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How Steven Gerrard reset Rangers and put them on path to title | Ewan Murray

Ibrox club have put last season’s bitter campaign behind them as they host Celtic undefeated in Scottish Premiership

It is the great Rangers unmentionable. Acrimony associated with curtailment of season 2019-20 in Scotland was fixed, as is depressingly customary, on the Old Firm. Rangers held a game in hand but were 13 points adrift of Celtic when time was called. If there was legitimacy to complaints over the Scottish Professional League’s handling of this situation, broader issues were in play. The Rangers support could demean Celtic’s collection of a ninth title in a row. If the club’s hierarchy could switch focus from a post-new-year collapse, even better. Whisper it, but such a bitter end to the last campaign did Rangers a favour.

A glance towards Rangers’ predicament in early March emphasises that point. A 1-0 win at Ross County had followed defeats by relegation-threatened Hearts – meaning a Scottish Cup exit – and Hamilton. Despite winning at Celtic on 29 December, Rangers were subsequently defeated at Tynecastle and Rugby Park. Only a point was taken at St Johnstone. Hamilton’s win at Ibrox, their second there since 1926, ensured palpable anger among Glasgow’s blue half. Celtic were cantering towards the championship.

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