Mariah Lee secures dramatic Glasgow Derby win for Celtic FC Women
There were two Celtic matches on last night, and at least one team emerged with immense credit.
Celtic FC Women, looking for a third consecutive victory, hosted second-placed Rangers for a landmark match at Paradise.
And they delivered. In a scrappy, rugged game, Celtic showed flashes of dominance. Rangers knocked at the door repeatedly but found no answer against a defence that had an answer for everything. Chances were at a premium for both teams, but eventually American striker Mariah Lee made the difference.
In a goal which was a bit like a Samaras derby classic, Lee latched on to a Warrington long ball before side-stepping Rangers keeper Fife outside the box and cooly slotting home.
Absolute scenes. Celtic manager Fran Alonso celebrated wildly on the Paradise touchline, and the Ghirls defence continued to defend everything coming at them, with Chloe Logan keeping a well-deserved clean sheet. It was Celtic’s second Derby win, their first at Celtic Park, and on BBC Alba no less.
Those of us who had both of last night’s matches on simultaneously felt the full range of footballing emotions. While the men toiled to a draw, it was utter joy for the Women, who kept the celebrations going well past full-time. Amassing around the centre circle, this was a moment in history for Fran Alonso’s team to utterly cherish. Live on TV, too, it wasn’t going to just pass these players by.
Huge moment for Celtic FC Women, league title in sight?
The result leaves a far kinder picture at the top of the SWPL, where Celtic eyes are concerned.
The Ghirls are just two points behind Rangers after last night’s matches, a five behind league leaders Glasgow City [SWPL]. In three days’ time, Hibs travel to K-Park, as Celtic FC Women return to their usual home stadium. But if last night proved anything, it’s that this side are more than deserving of further matches at Paradise.
Fran Alonso’s side are entertaining, and full of international talents. The quick tempo and movement in midfield, the dogged, steadfast defending and multiple threats up front make this Celtic FC Women side essential viewing whenever they’re on.
With the BBC Alba cameras watching, Alonso’s side more than delivered. More of this on terrestrial TV, please.