Celtic’s main title rivals Rangers are waking up to a four-point gap and the realisation that even at almost full strength, against a weakened Bhoys and in front of an entirely partisan 50,000 crowd – they still couldn’t lay a finger on the Scottish champions in a meaningful game.

Yesterday’s Bhoys victory at Ibrox was not predicted in many quarters, even amongst the Celtic support. There was genuine trepidation in the build-up after a couple of poor results and a sluggish summer transfer window in comparison to expectations.

We heard all the hype from across the city over the summer months, too. In fact, there’s been a bizarre bullishness emerging from Ibrox ever since they beat us comfortably in a meaningless game on their own turf in the closing stages of last season.

As usual, they’ve done their talking far too early and before they’ve achieved anything substantial. Time and again you’d think they’d learn, but it keeps happening. Sunday showed exactly what happens in these derbies when Celtic know there are implications for the season as a whole.

For all the talk of Brendan Rodgers being subdued and low-key on his return, he proved once again that he is a born winner with Celtic and very adept at doing what is required to come away triumphant from this derby.

What must be most worrying for Rangers is the fact that Celtic are only going to improve and get stronger from here. We have Cameron Carter-Vickers, Reo Hatate and Maik Nawrocki to return – all potential starters. Alistair Johnston is still working his way up to full 90-minute fitness. Our trio of late window signings are yet to even make a debut.

In contrast, the Ibrox side did all their summer business early and have largely blooded in their new recruits and they still aren’t good enough. They only had one major absentee from their team yesterday in Borna Barisic. They have a manager rapidly running out of ideas and runway to improve.

Rangers FC v Celtic FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Clearly, how that plays out in the coming weeks and months is unknown, but Celtic have piled a lot of pressure on the Ibrox side and the truth is, nobody really fancies them to prove the doubters wrong. Their support certainly doesn’t if yesterday’s ringing boos at Ibrox are anything to go by.

So, it’s a happy Monday for us and a dreadful one for them. That’s how we like it as Celtic supporters. But it’s important that the Bhoys squad itself remains focused and humble. That has been a hallmark of the team over the last couple of seasons led by Callum McGregor. There’s still a long way to go before this team are the finished article. When they are, Rangers will wish they capitalised on our situation yesterday.

In other news, Brendan Rodgers explains Paulo Bernardo and Nat Phillips situations after Celtic derby absence.

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