This was a game that the home side needed to win. And for the opening 30 minutes they certainly gave it a go.
Mark Warburton’s players went at Brendan Rodgers players with some purpose. They didn’t allow the visitors to get into their stride and drew first blood as well.
You could be forgiven for thinking that this was going to be the breaking point in Celtic’s season…if you were a fan of the home side. That their new Ibrox club were going to be the team to halt Celtic’s unbeaten run in domestic competition this season.
However, there was also a sense of inevitability about the match. That when Celtic did get into their stride that they would show their dominance.
So whilst Kenny Miller’s jubilation at the opening goal was still filtering through the home crowd, they were unable to follow-up with a second. Celtic were working themselves into the match slowly whilst Warburton hoped another goal would come his way.
It didn’t, and Celtic began to settle down. The truth is, that was all it was going to take.
To be fair to Warburton, things started well for his team. When Celtic eventually got a foothold though there was no looking back.
After half an hour of the home side throwing themselves at Celtic, the Bhoy’s eventually stepped in. Or rather, Moussa Dembele did.
A corner from Scott Sinclair found the French under-21 international behind a crowd of players who lashed home a fine effort. I didn’t think Celtic would go on to slaughter the home side but I was somewhat relieved at them finally getting on score sheet.
I say relieved because I had spent 5 hours wondering what the bloody score was and avoiding all forms of communication so I could watch the game several hours ‘live’ after I’d finished work. Not good for the soul, I tell you!
I wasn’t on my own though. There were others in the same boat as me as we started our Hogmanay early in the evening rather than at lunchtime!
After a breather at the interval, we sat down to watch the second half. As the game wore on and chances came and went for Celtic I had the mindset that this was heading for a draw.
There was nothing wrong with how Celtic were playing. Despite the dominance the Hoops were now showing, it was just beginning to look as though it wasn’t going to come off on this occasion.
That was until my man-of-the-match, Stuart Armstrong slung in a direct pass across goal to find Scott Sinclair unmarked at the far post. Boom!
Celtic had come from behind at Ibrox to win the match and with time to spare. As narrow as the score may have been, there were a chances galore for Brendan Rodgers side.
The Bhoys showed their class by taking control of the game after a half-an-hour flutter by the home side. Now Celtic sit very comfortably on top of a 19 point lead in the Scottish Premiership.
Mark Warburton now has Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen breathing down his neck. The Dons are only 2 points behind second place and with one game at hand.
Meantime back at Fortress Paradise, it is exciting times. New contracts are going on the table for current players, new targets are mooted and some players will be moving on.
2017 will be a good year.