Steamrollered. Battered. Ragdolled. All words that could have described Rangers' first victory since 2016 over bitter rivals Celtic on Saturday. The champions were quite simply blown away in a blue whirlwind at Ibrox as Steven Gerrard’s men produced undoubtedly their biggest performance and result under his tenure. From the very first minute of the match you just had the sense that the Rangers players were determined that this was going to be the day. Nothing was going to stand in the way of a victory. In doing so they blew the league wide open. Not only for themselves but for the likes of Kilmarnock and Aberdeen who are now tucked just in behind. The tempo, hunger and desire in every single man in a blue jersey was unquestionable. They swarmed around Celtic and suffocated them into making error after error. The midfield three of Ryan Jack, Scott Arfield and Ross McCrorie were sensational and totally dominated that area of the park. That was were the game was won and lost. It was a fantastic team performance and a thoroughly deserved win. The only regret for the jubilant Rangers punters will be that they were not more ruthless in front of goal and won the game by a more emphatic margin.

Make no mistake the pressure was massively on Rangers in this game. I have stated many times before that until they actually went and defeated Celtic then they wouldn’t have the belief within the squad to derail their pursuit of 10 in a row. Now that they have finally done it im sure that it will give everyone connected with the club huge momentum for the second half of the season.

For Celtic it was without doubt their worst performance domestically under Brendan Rodgers. Time after time they have consistently turned up on the big day but not on Saturday. Second to every ball, they just didn’t look up for the game and in an Old Firm game that is unacceptable to the punters. Celtic are still top of the league with a game in hand and the treble treble remains odds on - so it’s far from panic stations - but there are still causes for concern that Celtic need to fix in January and the rest of the season.

Firstly, Celtic’s away form has been abysmal this season. They have dropped a staggering 18 points on the road already and that is just not good enough. It has to improve or they will put huge pressure on themselves to continue their perfect home record. Teams are now being braver against them at home. Celtic will always try to play out from the back under Rodgers, so if your high press is well organised and you have the energy to do it for 90 minutes then teams like Livingston, Hibernian, Hearts and Rangers have shown you can get joy and ultimately turn them over. Will Celtic continue with the same approach away from home?

A more pressing concern though has to be the scouting network and transfer policy at Parkhead or should I say the lack of it. Celtic got out of jail at Aberdeen by their attacking talent as both Emilio Izaguirre and Mikael Lustig again got exposed in the full-back areas. For me, Lustig has been done for 18 months and needs replaced immediately. Even at the Rangers goal at the weekend he got roasted by Ryan Kent before being hooked at half-time. He is a weak link that teams now target every week. Celtic decided to bring back 32-year-old Izaguirre from the equivalent of a pub league in Saudi Arabia in the summer. He has been a great servant to Celtic in the past but are you seriously trying to tell me he was the best left-back the scouting department could come up with? Dedryck Boyata is another that if a decent offer comes in, I would sell and bring in another centre-back. He has never convinced me and his last two performances at Aberdeen and Ibrox were shocking. Boyata is playing like a player with one eye on his next move which is unacceptable for a club the size of Celtic and the fans. I would punt him if an offer comes in. He is clearly not going to sign a new deal anyway. The pressure on the much-maligned Lee Congerton is seriously building and he and Celtic need a strong January transfer window.

I am certain Brendan Rodgers will now be backed heavily in this upcoming window because the game at the weekend will have rung the same alarm bells that rang when Ronny Delia’s Celtic lost the Scottish Cup semi-final in 2016. The board reacted to that setback by bursting the bank to get Rodgers in and while I don’t think they will throw silly money in his direction it’s evident that certain key positions need strengthened with better quality. Two full-backs, a striker and possibly even a centre-back have to be priority because Celtic now have a serious challenge on their hands to maintain their domestic dominance. But the right players have got to be recruited and that’s were the scouting network now needs to step up. Plans will be in place and players will surely have been targeted to come in because teams are starting to smell blood. The cloak of invincibility that shrouded Celtic has now gone.

And another thing

Stevie Clarke has undoubtedly been the best manager in Scotland in 2018. What he has achieved already at Kilmarnock has been sensational. He has dragged a club up from its knees into challenging for a league title. My message to the Killie fans is enjoy the ride with him while you can.