Steven Gerrard decided to make two changes to his Glasgow Rangers side that played against an average Celtic team in the 1-0 win at Ibrox on Saturday.
In came Scott Arfield to replace out-of-form Lassana Coulibaly and out went 18-year-old Glenn Middleton to make way for Ryan Kent, who had missed the last four league games through injury.
Kent has been terrific this season for Rangers and has been sorely missed whilst he was sidelined for eight of the last nine games with a hamstring problem.
It was left to the unlikeliest of scorers in Ryan Jack, to produce the only goal of the game.
Kent set up Jack after beating Celtic full-back Mikael Lustig and the midfield star struck a clever low shot, which went through Scott Brown’s legs and into the net.
The 1-0 win over Rangers’ most-bitter rivals Celtic, made him an instant hero with all the Light Blues fans.
Jack’s 31st-minute strike was crucial as Rangers beat Celtic for the first time since being back in the SPFL.
I felt that Rangers had to take the lead, if they were going to win this tie, and so it proved.
In my opinion, Rangers were by far the better team throughout the match in this traditional Old Firm battle for bragging rights.
The Ibrox club are now extremely well-placed to mount a proper title challenge this season.
Goalkeeper Allan McGregor made a good save from James Forrest earlier in the tie, however, it was Rangers who made most of the early running.
Kent and Daniel Candeias caused the Celtic defence all sorts of trouble with their movement down in the wide attacking positions.
Rangers had the chance to take the lead when Kent found Candeias with a pin-point cross, but his close-range effort was well saved by Craig Gordon.
Moments later, the keeper made another top save to keep out a really good header from centre half Connor Goldson.
Celtic captain Brown almost scored an own goal when heading the ball against his own crossbar from the resulting corner as Rangers came desperately close again.
Goldson also headed slightly wide from another pressurised Rangers corner with the home side now totally dominating.
The goal was all about the returning talented winger Kent whose assist provided the opportunity for Jack’s opening goal.
Kent almost doubled the home side’s lead five minutes before the break, but his clever curling effort flew just wide of Gordon’s post.
Celtic had a little bit more of the ball as the game drew nearer to the end of the first half.
But the game really belonged to a revitalised Rangers side, who could easily have been two or three goals up in the first 45 minutes.
Kent had a great chance to double Rangers’ lead early in the second half, but Gordon made another fine save, before it was cleared off the line in the mad scramble that followed.
Gordon was terrific today, and he made another important save to keep out another low shot from Jack.
Rangers were still dominating, which led Brendan Rodgers to make his last change of the game by bringing on 20-year-old striker Odsonne Edouard for Mikey Johnston.
The substitute shattered Celtic’s transfer record with a £9million summer switch from PSG to Glasgow.
Rodgers has backed his French forward to prove that he will eventually become a bargain buy, in the fullness of time of his long-term contract.
Alfredo Morelos forced another good save from Celtic’s ‘Man of the Match’ Gordon, as Rangers continued to look for their second goal.
Celtic had the ball in the back of the Rangers net in the 67th minute, but it was correctly ruled offside.
The Hoops suffered their fourth league defeat of this campaign, but Celtic remain top of the table on goal difference.
They also have a game in hand, but were second best in every area of the park at Ibrox.
Starting XI: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Worrall, Halliday; Jack, McCrorie, Arfield; Candeias, Morelos, Kent
Subs: Foderingham, Wallace, Katic, Flanagan, Coulibaly, Lafferty, Middleton.
Celtic won their past four visits at Ibrox, scoring 12 goals on the way, but emphatically, this clash belonged to Rangers.
The Rangers squad will now enjoy their two-week winter break and will look to use the result as inspiration when the action resumes.