As Rangers ended the footballing weekend unorthodoxly on a Monday evening, one of the club’s major transfer policies from the summer once again paid dividends.
Up at Pittodrie, where Rangers ran out relatively comfortable 2-1 winners over 10-man Aberdeen, the Dons were considerably weakened by the absence of midfielder Ross McCrorie.
The Scotland U21 captain has been an important figure in Derek McInnes’ side and would’ve started if available but for this season, McCrorie can’t turn out against Rangers.
The Gers Academy talent was loaned out to Aberdeen this season but will move there permanently in the summer [Sky Sports].
Similarly, Jamie Murphy played a hugely influential role for Hibs as they managed to earn a 1-1 draw with Celtic at Celtic Park.
A Celtic side, depleted through their own stupidity, looked like they would manage a 1-0 win but striker Kevin Nisbet forced in an injury time equaliser.
The first man to celebrate with the on-form striker? Rangers loanee Murphy.
Again, Murphy can’t play for Hibs against Rangers but can strengthen the Easter Road side in their battles against Celtic and will join the Scottish Premiership side permanently in the summer [Edinburgh Reporter].
This isn’t the first time that both players have also previously played a role in taking points off our Old Firm rivals either.
Murphy scored in Celtic’s 2-2 draw with Hibs in November whilst McCrorie played the full match as Aberdeen earned a 3-3 draw with Celtic at Pittodrie in October.
The decision to send both players out on loan to play against Celtic has been a transfer masterstroke and Rangers’ recruitment team deserve every credit with this credible advantage paying dividends.
Rangers stretched their lead over Celtic to 21 points this weekend with fans in party mood as the season crosses the halfway point.