Rangers have found themselves 10 points behind Celtic in the Scottish Premiership table following last night’s 2-1 defeat at Kilmarnock.
It’s the Light Blues’ third league loss of the campaign, and it could end up proving costly after the Hoops secured a 5-0 win against Hearts.
Rangers went into the break 1-0 up following Scott Arfield’s great strike 32 minutes into the game, but they conceded twice in the final 13 minutes of the clash.
Two defeats and a draw since Premiership action resumed after the winter break have seen Steven Gerrard’s men lose ground in the title race, and Celtic legend Chris Sutton singled out Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent for criticism following their latest loss.
“Hagi, a lot of talk about him but he didn’t turn up tonight. I’ll keep going back to Ryan Kent,” Sutton said on BT Sports (via The Scottish Sun).
“As a loan player he was superb in a Rangers jersey. You pay £7million you want that game changer, you want that difference maker – have we seen enough of that? The big players haven’t turned up after the break for Rangers, that’s the difference.
“Honestly, I didn’t see it this season. I bought into what happened at Celtic Park because it was such an assured performance. Celtic were lucky in the cup final. But they have come back and they have bottled it so far.”
While Hagi put in an impressive shift against Hibernian a week ago to announce himself to the fans since arriving at Ibrox last month, the Romanian was missing against Killie.
Kent particularly struggled and is yet to hit the ground running since league action resumed despite scoring in the loss to Hearts.
The winter break appears to have done more harm than good to Rangers’ stars as they have struggled to gather momentum, and it’s safe to say it has effectively cost them the chance of stopping Celtic from winning a ninth consecutive title.