5 pivotal games which lead to Rangers winning the 2010 SPL title

4 October, 2009

Rangers 2 Celtic 1

Celtic headed into the first Old Firm derby of the season leading the pack and with the chance to move seven points clear at the summit, but Kenny Miller returned to haunt his former club with a double. An Aiden McGeady penalty was not enough to prevent Rangers slashing the deficit to a single point.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Defenders Stephen McManus and Glenn Loovens were clearly culpable for both Miller goals and then Celtic manager Tony Mowbray hinted at a turbulent season to come. "If individuals cannot step up to the mark, we will change them," said Mowbray. Little did he know then but the Celtic board would come to the same conclusion regarding his tenure.

27 December, 2009

Hibernian 1 Rangers 4

Anthony Stokes grabbed the SPL's fastest-ever goal after just 12.4 seconds, but league leaders Rangers showed their title credentials when they hit back through a Miller brace and further goals from Kris Boyd and Nacho Novo. Errors from goalkeeper Yves Makalambay were instrumental in a result which ended Hibs' unbeaten run of 13 league games – and any hope of making an audacious bid for the championship.

3 January, 2010

Celtic 1 Rangers 1

Celtic dominated but were forced to settle for a share of the spoils as Rangers held on to their seven-point advantage thanks to a dramatic late equaliser from Lee McCulloch. Scott McDonald opened the scoring with just 11 minutes remaining and Celtic had a perfectly legitimate goal disallowed by the referee, Steve Conroy, in the first half.

Conroy, who also could have sent off the Rangers forward Kyle Lafferty for a reckless lunge at Andreas Hinkel, spotted a non-existent foul by Marc-Antoine Fortune, on the Rangers goalkeeper, Allan McGregor as Mowbray was left ruing a missed opportunity to close the gap.

2 February, 2010

Kilmarnock 1 Celtic 0

Celtic hoped the high-profile capture of Robbie Keane on loan from Tottenham Hotspur would spark a championship fightback but his debut proved to be a massive anti-climax instead. He was upstaged by Kilmarnock's own debutant, Chris Maguire, who grabbed the winner to leave Celtic trailing Rangers by ten points and having played the same number of games.

28 February, 210

Rangers 1 Celtic 0

Another derby, another missed opportunity for Celtic. Skipper Scott Brown was dismissed in controversial circumstances after wrestling with Lafferty, who somehow escaped without any punishment. Just as the game appeared to be petering out, Maurice Edu pounced for a winner in the dying seconds following a goalmouth scramble, allowing Rangers to take a massive step towards retaining the championship. With the champions boasting a ten-point advantage and a game in hand, there now appeared no way back for Celtic.