Glasgow City ran out 3-0 winners against SWPL rivals Celtic at Petershill Park on Sunday afternoon, before lifting the premier league trophy for the seventh consecutive year in front of their supporters.
A first half penalty from Leanne Ross and a brace from Sue Lappin in the second half ensured Glasgow City’s unbeaten run this season and means that City have went 111 Premier League matches without defeat.
With one eye on the second leg tie against Standard Liege in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, City head coach Eddie Wolecki Black made eight changes to his side with only Sue Lappin, Ruesha Littlejohn and Leanne Ross keeping their place in the side. David Haley had to make a number of changes to his Celtic side with striker Julie Fleeting out injured and Kelly Clark dropping to the bench from the side that lost to City in last weekend’s Women’s Scottish Cup semi final tie at Ravenscraig.
The first half was a poor spectacle for those watching the game as chances were few and far between. Celtic did have a number of chances early on, first through Mairead Fulton and Chloe Arthur within two minutes of the kick off, but neither could find the back of the net.
On 13 minutes, City goalkeeper Danica Dalziel nearly handed Celtic a glorious chance to open the scoring after she miskicked an attempted clearance straight to Alyshia Walker, however the Celtic player failed to get the ball under control and the chances escaped her.
Dalziel again looked to have gifted Celtic another chance after 20 minutes when a poor pass back to the keeper, saw City’s back up keeper straight to a Celtic player but the resulting shot was blocked by the outstretched boot of City defender Julie Nelson.
City’s performance was not like them, but could be explained by the raft of changes made by Black, however it did seem that some had their minds on the post-match title celebrations.
On 26 minutes, referee Fraser Marr booked Julie Nelson for an apparent foul on Walker as the Celtic player drove towards the City box. Nelson pleaded her innocence and the defender was correct in that regard as the referee ruled that the Northern Irish defender had pulled back Walker – but no such contact was made. And if indeed it was a clear foul as the referee adjudged it to be, then with Walker breaking through Nelson surely would have been denying a clear goalscoring opportunity and with that a red card?
On 37 minutes, City were awarded a penalty after Christie Murray was fouled inside the box. It was a soft decision, but given Marr’s performance thereafter in awarding free kicks to players bumping into one another, it was no great surprise that he pointed to the spot.
Skipper Leanne Ross took the resulting spot kick and drove it past Gemma Fay in the Celtic goal to make it 1-0 to the league champions.
Six minutes before half time, City defender Cheryl Gallagher gifted possession away just outside the box with Mairead Fulton latching onto it, but her quick fire shot went high over the bar.
Into the second half and City nearly took the lead on 54 minutes when a cross from the right by Leanne Ross found its way to Sue Lappin at the back post, but the midfielder looked as if she wasn’t expecting the ball to find its way to her and her header went past the post.
Minutes later, Lappin had another chance to double City’s lead but her shot was well over the bar from some 18 yards out.
Despite City upping their game, Celtic still threatened and Danica Dalziel in the City goal had to be at her best when she denied Alyshia Walker with a superb one-handed save as Walker’s shot looked destined for the back of the net.
Just after the hour mark, City’s players were guilty of not playing to the whistle as Fiona Brown raced through on goal, but Brown’s shot was rushed as Dalziel came off her line and trundled wide of the far post.
City made three substitutions bringing on regular trio Nic Docherty, Rachel Corsie and Jo Love on for Cheryl Gallagher, Danni Pagliarulo and Christie Murray.
Despite those changes, the next chance fell once again to Celtic through Emma Brownlie whose shot from distance had Dalziel scrambling back onto her goal line before fumbling the ball out for a corner – when it could have easily dropped into the back of the net. From the resulting corner, Chloe Craig headed straight at Dalziel who comfortably held the ball.
On 72 minutes, a cross from Nic Docherty found Sue Lappin inside the Celtic box and the midfielder headed into the bottom corner of Gemma Fay’s goal. A trademark header from the birthday girl.
Three minutes later and Lappin scored her second of the game as she headed home another cross this time from Ruesha Littlejohn to make it 3-0 to City.
The last action of the game saw Celtic’s Carla Jackson cynically foul City’s on loan midfielder Jess Fishlock as she raced clear of the Celtic youngster, swiping her legs away from her.
As the final whistle blew, City and their fans celebrated their seventh consecutive league title as Celtic headed to the changing rooms.
Glasgow City: Danica Dalziel, Lisa Robertson, Danni Pagliarulo, Christie Murray, Ruesha Littlejohn, Suzanne Lappin, Leanne Ross, Cheryl Gallagher, Denise O’Sullivan, Sarah Crilly, Julie Nelson.
City subs: Lee Alexander, Eilish McSorley, Jo Love, Nic Docherty, Rachel Corsie, Ciara Barnes, Jess Fishlock.
Celtic: Gemma Fay, Rhonda Jones, Chloe Craig, Kylla Syoman, Mairead Fulton, Mhairi Gilmour McGuire, Alyshia Walker, Heather Richards, Emma Brownlie, Chloe Arthur, Fiona Brown.
Celtic subs: Hayley SInclair, Autumn Farrell, Rachel O’Neill, Carla Jackson, Kelly Clark.