Saturday didn’t change anything. It was a dead rubber that doesn’t alter the fact Rangers will emerge with nothing to show for their efforts this season.

But don't get me wrong, it sure as hell felt good.

It was a long overdue Old Firm victory in the league, given it had been 18 months since the last, and despite a number of difficult results in the fixture recently, there was good reason to believe this win was on the horizon. For Michael Beale, the result proved significant for a variety of reasons. 

First of all, Beale once again got it spot on tactically. In every Old Firm battle thus far there hasn't been a lot between the two teams. Celtic’s quality has shown in the boxes while Rangers have managed to self-destruct at both ends of the pitch. That’s not rewriting history, it's a reflection of the goals gifted at one end and unfulfilled opportunities at the other. 

Beale, with a Rangers side miles away from where it needs to be and miles away from where he wants to take it, has run Celtic close every time he's faced them.

Tactically he’s got the set-up correct on most occasions and last Saturday his side reaped the rewards. The masterstroke of moving Todd Cantwell onto Callum McGregor caused the midfielder to endure an anonymous afternoon and he was culpable for the third goal. Cantwell flourished and dominated throughout, both on and off the ball.

Celtic may well have been in second gear and ‘party mode’ having clinched the title, but we have long since heard of how good their squad is and the strength in depth they boast. 

Plus, it's not as if this was a full-strength Rangers team. The hosts were playing without a real recognisable striker, Ridvan Yilmaz making his debut in the fixture, Robby McCrorie with just a fourth competitive start for the club and John Souttar and Connor Goldson starting what was only their second game together.

Rangers got it right in both boxes and carried out the manager's instructions to a tee. That was the difference this time around.

READ MORE: Detailed Rangers players ratings as Todd Cantwell dominates Celtic

Cantwell thrived, dominated and made sure that McGregor was anonymous. Nico Raskin got stronger as the game wore on, snapping into challenges and setting the tempo at No.6 with John Lundstram and Ryan Jack performing strongly and pressing well on the outsides.

Then there were Souttar and Ridvan at the back, both of whom looked extremely solid. This writer has questioned Ridvan before, especially given the transfer outlay spent on him last summer, but he performed with promise. Tenacious in the tackle, defensively sound and constantly up and down the left flank.

McCrorie - Mr Clean Sheets - was again a standout in goals with a nine out of ten performance. The 25-year-old was fast off his line, quick to read the danger, aggressive claiming crosses and strong in the big moment to stop O'Riley from making it 2-1. The future No.1? He hasn't harmed his chances.

There were many positives for Beale, all achieved without a functioning forward line of any note.

Rangers Review:

Rangers are in safe hands with a manager who not only gets what is required but has demonstrated he knows how to get there.

Saturday changes nothing, nor will it alter Beale’s way of thinking. Rangers still need a rebuild but, perhaps, a few have staked their claims for the future. The result doesn’t alter the story of the season but does offer a glimpse of the future and when Beale gets his players in, that future has the potential to look very good indeed.

Rangers face huge changes in the off-season. There will be bumps in the road as we embark on this journey with Beale and his management team.

For now, we can enjoy the moment. Even if it doesn’t mean much and everyone knows it alters nothing over the course of what has been a terrible season.

But by goodness, that game in isolation felt good and with Beale at the helm, there are more sunny afternoons to come.