The truth about Celtic and Rangers gap despite what Lundstram, McCoist and the rest say

By John McGinley

April 8, 2023

The gap between Celtic and Rangers isn’t as big as made out, claimed midfielder John Lundstram in the build-up to this weekend’s derby. [Daily Record]

Crowing on Twitter after another Bhoys victory on Saturday, former striker Chris Sutton also shared that Ally McCoist was hitting out with similar patter before the big kick-off.

But, sadly for Rangers, there are some cold, hard facts about ‘the gap’ between the two clubs they can’t escape and that everyone can make their own minds up about.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The truth about Celtic and Rangers gap

It starts with the obvious – a 12-point advantage. The Bhoys have now forged ahead by that margin at the top of the Scottish Premiership and, far from closing it, Micheal Beale and his team are only falling further behind. But that’s not the only metric that shows Celtic have been far better this season.

Just look at the goal difference of the two clubs. Ange Postecoglou’s charges have scored a ridiculous 98 league goals already, on course to set a club record that has stood for over 100 years. The Bhoys’ goal difference of 75, after those conceded, is almost as big as the number of goals Rangers have scored in totality, 76. Kyogo Furuhashi, Callum McGregor and company are winning more convincingly and with much more style.

If you look at the head-to-head matchups this season, Celtic have won three of the four derbies. The other ended in a draw at Ibrox that was far more beneficial to the Bhoys than it was Rangers. In aggregate, the score across the games is 11-5 in favour of Celtic.

Celtic have even beaten them in a League Cup Final, winning silverware at their direct expense in front of a 50/50 split allocation at Hampden. And the Bhoys deserved every bit of it.

If all of this doesn’t show a large and tangible gap, I don’t know what could. It can’t be all blamed on Giovanni van Bronckhorst at this stage, either. Beale has taken charge of three of the four derbies this term.

They may run us close in one-off games but, more often than not, you’d expect Ange Postecoglou’s Bhoys to find a way to win. Even today, in the 3-2 encounter, Rangers’ best opportunities were largely contained to set-pieces. And it was Celtic’s determination to win that shone through. Even though the Celtic performance was far from impressive, they couldn’t really lay a finger on us.

No one is denying the derbies are competitive. We would expect them to be. No one is denying that Rangers haven’t done well against other Premiership sides. They have. But Celtic are clearly proving that there is a gulf in class between the two squads that nobody can ignore.

So, please spare us all this bluster. In fact, it’s probably best for everyone at Rangers or connected to the club to stop talking about Celtic until they actually beat us again. You can’t insert yourself into the conversation as equals when all the evidence suggests otherwise.

In other news, Kyogo sends heartfelt Twitter message to Celtic fans after showing up Rangers.