Rivals' pettiness led to hostile Celtic Park and their players absolutely crumbled in it

By David Walton

February 3, 2022

There were so many things about Celtic that blew Rangers away last night, but perhaps the most important aspect of them all was the hostile Celtic Park environment.

Every single one of the 60,000+ sang, chanted, and roared their hearts out to create a boisterous chasm of noise that had Rangers beat before they even stepped out of the tunnel.

It was etched on the vast majority of the Rangers’ players faces. James Tavernier looked as though he was close to tears, whilst the likes of Joe Aribo, Amad Diallo, and Glen Kamara all shrunk into their shells. We won’t even go into their backline, they’ll never want to experience an atmosphere like that ever again.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Rangers’ last result at Parkhead actually came when they had some away supporters in the ground. But up against an army of green-and-white hordes, it was all too much for this mentally fragile Ibrox team to deal with.

And yet, as the full-time whistle went and Rangers went up the tunnel as soon as they could, it’s worth remembering that what they experienced last night was a direct result of their own sheer pettiness earlier this season.

The true reason Rangers had no fans in yesterday? Because they had to play a game of one-upmanship earlier this term. Celtic couldn’t guarantee them tickets for this fixture to the uncertainty over Covid, so Rangers flat out refused us any for Ibrox. In turn, this was the result. Celtic refused Rangers tickets and it led to the environment that their players were so terrified of last night [Scottish Sun].

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Rangers pettiness comes back to haunt them; Celtic take advantage

Sure, we would all like to think that Rangers would’ve been mauled last night regardless of whether they had any of their supporters at Celtic Park. Ange is building something special at Parkhead, and it doesn’t look as though our rivals are going to be able to keep up.

But we know this is a squad that hates playing under pressure. It hates coming up against adversity. There was never a hope of Rangers taking anything from the game last night as soon as the atmosphere of a packed out Celtic Park started forming. They simply don’t have the bottle for it.

Rangers did win the first derby of the season, but it was nowhere near the morale blow for us that last night was for them. We came out of both games with plenty of positives. Our, rivals, on the other hand, come out with a lot more questions than answers.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The whole ticket war of course started back in 2018 and was initiated by Rangers. It was them that slashed Celtic’s Ibrox allocation to just over 700 [Scottish Sun]. Celtic of course reciprocated, and the Ibrox club’s move to deny us tickets back in August was just another sign of them trying to get one over on us.

But it backfired badly last night. If Rangers want to keep experiencing what they did last night then by all means they can keep things as is. However, it would be in their best interests to start increasing the away fan attendance once more.

If Celtic Park proved anything last night, it was that we can deal with their support a lot more than they can deal with ours.

In other news, It’s time to stop underrating Greg Taylor after Celtic man silences £19m winger