Old Firm derby CHAOS as Celtic women's boss is HEADBUTTED by coach
28th March 2023

Old Firm derby CHAOS as Celtic women’s boss Fran Alonso is HEADBUTTED by Rangers coach Craig McPherson and branded a ‘rat’ after he wildly celebrated 99th-minute equaliser

  • Celtic women drew with Rangers on Monday thanks to a 99th-minute eqauliser
  • Fran Alonso celebrated the goal wildly by running down the touchline
  • He was then headbutted by Rangers coach Craig McPherson after the game 

The women’s Old Firm clash descended into chaos after the full-time whistle on Monday as Celtic manager Fran Alonso was headbutted by Rangers coach Craig McPherson.

Alonso celebrated wildly after Caitlin Hayes’ late equaliser, running down the touchline, beating his chest before then joining in the celebrations with his players on the pitch. 

With Hayes’ goal coming in the ninth minute of added time, it left a sour taste on the Rangers staff, with some words exchanged between both benches as Celtic celebrated.

And as both sets of players and staff shook hands at Broadwood Stadium, McPherson approached Alonso before headbutting him from behind.

Alonso insisted he will not seek a lengthy ban for Rangers assistant McPherson after the ugly scenes in a match shown live on Sky Sports.

Celtic women’s boss Fran Alonso was headbutted by Rangers coach Craig McPherson

It came after Alonso’s celebration of Celtic’s 99th-minute equaliser seemed to irk McPherson

‘It is frustration,’ said the Spaniard. ‘It is not how I would show frustration but that is what it was and I understand what happened.

‘It is football. These are the emotions. It was not much. I felt a little bit of contact and then I heard him call me a ‘little rat’. I don’t know why. I don’t know the reason.

‘You would have to ask him. But I had no issues with them during the game. But, honestly, for me, it is nothing. It can stay here as part of the game.

‘I don’t wish him to be banned or suspended. It is not something you want to see but for me it is not a big issue.’

Alonso also insisted that he was entitled to celebrate Hayes’ leveller.

‘I was frustrated in the final stages because we had been pushing for the goal,’ he said. ‘It was an explosion of happiness. That was our section, our fans. They were as happy as I was. It was a beautiful moment that we deserved.’

Malky Thomson, the Rangers manager, played down the incident but admitted the Ibrox club would investigate.

‘Without seeing it, I won’t comment on it. If that’s the case there will be an investigation,’ said Thomson.

‘Craig is not that type of person. I think it is passion and we saw a lot of that on the pitch with two top sides coming together.’

Alonso said he was called ‘a little rat’ by the coach and argued he was ‘entitled to celebrate’

Brogan Hay’s first-half opener had looked to be sufficient to give Rangers the win in a game they dominated for large parts.

But with the very last kick of the ball, Hayes netted after a calamitous mix-up.

Rangers goalkeeper Jenna Fife came out to deal with a long ball but her clearance rebounded of defender Rachel McLauchlan, allowing Hayes to capitalise on the hesitancy to net.

League leaders Glasgow City were the biggest winners last night, with the Old Firm draw leaving them eight points clear of Celtic, with Rangers a point further back.

The Ibrox side were the more aggressive of the teams from the early stages as they immediately set about probing for openings in the Parkhead side’s defence.

While they created the better of the chances against Celtic it took a lapse in defensive concentration for the opener to come.

A mix-up between Celtic goalkeeper Pamela Tajonar and captain Kelly Clark as both went for what had looked like a fairly innocuous cross from Emma Watson resulted in neither properly clearing. 

The ball dropped invitingly into the path of Hay who had the simple job of tapping the ball into the back of the net.

Having got their noses in front, Rangers looked eager to build on their lead.

Alonso has managed the Celtic women’s side since 2020 and has won three trophies 

Hay had Celtic on edge with her pace and trickery and was the architect of a glorious chance that almost brought the second goal of the night when she drove at the Parkhead defence before being stopped in the six-yard box.

Maddie Nolf also forced Tajonar into a fingertip save as Rangers looked to kill the game off.

Celtic’s most likely source of getting back into the game was through Jacynta or Shen Menglu, both of whom exhibited sporadic flashes of creativity.

Hayes and Clark tried their luck with headers as the minutes ticked down but goalkeeper Fife was untroubled. But Hayes’ last-gasp effort ensured the points were shared.

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