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Celtic maintain 100% SWPL start with late win over Glasgow City

A late Cavanagh winner in Airdrie ensured that Celtic mantained their perfect start in the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

Celtic have played eight games in the SWPL so far, and they have come away with a win in every game. Celtic manager Fran Alonso couldn’t be happier, saying: “I don’t think we could have made a better start to the season. That gives us a lot of confidence and we’re looking forward to testing ourselves against a direct opponent.”

Speaking about Celtic’s opponent, Glasgow City, he said: “They are a team that competes very well. They have got this directness about them, but they are also very good with crosses into the box and fighting for the second ball.”

Glasgow City head coach Leanne Ross made her concerns about City’s schedule public, saying: “We have a game every three or four days this calendar month, so it’s really difficult to have the time to work with the players on the pitch, rather than just get them recovered or prepared.”

She added: “It’s more exciting, but with that has brought more pressure and more games. I think’s it’s too much for the players, but it’s up to them to judge if it is.”

First Half

In the opening minutes of the game, City’s defence looked shaky. There were no real chances for either side, but Celtic did look the most threatening in the final third.

A Kelly Clark mistake almost granted City a goal, when her pass back was slowly heading for the bottom corner of Kelsey Daugherty’s net. Thankfully, she kept it out and the score remained level to the relief of the Celtic captain.

Celtic were forced to take a booking when Caitlin Hayes took down Brenna Lovera as she tried to pull away with the ball. The referee gave her a yellow card and awarded City the free-kick. Kenzie Weir directed the free kick towards goal but a brilliant block from Colette Cavanagh steered it away.

Second Half

City were the first to threaten in the second half as a Kenzie Weir header was knocked over the bar by Daugherty. City undoubtedly looked the sharper team going into the last 45 minutes.

There was concern for Celtic, though, as Caitlin Hayes went down in the 57th minute. Despite an initial panic due to the player staying down, she was able to continue.

Lauren Davidson made a fantastic run down the right flank and took a stab at goal, and Daugherty made a save to deny her but spilled the ball. Thankfully for Celtic, no City player was in the vicinity to put it beyond the keeper and the ball was cleared.

At the other end of the pitch, it all went wrong for City. Kit Loferski broke through their defence but was dragged to the ground by Kenzie Weir. The referee had no hesitation in pulling out the red card, and Chloe Craig stepped up for the resulting penalty and slotted it in the corner of the net to break the deadlock.

Less than ten minutes later, Lauren Davidson had another pop at goal. Although Daugherty would’ve had the attempt covered, it hit off Clark’s knee and into the back of the net to equalise.

The contest was tight going into the final minutes of the game. That didn’t matter for long, though, as the ball fell to Colette Cavanagh in the box, who struck it into the corner with a stunning shot that would prove to be the winner.

Full Time

A fantastic win for Celtic on a difficult night. Neither team looked great in the first half, but whatever the managers said at half-time certainly worked as both teams came out ready for battle.

Match-winner and player of the match Colette Cavanagh spoke to Sky Sports after the match. She said: “What a rollercoaster of emotions, I’m buzzing! I’ve never scored a winner before, I don’t think!”

Fran Alonso was delighted with the win, saying: “Celtic set the standards.”

Celtic now sit at the top of the SWPL table. They are now five points clear of Glasgow City, and two points clear of Rangers.

Next up, Celtic host Motherwell on Sunday, while Glasgow City take on Spartans.

In the Women’s Champions League, Glasgow City have the first leg of Round 2 at their home ground against Brann; the tie will take place on the 11th of October, at 19:35.

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Celtic 2 – 1 Glasgow City
Craig 71′ (P), Davidson 78′, Cavanagh 89′

Celtic Starting XI
Daugherty; Hayes, Clark, Craig; Barclais, Smith, Cavanagh, Agnew, Shen; Loferski, Gallacher.

Glasgow City Starting XI
Gibson; Oscarsson, Moore, Weir, Muir; Kozak, Fulton, Motlhalo; Davidson, Lovera, Sullivan.