The game was lost, as was the Premiership title and whatever modicum of faith was left in some of these players. A bet was lost on Saturday, too. It will be repaid on Monday morning when Jeanie returns to work in Rutherglen. Like so many of her fellow supporters, she will do so downbeat, defeated, but perhaps defiant.

Jeanie was one of the several-hundred-strong band of blues that gathered at New Edmiston House. A few miles along the road, the section of Parkhead that could have housed a travelling fan base was filled with green and white. In the shadow of Ibrox, this was an away end that was close to home.

Many had been here for several hours. Crowds met at the front door to cheer a side that stood just four games from history onto the bus and on their way. On the M8, scores of supporters lined the route and held aloft pyrotechnics. Confidence in this team and faith in these players, has been steadily eroded over time. The build-up to an Old Firm stirs the senses like no other game, though. The heart overrules the head.

“I have got a wee feeling we are going to do it today,” Jeanie tells the Rangers Review as she predicted a 3-1 victory for Philippe Clement’s side. “I never get a feeling, but I have got one now. All last night when I was at my work and this morning, I think we will do it. We have got to, haven’t we? I can feel the buzz. There are plenty of Rangers fans at my work, plenty of them. Some Celtic ones, right enough. I have got a wee hunner pound bet on with somebody today, so I have.”

A 56th league flag was more important to Jeanie than the notes that will be handed over but she will have to wait at least another twelve months to see that come to fruition. This derby defeat was costly in more ways than one. The league table, after all, does not lie. Yet there were many who believed Rangers could upset the form book with a victory that would have kept the dream alive heading into the final matches with Dundee and Hearts. 

As the sun kissed the iconic brick façade of Ibrox, a steady stream of red, white and blue filtered through the door of New Edmiston House. They were not here for a stadium tour or a nosey around the shop this time. They were here to support Clement’s side from afar, to be with them in spirit if not in person. With lobster-coloured arms and legs on show, some punters showed signs of the scorching temperatures on Friday. Others were dressed for the occasion, with one middle-aged guy sporting a fetching Union Jack shorts and trainers combo.

READ MORE: Clement defends Lundstram after 'unnecessary' tackle and talks key Old Firm failing

Inside, the giant screen above the stage had the most eyes drawn to it as the Sky Sports coverage was projected onto it. Around the room, smaller TVs ensured every incident could be viewed from every angle. The staff behind the bar put in more of a shift than some members of Clement’s side, the flow of large pints and carriers of spirits relentless from long before the first whistle until the last.

“I have been before, I came for one of the other Old Firms,” Ed from Glasgow tells the Rangers Review. “It is ideal and the timing is good, I saw the bus going off this morning as well. It is right beside the stadium and everyone is here in their kits. It is all part of the experience. I go as often as I can to the matches but I am not a season ticket holder.”

As the minutes ticked away to kick-off, the tension steadily increased as some let out nervous energy by bouncing on the spot and others had a thousand-yard stare as permutations whirled around their heads. It was punctured by a series of guffaws from those who had one last boost of nicotine before the game when the sound of the viral sex noises clip blared out of a mobile phone. The victim of the prank took his part in the scene in good spirits, joking that he was glad he wasn't inside the building for hundreds more to share in his embarrassment after being caught out by the widely-shared audio.

The 90 minutes that would follow would determine if Rangers fans were laughing or crying. The Old Firm is a fixture that requires no hyperbole and victory was a need as well as a want. Rangers had points to prove and points to earn at Parkhead.

“It has been quite nerve-wracking this week, to be honest,” Charlotte, who travelled along the road from Govanhill for the screening, says talking to the Rangers Review. “I just hope they win. I still have the belief that we are going to win, but you just never know how the Old Firms are going to go, do you? My belief is still there. You have to believe and put all of that energy into your team and hope to God that they win the day.”

For many, it was hope over expectation. This is, after all, a side that have failed time after time. This was their last crack at glory, their last shot at redemption. Three points were a must but many had the goal difference in mind, well aware that even if Clement’s side could return to Ibrox victorious in battle it would not make them favourites to win the war as a result of their wretched efforts against Motherwell, Ross County and Dundee in recent times.

