IT was the game that had everything. As it turns out, there were also intriguing sub-plots before and after it as well.

The 90 minutes of frantic, pulsating and controversial action at Pittodrie were enough to provide plenty of talking points on the park. Indeed, the fall-out continues today.

A game that saw six goals, two red cards and two penalties was followed by the unusual moment that Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes confronted Rangers about their celebrations in the away dressing room.

But all of that was preceded by Steven Gerrard and his players noticing the changes to the walls of Pittodrie as photographs of yesteryear were replaced by snaps from this season.

Where images of the Reds’ finest moments were once proudly presented, snaps of more recent times, including the Betfred Cup semi-final win over Rangers from October, now hang.

The Gers needed little extra motivation to go out and beat McInnes’ side at the fourth time of asking this term. They enjoyed the post-match scenes that little bit more, though.

“It is was it is,” Connor Goldson, the Rangers defender, said. “I made of it what they made our celebrations.

“I don’t know if their thinking was that it was going to bring us down, or we would look at them and get emotional before the game, but we looked at them and it gave us more motivation before the game.

“It was a bit petty. Do you really have pictures on your wall of a semi-final win when you didn’t win the final? I don’t know.

“But we thought it was petty and we thought knew what they were doing and it gave us that bit of motivation that we knew what we were there to do.

“That’s why I think they did it, just because the game was against us. They maybe thought we would look at the photos and they would bring back bad memories or we wouldn’t like to play against them again.

“But as I said, that’s the only reason I think it can be because you don’t put up pictures of a semi-final if you lose the final.”

The revelations about the Pittodrie photographs and McInnes’ dressing room intervention have added further layers of intrigue to an already explosive plot from Wednesday night.

It was a match that Rangers couldn’t afford to lose, and one they deserved to win. For Goldson, it was a victory that was certainly sweet.

“Whether the pictures were there or not we were going there to get three points,” he said. “We’re not going to go there and look for anything other than three points.

“But we were walking down the corridor, walking into the stadium, and it’s not something you expect to see. We went there for three points and I think we got what we deserved.

“Yeah [we mentioned it before the game] but we spoke about it more as a laughing matter, that they were on the wall.

“It wasn’t spoken about as in ‘oh there’s picture son the wall we need to make sure we win’. It was more ‘have you seen what they’ve done’.

“It was a bit funny, a bit petty, but as I said we went there for three points and whether the pictures were there or not there was only one thing we were going there for.”

The win was the most important aspect of the Pittodrie clash for Gerrard as his side ensured they didn’t lose further ground in the Premiership title race.

But the return of Goldson was an added bonus for the Light Blues as he made his first appearance since starring in the Old Firm victory in December.

The stopper had to take painkilling injections to get through the Celtic clash. Against another of Rangers’ rivals, he revelled in the occasion once again.

Goldson said: “I was happy to be back obviously. We knew how important it was.

“One, to keep the gap as tight as we can with first, and secondly to push back Aberdeen behind us. And we all knew what we were going into we’d obviously been there before at the start of the season and we’ve played them many times.

“I thought we played really well, I thought we deserved the victory, and we move on to another big game this weekend.

“It was two good teams who are both fighting at the right end of the league. And obviously when you go into those big games there is a real competitiveness to win.

“I just think that it showed that, both teams, eleven players each who both want to win the game of football and sometimes give more in those games than they do in others and that’s probably why you see that little bit of edge, that little bit of feistiness, the emotion of the occasion.”

One of the matches that Goldson missed whilst he was out of action was the league defeat to Kilmarnock last month as Rangers went down 2-1 at Rugby Park.

The points lost that night mean the Light Blues are further back from Celtic than they hoped and expected they would be after their derby triumph.

But that loss won’t have an impact this evening as Rangers return to Ayrshire determined to progress through to the next round of the Scottish Cup.

Goldson said: “We don’t go into games thinking about revenge. We just try to win every game of football we play in.

“We are at a club that demands that. We are a team that demands that of each other.

“Yes [it is a big week], two big teams both away from home. We have shown in the first game what we are about. We have shown the level of team we are.

“Now we go into another massive game and we need to put in the same performance, the same energy and reach the same level.”