Fran Alonso was absolutely buzzing after the 3-1 win over Glasgow City at Celtic Park last night in a match played in front of a record breaking crowd of 9553 for an SWPL1 match. Celtic needed the three points to maintain an interest in the destination of the title and after a nervous, mistake ridden first half it wasn’t looking to promising for the Ghirls, who were playing at Celtic Park for the first time this season.
The Celtic FC Women manager read the riot act at the break, telling his players that the way they played in that opening half showed that they did not deserve to be playing on this stage before such a large crowd and with the entire stadium giving them some unbelievable backing. The language, Alonso admitted, was industrial to say the least.
Ever the tactician, Fran changed his set-up with Kelly Clark coming on and the team going to a back four with speedy winger Menglu dropping to left back but still providing a forward threat. And crucially centre forward Tash Flint dropped into midfield with Kit Loferski playing up top. That move provided two goals and the other came from a traditional Celtic FC Women route this season, an expertly derived corner kick.
With Glasgow City understandably focussing on trying to stop Caitlin Hayes, it was Irish defender Claire O’Riordan who headed home Celtic’s second in a second half Ghirls in the Hoops dominated and were unlucky to score just three goals – Tash Flint, Celtic’s ‘Goal Machine’ smashed another shot off the Glasgow City crossbar.
For Celtic FC Women there are two league matches – against Hibs at Meadowbank on Sunday and Hearts at Airdrie the following week, although it would make perfect sense to move this one to Celtic Park too. It’s starting to have the feel of Love Street ’86 about it and the more Celtic fans there the better.
If Celtic beat Hibs on Sunday the club should look at staging the Hearts game at Celtic Park. After watching that on Sky Sports last night there will be thousands of additional fans wanting to come along and experience that atmosphere and possibly even be there when Celtic win the league.
Here is Fran Alonso’s post match media conference…Enjoy!
Highlights from Sky Sports…
▶️ ICYMI Celtic beat Glasgow City in front of a record crowd to keep their SWPL title hopes alive 🔽 pic.twitter.com/rrR786OcYE
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) May 12, 2023