactical encounter with no little entertainment.

Celtic certainly had their chances and as early as the 10th minute Summer Green cut inside and released Sarah Ewens down the left, who in turn picked out McGovern in the box, but her header was held by Lee Alexander as the Celts created their first real chance of the game .

Glasgow City however created the best chances throughout this evening and controlled much of the possession. An effort from distance from Howat connected with the bar and Celtic were already very much on notice.

Natalie Ross saw a deserved yellow card produced for a foul on Aoife Colville, the foul though conceded some distance from the danger area was turned around, as the Celts by way of Green then Keenan countered down the left-hand side, however the pass intended for Anita was far too heavy and the stalemate remained as we edged to half time.

Celtic had chances but they were limited as the game headed for the break, the effective foil for Anita, Rachel McGovern, moved onto Craig’s forward pass before it was pulled back for an earlier infringement. Ross then had a shot that the impressive City keeper Alexander held well following good interlinking play with the impressive McGovern.

The Celts basically held firm under concerted second half pressure and despite attempts to build from the back were becoming evidently tired as the game progressed. They did manage a dipping shot from Keenan and substitute Bowie then caused city problems down the left but it was becoming evident the dam would break and it did.

City full back McLaughlin’s cross or was it a shot- only she will know – evaded the previously assured Logan and nestled into the net with a half hour to play. City would say it was deserved for their pressure; Celtic may argue it was a lucky effort considering the defensive lines had held so well.

To be fair to Celtic they stuck to their game plan, one that was far easier on the eye than the oppositions and came close to getting a leveller.

Green and Keenan linked up well on the break and fashioned a cross into the area, but McGovern’s attempt was high, and far from handsome. It was also the moment Celtic needed to convert, as with 20 minutes to go City star Howat finished from ten yards out to put the Hoops two down and the game was as good as over. Respect where it was due it was the best move of the game that created the opportunity and the chance was taken clinically.

Unlike the Glasgow Derby yesterday, there should be credit given where it was very much due. No-one gave up the fight and in the final ten minutes Green had an opportunity yet ultimately failed to trouble Alexander. It was the final chance for the Celts as they fell to defeat against the 13 times league Champions Glasgow City.

One thing that was clear was the Celts had a game plan, the players bought into it and despite falling short there was little between the respective styles it certainly indicated here wasn’t a gap that couldn’t be breached as the season develops.

This was a disciplined performance with no little effort from Celtic who fell short against a sharper opponent on the day. Keep sticking to Alonso’s game plan and a league challenge will be far from without merit.

It’s worth keeping an eye on the Celts ahead of their next game against Hearts in two weeks. This team has enough to cause teams problems. It’s just today’s opponent had the experience banked to deal with the Celts threat. With a few more weeks and months to build, it will be interesting to see what happens when these sides meet again. Celtic I have a feeling will be more than City’s match.

Niall J

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About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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