24th of October 2010 feels like a decade ago. Depressingly it was, for while Rangers did win at Parkhead the following year in the cup, October the previous annum was the last time Rangers won in the league at Celtic’s home patch.
Not even Walter Smith was able to do it the following calendar year, and while he managed it in aforementioned league cup, winning at Celtic Park has always been a tough nut for Rangers to crack.
So should Steven Gerrard’s men travel East on Sunday and take maximum points on his third attempt, it will Rangers’ first league win at this venue for what is a borderline generation.
And, more critically, it would be a massive statement – that Rangers are not only back, but capable of winning the league – while Celtic have lost to other sides on their home turf, the focus, effort and drive they have when it’s the Old Firm is a 100x higher than previous.
Neil Lennon’s men will be at 110% to ensure Rangers don’t win, so overcoming that and getting the most precious three points for an age would be the biggest statement yet of Steven Gerrard’s Rangers reign.
Do we think he can do it? Well, clearly the quality of play at Hampden merited it, but doing it in the claustrophobia of Parkhead in front of barely 850 visiting fans and under the baying blood of around 59,000 home supporters is something else.
Rangers’ past few attempts in Glasgow’s East End haven’t been great – timid on Gerrard’s first visit, a bit better on his second but still not enough to get the three points, so it would be quite the improvement.
And in truth, Rangers ARE much improved from last season – massively so, but proving that on the most important Scottish stage is another matter.
Rangers must win on Sunday, there’s no getting away from it. They must shatter the patterns of recent years, and win at Parkhead on Sunday.
The Heat is On.