As Rangers escaped Easter Road with a 1-0 win, a dejected Hibs team were busy licking their wounds after surrendering three points to the Ibrox side and heaping the pressure on Celtic.
In a tight match, the game was always going to be won by a moment of magic or a moment of madness but for Rangers fans Ryan Porteous provided both.
The Hibs defender’s rash, late, lunging challenge on Ryan Kent was a penalty – no matter how much people want to pretend otherwise – and Kemar Roofe duly dispatched.
Rangers, looking more and more like the side of old from last season, were experts at seeing out 1-0 wins in the 55-winning campaign and did so again here. Three points and up the road.
There is a huge chance we will look back on this match as a pivotal one in the league campaign and a potential difference-maker in the title race.
Rangers victory over Hibs at Easter Road heaps pressure on Celtic v Hearts
The reasons for this are many but focus mostly on the momentum we’re gathering under Giovanni van Bronckhorst and the pressure that’s building on Celtic.
Heading into Gio’s reign Celtic fans aplenty were goading Rangers post-Gerrard and believed their luck was in with Ange Postecoglou’s title charge this season.
This was the week that Rangers were supposed to collapse and instead – in the space of six days – we’ve reached the Europa League knockouts, had Celtic fans claiming there’s a David Martindale conspiracy and exorcised the demons of the cup-exit at Hampden.
Now, all eyes will fall on Celtic Park this evening and their clash with Hearts; the Edinburgh club hot on their tail, strewn with talent at this level and full of the self-belief they can get a result.
This is a monumental test of this Celtic side’s character and whilst Rangers have stood up to their own over the last week or so, our Old Firm rivals are about to see their nerves shattered.
No matter what Rangers will maintain a solid four-point lead going into the weekend and the visit of the admittedly on-form Dundee.
But after coming through the clash with Hibs at Easter Road with all three points, if Celtic can’t hold their nerve against Hearts then it could be an even greater advantage come this evening.
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has also been explaining why a key player was left out of the victory in Edinburgh.