Opinion: Celtic defence needs to move the ball quicker, as rivals spot weakness

From the first whistle, Tash Flint was working hard to get into space and was staying up front much more than at Hampden. On a few occasions, she had a go at Murphy Agnew, presumably for not holding the line as it was when she was pressing the goalkeeper, so I think there’s a specific way she wants to play with an attacking partner.

Celya Barclais, class again. I’ve been saying this for weeks now, but she is really talented on both the attack and the defence. She’s getting back for clearances, dropping into the backline to make it four-at-the-back when the opposition have the ball, but she’s also cutting inside further up the pitch and driving the ball forward for her teammates.

Our defenders can sometimes be far too slow on the ball, both chasing it and when making decisions. This may even be how they’re told to play, but it’s something I thought I’d point out as when we’re playing against a high-pressing team like City or theRangers, this comes back to bite us. When teams can identify that our weakness is a pacey forward, then we can end up in serious trouble.

And speaking of Glasgow City, they did really well last night to press Celtic and forcing the defence into heavy touches. They really took advantage of our moments of weakness and although it didn’t fully pay off for them, theRangers are going to do the same, so we need to be on our A game.

Amy Gallacher returned to the action fully fit and was incredible. Her passing was great, as always, but she was also fighting for the ball in deeper positions which allowed Flint to stay higher up and hold the line. I think Gallacher’s very suited for this attacking midfielder role that Elena has her playing in.

Lucy Ashworth-Clifford was a shining star against City. I’m very happy that she’s been tied to a new deal as this is a talent that we can’t afford to lose. She is amazing at creating chances, forcing the ball into the box on multiple occasions. It’s not just that though as she has the ability to beat her player, either by knocking it past them or choosing the right time to deliver it into the final third. She also shows a lot of fight, not giving up but chasing balls down the wing and not backing down to the opposition defender.

Tash Flint gave some advice to Shen Mengyu at one point in the game and whatever she said, it seemed to have helped! Shen was seriously on point yesterday, not misplacing challenges, chasing the ball less and winning it more. Her passes were good, she did get caught out once or twice, but overall, a fantastic performance on her 100th appearance for the club.

But with my mini analysis out of the way, let’s look forward to Monday, when Celtic take on theRangers for the most important Glasgow Derby of the season.

They host Celtic on Bank Holiday Monday 6 May in the SWPL and with both teams tied on points, whoever wins this one will go top of the table, while a draw keeps Celtic top. Tickets are available to purchase now for those who wish to go along via the official Celtic website. The game will also be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Can’t wait. COYGIG!

Jessica Elliott

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.

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