SWPL: Hibernian thrash Celtic 9-0 to win third Women's Premier League Cup in a row

Hibs striker Lizzie Arnot celebrates with the SWPL Cup
Lizzie Arnot celebrates with the SWPL Cup after her five-goal showing

Lizzie Arnot scored five goals as Hibernian retained the Scottish Women's Premier League Cup for the third straight year by thumping Celtic 9-0.

Four goals in the first 30 minutes ended the final as a contest, but a ruthless Hibs plundered five more.

Arnot, who recently returned to action after a year out with injury, produced a memorable individual performance.

Ellis Notley, Shannon McGregor and Kirsten Reilly also scored, Celtic's Kelly Clark adding an own goal.

This was a Hibs side unbeaten all season, who had taken apart the 11-in-a-row champions Glasgow City in the semi-final.

Their quality is undoubted, but as brilliant as they were, Celtic simply collapsed in a nightmare 90 minutes.

Seven minutes in, Emma Brownlie's corner reached Notley who managed to hold off two markers to volley in the opener.

Then Keeva Keenan tripped Kirsty Smith inside the box, and Arnot finished from the penalty spot.

It was a harsh call. Smith had knocked the ball to a Celtic defender before being taken down, and their luck didn't improve when captain Clark turned Arnot's cross into her own net.

Hibs' Rachel McLaughlan and Celtic's Sarah Ewens
Hibs beat Celtic in the final for a second year in a row

The Celtic players got into a huddle, delaying the restart. The response was a header wide by Nicole Pullar, before Rachel Donaldson saw a glorious chance blocked.

But back came Hibs. Arnot headed off the post, but tapped in the rebound. It was 4-0 before the half-hour mark. Hibs had hit Celtic like a tornado and David Haley's side were simply bewildered.

One minute into the second half, McGregor chested down a cross and hit a wonderful crisp volley into the top corner to make it five.

Then Arnot, who has only just returned to the side after a year out of the game because of a serious cruciate ligament injury, drilled in a long-range shot to complete her hat-trick.

Celtic goalkeeper Kiera Gibson was having a day to forget. She saved well from McGregor, but then Reilly headed past her from a corner to make it seven.

A minute later Arnot broke clear and lobbed Gibson for the eighth, then knocked in another from close range to grab her fifth and Hibs' ninth.

In time added on, Smith could have made it 10, Gibson pushing her shot away for some scant consolation.

Hibernian: Reid, Harrison, Gallacher, Cornet, Notley, Brownlie, Smith, Robertson, Arnot, McLauchlan, McGregor

Substitutes: Fife, Michie, Williamson, Napier, Reilly, Tweedie, Hunter

Celtic: Gibson, Keenan, McCulloch, Rafferty, Cavanagh, Donaldson, Ross, Clark, Ewens, Giard, Pullar

Substitutes: Cunningham, O'Neil, Adams, Connor, Craig, Littlejohn

Post-match reaction

Hibernian head coach Grant Scott: "It doesn't get any better than that really. In fairness a lot of stuff came off for us today. Maybe they've had an off day. We just never gave them a chance.

"That's the kind of team we're capable of being."

Celtic head coach David Haley: "I thought Hibs were unbelievable today, but I don't know where our performance has come from. It's just not like us at all, it's not like us to capitulate like that so easily.

"I've just told them at the end to be professional as they could in respect of who they're playing for and the club. I'm sure they're as embarrassed as I am."