Celtic inflict first Rangers league defeat in 20 months with SWPL rout; derby fun begins

By John McGinley

February 24, 2023

Celtic’s double derby weekend has started in perfect fashion after Celtic FC Women trounced their Rangers counterparts 3-0 in SWPL 1 tonight.

Incredibly, Rangers Women hadn’t lost a single league match since June 2021, but that streak was soundly destroyed this evening after a super display from Fran Alonso’s outfit.

Two headers from Caitlin Hayes bookended an Amy Gallacher strike to send the Ghirls towards victory and top of the league table.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic look strong in SWPL title race

Celtic sit level on 50 points with Glasgow City, who have a game in hand, but enjoy a far superior goal difference. Rangers now languish four points behind both teams.

It’s far too early to get too confident of course, with the table set to split into a top and bottom six in a few weeks, there’s lots of football to be played.

In contrast to the men’s top-flight, the top six sides will play each other twice, meaning Celtic still have to play City three times and Rangers twice.

Celtic FC Women set the tone

Tonight, Hayes got Celtic off to a perfect start within 15 minutes of kick-off, heading home from Jacynta’s delightful whipped corner.

Rangers slowly came into the game more and more across the first half but, crucially, Celtic held a lead heading into the interval.

Then, Gallacher fired home from close range just a few minutes after the restart before Hayes repeated her first half feat with another powerful header from a corner.

The home side pressed their advantage throughout the second period, giving Rangers little hope of a comeback. Any threat that did occur was cleared up expertly by the defensive line.

It was a fantastic win and excitingly sets the tone for what could be a whole weekend of excellence, with the men’s teams of Celtic and Rangers set to compete for the Scottish League Cup final on Sunday at Hampden. Bring it on!

In other news, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou reveals regular ‘cathartic’ calls with Wallabies coach Eddie Jones.