THE dust has started to settle on the first Old Firm game of the campaign but the ramifications could be far longer lasting as Rangers look to build some serious momentum in the Premiership title race.

Steven Gerrard will, rightly, issue warnings of caution and his players will be expected to buy into the messages, and relay them in private and public. There was no getting away from how dominant Rangers were at Parkhead, however, as two goals from Connor Goldson earned derby victory.

Rangers are now four points clear at the top of the table and this is undoubtedly Gerrard’s best chance yet of ending the long wait for title glory at Ibrox. Here are five talking points in the aftermath of Saturday’s Old Firm showdown.


Rangers have had to endure more than their fair share of tortuous Old Firm afternoons over the last few years. From Hampden humiliations to demolition derbies, supporters had to stomach the embarrassment and pain and hope for better times to come.

Rangers no longer go into Old Firm encounters expecting defeat or fearing it would be a case of damage limitation and Gerrard has the measure of Celtic and these fixtures. The days of scarves being tied to goalposts and partying with police hats are gone as Gerrard has restored Rangers’ pride.

The wins at Ibrox and Parkhead in his first two seasons were milestone moments and the celebrations proved as such. This time, there was only a sense of a job well done after a performance and result that justified the quiet confidence Rangers had within themselves.

The Gers squad is no longer inferior in terms of strength or depth, while Gerrard has an approach that none of his recent predecessors could come up with. The Old Firm gulf has disappeared and now it is up to Rangers to build a gap in their favour in the remainder of the campaign.


The progress may not always have come at the desired pace, but there is no doubt that Gerrard has been improving Rangers bit by bit. On Saturday, it manifested itself in clear terms as Gerrard’s side dominated the derby.

Rangers were not at their best, but it says much about how composed and organised they were that they didn’t have to be. As Celtic looked for a moment of individual brilliance to spark them into life, Gerrard’s side were collectively superior, both with the ball and without it.

The build-up to the second goal was one of the most impressive phases of the afternoon and typified the manner in which Rangers now operate. They are comfortable on the ball in tight spaces and their movement is excellent.

Defensively, this is the best they have been under Gerrard. The partnership of Goldson and Filip Helander continues to improve and impress, but the time and effort, two seasons worth now, working on the shape and discipline of every area of the side is shining through right now.


The midfielder has rarely been one to threaten to make the back pages with his public pronouncements, but Kamara certainly lets his football do the talking and this performance was arguably the best that he has produced for Rangers.

The £50,000 that was paid to Dundee has looked like a steal almost since the day that he arrived at Ibrox and his reputation has grown exponentially with club and country ever since.

This was a midfield masterclass from Kamara and outings like this won’t go unnoticed. It surely won’t be long before potential suitors start making headlines around the Finnish international.


As impressive as Gerrard’s side were on Saturday, the 40-year-old and his players know full well that nothing has been won and that they cannot get ahead of themselves right now.

Rangers have had big wins before and not capitalised on it and if they make the same mistakes again then all their efforts will go to waste. Given the position they are in, what a sense of regret they would have if they don’t see it through this time.

Rangers have yet to show that they have that mark of champions over the course and distance of the title race. If they can keep their heads down and keep the mistakes to a minimum this time, they will be there at the finish line come May.


It just wasn’t the same. The game itself may have been entertaining enough, but this was an Old Firm outing in name rather than spirit.

Time will tell when fans will be allowed to return and this famous fixture gets it’s unique selling point back. It certainly needs it because the colour, the noise, the tension in the air is what separates the Old Firm to other big games around the world.

The only thing that would have made Saturday sweeter for Rangers was if there were a few hundred supporters tucked away in the corner of Parkhead for them to go and celebrate with.