“The best hope is a two-goal Rangers win, that would be absolute top,” Andy from Gartcosh tells the Rangers Review. “That would be class. It is not optimism mate, it is just pure blind faith and loyalty. I think Clement brought it back from seven [points] to a point where we were on top, so I don’t think he has got to prove anything. Injuries have killed us at certain points this season. I don’t think Clement has anything to prove, the players have to show up today.”

Two hours later, the doors of NEH opened before the final blow of Willie Collum’s whistle. Too many of Clement’s players had not turned up and it was Celtic’s game-changers and match-winners who celebrated. The screens were – as was the case while ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was being aired – muted. Nobody wanted to see or hear the scenes from across the city. Fans departed crestfallen, their heads bowed and expressions saying it all. The inquests could begin.

The concoction of emotions throughout a dramatic encounter had taken a toll. A rendition of ‘Follow Follow’ erupted while images of Clement and the team he had selected were on the screen. Henrik Larsson had been heckled just seconds beforehand as Sky showed him taking his seat and there was a fervour from the floor when the action got underway.

Old Firm encounters with no away supporters have added weight to the old adage that football is nothing without fans. The stand-off across the divide has seen common ground found at long last a European style allocation for both grounds is a welcome outcome after years of playing politics with the punters. Just like the section of Parkhead would have been, NEH was sold out. It will, no doubt, be again next season. Supply will never meet demand for these fixtures but this was a way for fans to come together, to share the agony or the ecstasy. In the end, they were alone with their thoughts but could console each other and arms were put around shoulders as the journey home began.

The atmosphere ebbed and flowed with the action on the pitch. Decibel levels in these fixtures are never constant and this was no different. There was collective outrage at the decision from Collum to penalise John Souttar for a foul on Kyogo, while hundreds exclaimed ‘What a save!’ when replays showed how Jack Butland somehow kept a Souttar clearance out inside the opening stages.

Butland’s interventions were greeted by sporadic bursts of Status Quo. His penalty save from Matt O’Riley was celebrated like a goal had been scored and arguably provoked more of a response than the header from Cyriel Dessers that had reduced the arrears. The soundtrack of ‘I’m Feeling It’ was a throwback to the 55 campaign and served to remind of where Rangers are compared to where they were. The party never really got going.

Rangers were still in it, but the mood of the crowd was indicative. Several minutes elapsed during a period in the second half when there was only the murmur of chatter from sporadic groups around the room. As Celtic created and spurned a plethora of chances, it was almost an acknowledgement that this was not going to be their day. The empty cups were stacked higher and higher against one wall but the fans were in no mood to toast this performance or result.

READ MORE: The vicious Old Firm cycle that's trapped Rangers for 3 seasons - and how to escape

The red card that was shown to John Lundstram had dealt Rangers a fatal blow. The decision prompted outrage on first viewing before the realisation dawned around the room that the Scouser would be sent off for a moment of recklessness and stupidity. The reaction from one in the aftermath of Lundstram’s own goal was that he could ‘f*** off’ and another lamented that he had ‘sold the jerseys’. Like so many of these players, Lundstram won’t be missed next season.

“Definitely, the players have got bigger questions to answer,” Ronnie, a supporter of the Rangers Review from Edinburgh, says in the aftermath of the derby defeat. “I think the manager has got the tactics but he has not got the players to deliver the tactics, in my opinion. I have been coming to the games since 1980 and I have seen a lot worse Rangers teams than this. Next season, he gets his own players in, and I honestly think we are going to get better.”

A handful of individuals – Butland, Dujon Sterling, Mohamed Diomande and Tom Lawrence – are on Ronnie’s retain list. He is hopeful for deals for Abdallah Sima and Oscar Cortes, both of whom were sorely missed on Saturday, to remain at the club. He will not be alone in his wish for another striker.

The problems are once again mounting at Ibrox. Over the coming weeks, Clement must come up with the answers. Ensuring that the Scottish Cup sits beside the League Cup in the Ibrox Trophy Room would be a start but ultimately provide little comfort to a support who were right to expect better. They were let down once again. The same faces made the same mistakes that resulted in the same outcomes.

The crowds quickly dispersed, heading for home to salvage what was left of their weekend. Like all defeats, and especially derby ones, this result will impact their mood long after the bar shutters have been pulled down and the floors have been swept. They will return to work on Monday to console each other or put a brave face on it. Jeanie will part with her cash, too.