Bring on the Goal Machine – Thoughts after Celtic FC Women’s vital win

After a good 3-0 victory over Partick Thistle, we’ll be set up for SWPL glory at Paradise on Sunday afternoon if we can overcome Hearts on Wednesday evening…

After the goalless draw against theRangers on Bank Holiday Monday Elena Sadiku knew that she was three wins away from delivering a first ever SWPL1 title for Celtic Football Club.

Here are my five post-match thoughts on our final 23/24 game at the Excelsior as we picked up the vital three points to take us two games from the title.

Brilliant Barclais 

Celya Barclais was unreal once again. It feels like I’ve been saying this over and over in recent weeks but it needs to be said. She is top class. We’ll have her for at least another season, unless a club with better finances has taken notice, as she is tied down to a two-year contract. Considering this is her first club outside of France, she is certainly doing well to showcase her talent. On defence, she does well to clear balls and hold the backline (she moves to full-back when we are defending). She is good at tracking runs, not diving in but also fighting for the ball. Up the other end of the pitch, she’s unreal in terms of dribbling. She can beat her player and knows the right moments to cut inside. She also chooses when to move into the box really well so that she is adding to our presence in the opposition’s area, giving us a higher chance of putting the ball in the back of the net.

Green, White and Goldie 

Clare Goldie was excellent against Partick Thistle. For a young player, she is a very physical presence on the pitch and her pressing was forcing Thistle into having to think quickly. You can see her potential and I’m very happy that we have her on a contract until 2026. I’d love to see her be given more chances next season, and I could certainly see Elena Sadiku giving her them. Afterwards I asked Elena about Goldie who she described as Celtic’s future.

Below Par Menglu

I thought Shen Menglu looked a bit off it yesterday. She’s a player I really like, but she just wasn’t there at her usual standard against Partick Thistle. She has to know her surroundings better as sometimes, she was too focused on the ball and wasn’t aware of players around her. This is an obvious error because it means that she was being pressed unknowingly, especially from throw-ins. Usually, it’s a good thing to focus on the ball rather than the player, but at some points, she had to be told to mark by her teammates rather than going out of her way to do it herself. It’s not all on her though as she wasn’t getting much service either. And when she did get a good ball in the second half, she missed Shen Mengyu making a brilliant run.

Defensive Masterclass

Recently, our defence has looked rock solid. Earlier in the season, I had complaints about their pace, especially after the Glasgow City loss, but they’ve certainly made up for that with their recent performances. Of course, I think pace is still an issue as they sometimes struggle against speedy attackers that the likes of theRangers and Glasgow City have. There was even a moment in the Thistle game where we were having to chase a defender who had broken through our backline, but they made up for the pace difference with a defensive masterclass. Thistle weren’t really getting into our box. We were forcing them to have to take long shots which the outstanding Kelsey Daugherty can handle easily enough.

Time to Unleash The Goal Machine

Tash Flint didn’t start at the Excelsior, so is it written in the stars for her to take us to victory in the capital? As we know, she hasn’t been on top form recently but she hasn’t been letting that put her down. Of course, she will have been frustrated that she didn’t find the back of the net against theRangers or Glasgow City, but I feel as though she will against Hearts if she’s given the chance to start. Elena could opt for a striking pair of Murphy Agnew and Amy Gallacher though as they did both score and look good against Thistle.

Oriam is a difficult place to take on Hearts as the venue suits them, not us. They’ve already recorded a victory over theRangers there this season, so we’ll need to be in tip-top shape if we want to return to Glasgow with three points. Time to unleash the Goal Machine!

Jessica Elliott

READ THIS…David Potter named as recipient of Celtic’s 2024 Special Recognition Award

About Author

I'm a student journalist and Celtic supporter. I'm delighted to have been recently appointed women's football writer for The Celtic Star, where the coverage of the Celtic FC Women's team has been incredible and unrivalled over the past three seasons.

1 Comment

  1. Rob O’Keeffe on

    Unfair on Shen,Jessica.I had the Thistle right back down as best player on the pitch.I,like yourself,have commented on lack of pace through the side.Not naming names but we really need a pacy centre half and a couple of midfielders with strong running power for starters especially with C.L. being secured.Plenty of ladies would be interested in coming to Parkhead,it’s just a matter of good scouting.
    P.S.Sorry,at this important point,no to Tash,she’s too greedy for my liking.

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