“We went back to the old way a little bit with runners and pressers on the outside,” Michael Beale explained detailing Rangers’ approach in yesterday’s 3-0 Old Firm win.

His side’s day in the sun mattered for reasons in the long-term if not the short and was borne out of past principles, with a modern twist.

“We took similar chances to the ones we've missed this year. In this fixture for the first time this year we executed in the boxes,” the manager added.

Too often these meetings under Beale have been defined by a lack of cutting edge offensively and resolution at the back. Especially in the two meetings that preceded this encounter, the fact that mistakes have decided outcomes indicated that the gap has not been unattainably big.

And while yesterday's win can't change the season's narrative or this squad's fate, it gives reason for optimism ahead of the new campaign with a rebuilt squad to come.

Rangers lined up in a narrow 4-3-3 with pressers on the outside of the midfield, reminiscent of the Steven Gerrard era.

At Hampden and Parkhead, they'd defended in a more moderate 4-4-2 shape, blocking passes into Callum McGregor and closing off midfield options.

Yesterday, until they took a two-goal lead and naturally sat off the game, Rangers cut off every avenue from the start, pressing three-vs-three at the top of the pitch.

Passes were blocked into the free men at full-back and whenever Celtic tried to find their open option, an opponent arrived in close proximity. 

This narrow shape, closing space around the ball, was obvious from the game's first moments. 

Look here, as Fashion Sakala wins the ball back, how compact the home side’s front six are when pressing on the right. Only Ridvan Yilmaz at left-back holds fort on the opposite side of the pitch.

Raskin lined up at the base of midfield, boasting the technical ability to receive under pressure and presence to anchor the midfield. This freed up Lundstram to run himself into the ground on the right and Ryan Jack to offer balance on the left.

Todd Cantwell did an excellent job man-marking McGregor, best epitomised by the third goal which originated from his pressure.

Rabbi Matondo and Sakala played ahead of him as a front two, and they would often curve their runs, blocking passes into the full-back initially before trapping Celtic on one side of the pitch.

Here, Matondo pressurises Starfelt while blocking a pass into Ralston and therefore, ensuring Celtic can only play down their left.

When a free man did appear in the form of Reo Hatate, the Rangers midfield stepped up aggressively with the centre-backs following suit to win possession.

If the home side could stop Celtic from playing through the middle and a visiting full-back was found, Lundstram was usually on hand to regain possession. 

Here, with Matondo on McGregor, Kobayashi is forced wide where Rangers can win the ball.

This aggression was witnessed all over the park. Here, John Souttar steps high to again prevent Celtic from creating a free man to build play after Starfelt had side stepped Sakala.

The aggressive actions of the defence were undoubtedly enabled by Robby McCrorie. His speed of the line and proactive defending allowed the hosts to play higher up the pitch.

When Rangers fell deeper and showed the ball wide, both full-backs responded aggressively to intercept the play before it reached either winger, stopping the highlighted midfield runs from exploiting gaps in the defence.

The Ibrox side mainly pressed by the sides. Raskin made the most pressing actions (37), Cantwell was just behind with 36, Sakala 33, Tavernier 27 and Ridvan 17.

All of the above granted Beale’s men control, while taking that away from Ange Postecoglou’s men. Although Celtic fashioned some chances, the visitors were unable to get into a real flow. Each passing option was cut off at source and Celtic were never allowed to consolidate possession until 2-0 behind.

And this time, Rangers were able to capitalise on the chances created, largely due to Cantwell, comfortably the game's best player.

The first goal derived from a spell of pressure Celtic couldn’t escape. As Rangers plan their next move Cantwell drops deep, taking a scan of the right side of the pitch where he knows there’s a two-vs-one overload.

Sakala stays wide while Tavernier rotates into the box and as Celtic are pushed back, the attacker cuts the ball into Lundstram's path. He stings Hart’s hands before Cantwell finishes the job.

The former Norwich man's best role is right at the heart of the team and yesterday, on and off the ball, that was at the top of the engine room. Not only did Cantwell provide quality and clarity in possession, but he also set the tone for the win off it.

Raskin too was everywhere, focusing on his defensive actions the young midfielder made 13 ball recoveries and five tackles. Not much was getting beyond him as the anchor.

Lundstram had one of his better games in recent memory with the majority of defensive actions coming on the right. A key aspect that allowed Beale's side to build a two-goal lead.

Ridvan took his chance well and Robby McCrorie, the subject of an individual piece to come on the Rangers Review, made crucial interventions at key points in the game.

When assistant coach Neil Banfield recently spoke to the Rangers Review in an exclusive interview, he said the following: “When you haven’t got the ball Michael [Beale] sees that as a vital part of being a top team.

“I’ve been very fortunate to play with and against really top teams. When you play against the good teams, you know what they’re going to do with the ball. It’s when they don’t have it and you think ‘Wow’. That gives you your foundations to then attack teams.”

The approach off the ball in Old Firm games has given Rangers the foundations for victory that, up until yesterday, they've been unable to exploit.

A 3-0 win confirmed that Beale's issue in this fixture has not been a tactical one, but personnel focused. 

Although the win counts for little in the context of this campaign, it lifts the mood ahead of summer. Where the task is to recruit players who can win these games when the pressure's really on.