On a night where Celtic struggled to overcome some Latvia mob late on, while Rangers romped to an easy 0-4 win in Tilburg, we couldn’t help but notice just how differently that bunch do in Europe compared with Rangers.
The Parkhead lot struggle when it’s all about football, when the referees aren’t siding with them, and to barely scrape a late goal in Riga while Rangers strolled to a well-deserved thumping of Willem, a most notably credible Dutch side just demonstrates what happens when the field is level and fair and for playing.
Take away the opponents smashing Rangers faces in, take away the ridiculous refereeing which sides with everyone who isn’t Rangers, and suddenly Rangers are free to play football, express themselves and win deservedly.
And this isn’t new.
Steven Gerrard has done this for three seasons now, getting better each year, while Celtic have remained stagnant.
Of course, many reading this will say ‘why can’t he do this in the league’ – well, that’s kind of our point.
He can’t do this in the league to the same aplomb because it isn’t that level playing field that Europe affords us.
European football is a great leveller – especially in Scotland, demonstrating how Rangers play when refereeing is neutral and opponents don’t have hammers.
And it shows Celtic up for the thoroughly mediocre team they are.
When they’re challenged even by an average European team, like Motherwell and Aberdeen they struggle deeply.
But Rangers? They stroll it.
Pity we can’t be afforded the courtesy of fairness in the SPL.