With some time to reflect, I think it’s fair to say that as Old Firm games go, Saturday was pretty uneventful. The game was played at a high tempo, and that meant that quality was often lacking. Both sides had their chances, but it’s the Rangers chances which will be best remembered from this one. For Rangers fans, there were a few “what if?” scenarios.

The obvious ones were the chances we created in the second half. Craig Gordon made two great saves, and Morelos could have made more of a chance after that. In most games, at least one of those would have been a goal. The stats will show that Celtic had more possession and more shots on goal. What they don’t consider is that three of those shots came from one chance in the first half. When you actually look at the sort of chances both sides created, it was clear Rangers were the team closest to winning the match.

I still feel a draw was a fair enough result, but the manner of the Rangers performance was very encouraging. Ignore any nonsense from Celtic fans about us celebrating a draw. Doubly ignore the ramblings of journalists who couldn’t run the length of a park, never mind tell us how the game should be played. The fans were simply showing their appreciation for the effort and passion shown from the team. We went into that match missing key players, and had to replace Alves after only 18 minutes. This meant that the team on the pitch had five players under the age of 25, and experienced players like Foderingham, Tavernier and Wilson aren’t much older than that. There were plenty of reasons to fear a defeat, and a heavy one at that.

Celtic didn’t play their best football, but a lot of that was down to how Rangers approached the match. The players timed their pressing of the game really well, and forced mistakes and long balls. Any time Celtic played a ball backwards, or had a player in possession facing his own goal, our team made things very difficult. It’s a risky strategy, and at times one you feel our team doesn’t do very well with. In this game, players like Candeias, Windass and Tavernier got it right.

A second “what if?” came due to the performance of Kranjcar. He struggled to get into the game in any way, on or off the ball. There were many who felt he should have been replaced at half time. I believe he wasn’t as the early substitution for Alves had occured. After that, Rangers started to play well, so Murty would have been reluctant to disrupt that. It was difficult to watch and not wonder just how we’d have done had Dorrans or Jack been fit to play in his place, though. With Barjonas and Pena being the only other options on the bench, Murty obviously went for experience over anything else. Unfortunately, the way Kranjcar played will draw plenty of criticism.

And that’s where the third “what if?” comes in. What if it had been Derek McInnes in that dugout? We’re often told that his Aberdeen squad is stronger than Rangers at the moment. The league table last season and so far this season could be used as evidence of that. And yet, his team almost always crumbles against Celtic. In six games against them last season, he only really gave them one difficult match. In the two this season, his team have been easily outplayed. When you consider the players Rangers didn’t have available on Saturday, it’s arguable that the team we started with was one that Aberdeen could look at and say they were stronger than. Why does it seem to be the case that they can’t lay a glove on Celtic?

That’s now twice that Murty has went to the home of that lot and got a draw. In both games, Rangers created chances which could have won them the match. It may be that Celtic didn’t play to their best in those games, but a large part of that is down to how Rangers imposed themselves. I don’t think it’s controversial to say that Derek McInnes is a better manager than Graeme Murty. However, Murty seems to have something which gets results in bigger matches at the moment. The lack of that has been the criticism levelled at McInnes for years.

In the build up to this game, I suggested it should be taken in isolation. Any result or performance was difficult to judge given the circumstances. That can still be applied in truth. The January transfer window will see players come and go, probably more than most sides will have in that time. The break of a few weeks before the next match kills any potential momentum the last two results have gathered. I suspect, by the end of this month, that we’ll have another “what if?” or two as players come in and we wish we’d had them available for the game on Saturday…

What was your reaction to Saturday’s draw? Tweet us @rangersnewsuk with your thoughts!