Celtic and Rangers are both toasting impressive domestic rivalry.
Celtic and Rangers are both celebrating big European wins over high quality opposition.
Celtic beat Lazio 2-1 in Rome while Rangers beat Porto 2-0 at Ibrox.
The Scottish Premiership is no longer a punchline.
All the credit which goes to both sides is fully deserved. Celtic boss Neil Lennon is worthy of successfully following on what Brendan Rodgers’ started, and his European results are superior.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is still a rookie in the dugout but looks like an experienced boss out there.
Celtic had laid down the gauntlet to Rangers by getting their big result in Rome in the early Thursday kick off.
Rangers showed they wanted the limelight too and had the quality to dispatch Porto in the evening game.
It was typical of the way the two sides are neck and neck domestically with little to choose between them.
Rangers are pushing Celtic as Gerrard’s side look to break up the one sided domestic trophy haul in recent years.
In the Premiership the two teams are level on points at the top of the table after 11 games each, with Celtic having a +1 goal difference ahead of their rivals.
The way Rangers are pushing them means they cannot let up, and it is raising standards in Europe too.
Celtic’s poor European results under Ronny Deila and Brendan Rodgers were pointed at the managers, but also at a lack of domestic competition too.
Now Rangers have finally got a competitive team of their own, Celtic’s European performances are improving. Coincidence? Perhaps, but there has to be an element of truth to this.
A desire to catch Celtic and be the absolute best they can domestically is certainly pushing Rangers, and they are reaching levels many doubted them of.
Both teams are capable of going on to spring more surprises as the Europa League rolls on.
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