Alan Campbell: Winning Rangers over Glasgow City places three teams in the title chase.


To Alan Campbell

IT Might be too early to expect a guard change, but an impressive declaration was Rangers’ 5-0 victory over Glasgow City seven days ago. As Rangers climbed to the top on goal difference, the win also had an immediate effect on the SWPL1 table.

For another cause, the outcome was also significant. Despite frequent cup victories, Hibernian, the previous closest competitor, could not beat City in the league. This possible psychological barrier was easily cleared by the fact that Rangers managed to do so in the first game of the season.

With Celtic just two points behind, a welcome three-team title battle is now underway. Over the winter break, how will the clubs react?

Cailin Michie and Republic of Ireland international Niamh Farrelly have already been signed by City to support their protection. Also already in the pipeline is Costa Rican striker Priscila Chinchilla, and more players will follow. In the midweek friendly against Hamilton, Rangers used a trial central defender and look set to reinforce that position. It is also said that Celtic are in talks with players.

The Rangers loss came between the other two City losses to Sparta Prague. The new, a 1-0 loss on Wednesday night at Broadwood, meant that Scott Booth’s side won’t play in the last 16 of the Champions League.

That has financial consequences, but it could benefit City at home – clubs that hit that stage earn £ 68,000. Between mid-October and last weekend, Rangers and Celtic played only seven competitive games, while City had 11 due to European commitments.

Two of those extra games went to extra time and penalties, plus trips to Iceland and the Czech Republic took place. The coaching staff and players will now concentrate solely on the huge challenge presented by the two Glasgow rivals, whether they like it or not.

Although City, as Hayley Lauder unpleasantly acknowledged, did not do enough to merit success in the two games against Sparta Prague, one aspect of the conduct of the opposition at Broadwood was sickening.

Gimmicks are an unavoidable part of professional soccer, and in this region, Sparta was no newcomer. However, what can not be tolerated under any conditions is spitting on other players.

According to the home players and support staff, it is incomprehensible that this happened three times, including twice to 19-year-old center back Jenna Clark. The fact that it happened in the middle of a pandemic is much, far worse.

The suspected events were off the ball and evidently not captured by the cameras, although the game was televised. While City protested at halftime to Portuguese referee Silvia Domingos and at the end officially to the Uefa match delegate, it is unlikely that any sanctions will be levied on Sparta.

Behind a goal, City had a GoPro camera, footage of which was later also sent to the match delegate. “Although you can’t see clearly because of the netting and rain, you can definitely see Jenna reacting and pointing to her jersey. You can also see her player wiping her mouth.”Although because of the netting and rain you can’t see clearly, you can certainly see Jenna responding and pointing to her jersey. You can see her player wiping her mouth, too.

“At this stage we have no information to communicate about opening disciplinary proceedings.”We have no details to communicate about the opening of disciplinary proceedings at this stage.

Whatever follows or not, as the day the word women’s soccer officially became obsolete, we can recall December 16, 2020.

The award of Lisa Robertson as November’s Scottish Building Society SWPL Player of the Month was a first, as she has been one of the best players in the league for many years.

“I’ve never been nominated for anything like this before,” the Celtic midfielder said. “I’ve never won a player-of-the-year, player-of-the-month or anything else. I came close once with the Hibs, but Lizzie Arnot won it, which was fair enough.”

Robertson, who is 28 and also played for Glasgow City, returned to join Celtic’s strengthened lineup in January from a spell with English Championship side Durham. But signing a full-time deal didn’t mean she had to give up her business of painting and decorating.

Robertson still has almost a complete workweek, but every day for preparation, she fieshes around the M8.


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