It’s the hope that kills you, as Rangers fall again

It’s the hope that kills you, as Rangers fall again
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 11: The LED board shows the VAR check for a red card decision awarded to John Lundstram of Rangers during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Rangers FC at Celtic Park Stadium on May 11, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

If there was one moment during yesterday’s Old Firm loss that killed Ibrox Noise more than most things, it was the hope.

As regulars will know, our faith in Rangers manager Philippe Clement was already very, very low, and we didn’t trust him to produce an XI that could win, or the right subs to do so either.

We fully expected, sadly, to lose.

And for the first five minutes, this looked worryingly accurate as Butland bailed out John Souttar’s wayward clearance amid waves of home side attack.

But Rangers did grow – they did genuinely improve.

James Tavernier started getting a few runs in down the right, Fabio Silva was causing Alistair Johnston a heap of bother and even Borna at one point was dribbling like Messi down the left. Even Tom Lawrence was managing to keep McGregor quiet for a modest spell.

There was a sense, at 0-0, that Rangers might actually be able to do something here.

Ibrox Noise was starting, just mildly letting ourselves believe Rangers were on the ascendancy and making the right moves – despite the horrible selection, despite the personnel, Rangers were pressing, pushing, and making an inroad or two into the hosts.

And then absolutely cocked it all up as O’Riley was left free in the box, Ben Davies failing to close him down, and it was 1-0.

And this was then compounded by Tavernier letting Maeda get an easy ball in a few minutes later for John Lundstram to finish beautifully with.

And that was all hope gone.

For 30+ minutes we’d actually let ourselves start to believe again in Clement, that he was a genius with his team selection and tactics – but then when it all fell apart yet again and that familiar failing feeling set in, we truly realised:

It’s the hope that kills you.

While it wasn’t on the scale of those cherished minutes in Sevilla where, for a period, we were in the lead and actually winning the Europa League final, it was still a sense of ‘we might actually do this’.

And then it was taken away. Silva didn’t track his runner, neither did Barisic, and the ball went into the danger area with no one anywhere near the most dangerous player in the SPL outside of Lawrence Shankland in Matt O’Riley.

And that was that.

Dessers did get a meaningful Old Firm goal, a goal which actually meant something when he scored it, but ultimately it ended up being consolation.

Celtic have won the league, needing just one more point OR to keep their goal difference – it would take a bigger miracle now than Helicopter Sunday for Rangers to win the league from here.

Yup, Marvin said Keep Believing, but that only goes so far, doesn’t it?

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