Celtic: The six SWPL games that underpinned debut title

Article information
  • Author, Charlotte Cohen
  • Role, BBC Sport Scotland
  • 4 hours ago

For much of the season, it looked like Celtic would again be denied a first SWPL title. Indeed, for much of the final day, it looked that way too.

Rangers, in the early part of the campaign, were flying. They had a lead at the top and won the SWPL Cup in December. Celtic were trailing behind.

And even on Sunday, needing just a win over Hibernian to clinch the prize, Celtic were unable to find a goal as the clock ticked towards the 90th minute.

But having been denied at the death last season, they were not willing to be disappointed again.

Too much hard work had gone before. Too many important results had been earned. Results such as these…

Rangers 1-1 Celtic – 18 February

At the time, Celtic probably viewed this result as a decent point.

They’d gone to Ibrox, had their fans locked out the day before amid security concerns, and had been on the losing end in the two previous meetings.

Elena Sadiku had just taken charge of Celtic and had already suffered a Scottish Cup defeat by Rangers and a league loss against Glasgow City.

Natasha Flint fired the visitors in front very early in the second half but Mia McAulay responded for Rangers with 20 minutes left.

It would have been very easy for Celtic heads to go down, but they held on, banked the point, and kept Rangers in touching distance.

Celtic 2-1 Rangers – 17 March

Less than a month later, Sadiku picked up his first derby win.

Celtic were finally starting to find their groove under the new coach and grabbed their first win of the season over Rangers.

Flint once again proved how important she was going to be, firing the home side in front after just five minutes before bagging another before the break.

Rangers found a response thanks to Jane Ross with a little over 10 minutes left, which made for an uncomfortable end to the match in Airdrie.

Sadiku’s side held on though to move within a point of their rivals.

Glasgow City 1-2 Celtic – 31 March

This was another huge three points against reigning champions Glasgow City who, at that stage, were far from out of the title race.

Celtic lead for most of the game thanks to goals from Caitlin Hayes and Flint.

Carlee Giammona got on the scoresheet for City in injury time but it was too little too late and Celtic claimed all three points at Petershill.

In a game that could have been a major stumbling block for Sadiku’s side, they kept the pressure on Rangers.

Celtic 1-0 Hibernian – 17 April

Arguably one of the most pivotal results was this game against Hibs. Not only because of the result, but also given the context of what happened elsewhere.

Hearts picked up their first win against an Old Firm side by beating Rangers and Hibs tried their best to do the same against Celtic.

Hayes headed Celtic in front after just 21 minutes and what followed was a tricky afternoon for the Glasgow outfit.

They held their nerve though and moved above Rangers on the table for the first time since October.

Rangers 0-0 Celtic – 6 May

This game at Broadwood would be the defining moment in the season.

With the sides level on points, Celtic’s far superior goal difference meant the derby was a must-win for Jo Potter’s side.

It was hardly pretty but it was job done for Celtic on Rangers’ turf and they put themselves in the driving seat for the remaining games.

Celtic 1-0 Hibernian – 19 May

The final game of the season is the one that will be etched into the history books.

Celtic went into it as clear favorites. At Parkhead, against a side with nothing left to play for, it was expected to be a comfortable win. But it was anything but.

It was 0-0 at half-time, while Rangers were three up on Partick Thistle. As the 90th-minute approached, it looked as if the title would be heading to Ibrox.

But when it was counted, Amy Gallacher stepped up to secure all three points.

She’s been a hugely important player for Celtic all season and what a way to cap it off with the goal that won her club their first ever league title.

 
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