THE SPFL Premiership is going through the motions as it ticks toward the end of the season.

Most of the key posers have been answered. While the question of whom lifts the title remains mathematically unresolved, the points and goal difference at the top means the outcome of this season has been inevitable for a number of weeks.

Rangers’ 2-0 victory over Dundee United on Sunday was deserved and comfortable, but it had a distinctly pre-season feel to it. The hosts controlled proceedings with minimal exertion, were able to blood a number of youngsters in the team, and rest a number of heroes from Thursday’s win over RB Leipzig. 

The action on the pitch was relatively calm because the stakes were low. Celtic will end the season as deserved champions and there is nothing Rangers can do to stop that now. It is a disappointing end to the domestic campaign for the club who entered the season as hot favourites. The post-winter break lull in form was costly and Celtic’s consistency was not matched.

The dissection of what this means has already started with the outcome of the title race being inevitable. Celtic fans are understandably keen to toast their success, but a point of discussion now rearing its head with alarmng regularity is beyond laughable.

READ MORE: Rangers rollover Dundee United with supercharged possessional patterns

“10 in a row in front of fans” is the sentiment that comes with some Celtic supporters’ title-winning celebrations. Those using the line are not just keen to celebrate the winning of one title, but are attempting to turn this into a bigger achievement by the club.

It is a classic case of trying too hard. Celtic have won 10 titles out of the last 11, but the talk of successive titles was broken when Rangers succeeded in winning the league.

Last season, while not ideal in any way for supporters, still carried on as normal on the pitch. Rangers were utterly dominant and ruthless to win the league at a canter. Every team played under the same circumstances - Celtic weren’t thrust into empty stadiums while Rangers had an advantage - every team had to play in the same environment. The scale and style of Celtic’s combustion will never be forgotten in the league. Anyone suggesting the winning of last season’s title is diminished by the circumstances is using it purely as a comfort blanket to mask the deficiencies that were on display.

An attempt to create the narrative of “ten in a row in front of fans” only reminds the world of how desperate our rivals were to reach that milestone in the first place. That was the ultimate ambition that drove them on for a decade and to miss out stung them badly. One year on, despite a new manager, squad rebuild and impressive form, harking back to any sort of ten in a row chat shows it's a loss that still sticks in the throat.

Rangers will come roaring back next season with an attempt to reclaim the title, of that there is little doubt. Giovanni van Bronckhorst is showing more signs that he has adapted to the unique and intense environment of Scottish football. With a full pre-season and the ability to bring in players to suit his style, Rangers undoubtedly have the potential to make Celtic’s return to top place a short-lived one. Any Celtic fan can laughably continue to push “10 in a row”, but it is unlikely that is a phrase we’ll hear again in many a year to come as the balance of power in Scotland remains poised.

READ MORE: The anatomy of Rangers' unsuccessful Scottish Premiership title defence

The disappointment of missing out on a league title is masked for Rangers fans as their side sits on the cusp of European glory. The adulation and appreciation that reverberated around Ibrox on Sunday despite it being the end of the title race, shows that something truly special is happening. Winning a European trophy would eclipse all other achievements by Scottish clubs in recent memory - be that a single title win or 9 title wins in a row.

Celtic can enjoy their one in a row celebrations next weekend - the bigger party takes place in sunnier climates on Wednesday the 18th of May.