Michael Beale needed a performance and a result. He got neither, once again, in a game that really mattered for Rangers.

This Old Firm defeat can be added to a list that is becoming damning for Beale. Losing at Parkhead and twice at Hampden could be talked around given the situation that he inherited last term.

But the manner of the capitulation to PSV Eindhoven and this derby reverse puts Beale and his revamped team under the spotlight. The next two weeks will drag in as every decision made during a lamentable start to the season is analysed and critiqued.

The four point deficit to Celtic can be overcome in the time that is left in the Premiership title race. If it is, Rangers have to show a marked improvement and Beale must convince supporters that he is indeed the man to deliver the next pieces of silverware at Ibrox.

The aftermath of an Old Firm defeat is always raw and can be reactionary. Yet many of the points that will be made about Beale’s side in the coming days will be based on a body of evidence and there is no statistic as troubling as his record in these fixtures.

It is rare that both managers head into a derby with as much pressure on their shoulders and as many questions to answer. The ones that surrounded Brendan Rodgers had an impact on Beale in terms of the Old Firm equilibrium but they couldn’t come into his thinking when he had as much on his plate at Ibrox.

Beale spoke on Friday about using the international break as a time for reflection, a period where he could assess where Rangers are and where they are heading. On the back of their Champions League exit and this Celtic defeat, the Englishman certainly has plenty to consider and chew over. That is the case for the supporters as well.

The damage done on the opening day of the campaign had been repaired, to an extent, thanks to the wins over Livingston and Ross County and Celtic’s stumble at home to St Johnstone. Yet Rangers have been largely laboured throughout the season and the first weeks of the Beale rebuild had not been impressive or encouraging.

The talk about taking the handbrake off seems such a long time ago now. If Beale is to be true to his word, he needs Rangers to move through the gears at some speed when they return to Premiership action against St Johnstone and then look to build some momentum at home and abroad this term.

Of the nine signings that he made in the summer window, just three of them were handed a start here. That itself will raise questions about how the funds have been spent and the decisions that the manager has made amid significant backing from the Ibrox board.

Jack Butland’s place between the sticks was non-negotiable and he stands head and shoulders above the rest of the new arrivals thus far. Dujon Sterling only started as a result of the injury that Borna Barisic sustained in the closing stages in Eindhoven, while Cyriel Dessers got the nod to partner Roofe as £6million man Danilo watched on from the bench once again.

The Brazilian is the biggest mystery of the season to date. The fixtures with PSV and Celtic are season-shaping, future-defining occasions but Danilo has not started since the draw in Servette and it was after the hour mark by the time he appeared here.

The opening seconds and the build-up to the goal that ultimately never was from Roofe showed what was possible when Rangers were on the front foot. This was a Celtic side that were there to be exposed but Beale’s side were too passive in their pressing and it was a disjointed first half performance that left those in the stands unsure of what those on the pitch were attempting to achieve.

The boos at the break told their own story and would have been in Beale’s mind as he made his way back up the tunnel. It could have been different had Rabbi Matondo’s strike stood or had Dessers not been harshly penalised for a foul on Gustaf Lagerbielke but Rangers found themselves behind as Kyogo proved clinical when Celtic needed him most.

It didn’t take long for the moans and groans to start after the break. Again, Beale would have been well aware of the mood around him as his side served up more of the same and a series of half chances were squandered.

The best of them fell to substitute Sam Lammers but his tame finish summed up the paucity of the Rangers attack. Within seconds, Abdallah Sima and Tom Lawrence had entered the action and Beale – who also introduced Yilmaz in place of Sterling – had played his hand as he searched, or perhaps hoped, for a flash of inspiration.

That moment would never come and soon time was up. That need not be true of Rangers’ title aspirations but the requirement for performances and results is now desperate for Beale after Ibrox made its feelings perfectly clear at the whistle.

Another big game had been lost. Once the support of the support erodes, there is no coming back.