Saturday's Old Firm derby wasn't the classic everyone expected but, as always, it was full of intrigue and littered with talking points.
As happens regularly in games of such importance, it's not always the team that plays the best on the day that wins and that was clearly the case at Ibrox at the weekend.
I fully expected a fired-up Celtic team that was fighting to keep their title hopes alive and that's exactly what they delivered, particularly in the first half.
They pressed high, they nullified Rangers' threat and the diamond formation Neil Lennon deployed in midfield over-ran Rangers.
They started the game with real intent and were as fluent in possession as I can remember for quite a while.
The problem is with any game that when you're on top you must capitalise and Celtic didn't get the rewards their play deserved. They exerted a lot of energy both without the ball when winning it back but also when they won it they drove at Rangers and put them on the back foot.
To maintain that level of energy they needed the opening goal, something to give them hope and belief that what they were doing was the right thing but it never came.
Rangers basically couldn't get to grips with Celtic's formation and at times had to ride their luck as well as relying on a top-class goalkeeping performance from Allan McGregor.
There are so many examples over the years of goalkeepers in Old Firm games having a major impact on the outcome with ex-Rangers number one Andy Goram immediately springing to mind.
Celtic fans only have to look back at the League Cup final last December and Fraser Forster's incredible one-man crusade that beat Rangers for their own version.
On Saturday it was the turn of McGregor, with his save from Leigh Griffiths, in particular, simply stunning. I doubt there will be a better and more important save this season in the Scottish Premiership with it being at a time when his team were up against it.
Small margins often come into play in the big games and a McGregor fingertip coupled with the width of a post was the difference on Saturday
The plan Lennon had devised was executed perfectly when 11 v 11 but the question from some Celtic fans is why hasn't that been the case all season? It's been fine recently as results have turned, but during the bad run in October and November the team looked devoid of ideas and a structure. It certainly seems it's a case of too little too late.
I don't think there's any doubt the magical 10 in a row is a distant dream, unless Rangers have the most almighty collapse and Celtic win every league game between now and the end of the season. The eternal optimist will say that's still possible but I'm not sure that will gather too much support.
The inquest will begin, I would imagine, as to how Celtic have ended up 19 points behind their rivals in early January.
The board have spent money over the last three transfer windows but clearly the fees paid have been irrelevant because most of the new recruits haven't been good enough. Albian Ajeti, Patryk Klimala, Boli Bolingoli and Vasilios Barkas arrived with big hopes but have delivered very little. I'm sure the recruitment team will have serious questions asked of them and I suspect they'd better have the answers.
I feel this summer will be one of the biggest rebuilding jobs in many a year at Celtic Park and that's not solely based on the defeat at Ibrox on Saturday but because of the results and players contracts running down with no news imminent of any re-signing.
As for Rangers, I said I feared they had dropped their level of performance ahead of the game and that proved to be right.
They haven't looked the swashbuckling team from early in the season but the main point is they managed to win a different way and that will please Steven Gerrard no end. He's been on the end of a couple of sore defeats from Celtic so I'm sure this one was bitter sweet.
When things settle down over the next few days or so he will want to get to the bottom of why some of his players look out of sorts, but for now he'll be ecstatic his team have such a commanding lead.
He knows his team can and will play better but as a stand-alone derby game it was result over performance that mattered most.
There's no doubt the game changed in Rangers' favour when Nir Bitton was rightly sent off for hauling down Alfredo Morelos as he was through on goal.
Referee Bobby Madden had no option to send Biton off as he was denying Morelos an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. The covering Kristoffer Ajer would have made up some ground on Bitton but not enough to stop the Columbian getting a shot at goal.
That advantage was exactly what Rangers needed at the time and, with the goal that followed thereafter, from then on they never looked in any danger of not winning.
What now for both teams?
Well, Celtic are in the Dubai sun, a place that ignited their season last time round but this time it's a case of licking their wounds and analysing how this season has got to where it has and why.
For Rangers, it's a case of not getting carried away or looking too far ahead. They must remain modest and remember the hard work they've put in to get to this stage.
The message from their manager will be don't take your foot off the gas and be relentless in your pursuit of success. They've had a terrific run in the league up to now and Gerrard will want to make sure that continues as they move forward.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon is once again set to come under pressure after his side's Old Firm derby defeat left his side's hopes of a 10th successive Scottish Premiership title hanging by a thread.