Rangers watched their title hopes effectively killed off last night with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Kilmarnock which saw Celtic extend their lead at the top of the table to ten points.
After going 1-0 up through Scott Arfield, Rangers collapsed late on as Alex Dyer’s side picked up a massive win and Steven Gerrard came in for criticism from fans.
Rangers have a game in hand on Celtic and two Old Firm games remaining but will need a mistake from Celtic to have any chance of overhauling their lead at the top of the table.
As attention turns to this weekend’s clash with Livingston, here are three things we learned from last night’s 2-1 defeat:
Rangers have missed Filip Helander
The Swedish defender has been out of action since the League cup final defeat and his experience has been missed at times when Rangers have been under pressure. Despite being a much-maligned figure in some quarters, the former Bologna star absence has led to Niko Katic and George Edmundson both being given chances – but both have made mistakes.
With Helander still out of action for several weeks, it looks as though Katic or Edmundson will continue to partner Connor Goldson at the heart of defence.
Ryan Jack’s return was a much-needed boost for Rangers
The Rangers star made his return to the side after missing four games with a calf injury and the Gers looked more comfortable in midfield with Jack back in the side.
It’s clear that the Scotland international is crucial to Steven Gerrard’s side and he was one of the few trying to push the Gers on last night.
After a few weeks sidelined, Jack will need a little bit time to get back to his best but he immediately caught the eye after last night’s return.
Serious questions now need to be answered over Rangers’ bottle
Plenty has been said about Rangers’ bottle this season in the wake of some poor results but the defeat by Kilmarnock raised some serious concerns.
Some of the results this season have been enough to dismiss suggestions that Rangers are mentally weak however it becomes harder and harder to defend against.
With eight points dropped since the winter break, Rangers have been the masters of their own downfall this season and Gerrard will need to address it quickly.