A look back at the 2010-11 season when Rangers last lifted the Scottish Premiership title

The Scottish Premiership has turned into one of the most straightforward and predictable leagues in Europe over the past decade or so, with Celtic continuing to hold the bragging rights for a considerable period of time.

The Hoops’ dominance once again reigned supreme this past season, as the club bagged their eighth straight domestic title and a third consecutive domestic treble.

Well, going by the statistics that Aberdeen were the last side outside the Old Firm to lift the league title way back in 1984-85, it has always been two-way traffic in Scottish football, with Rangers and Celtic establishing themselves as the undisputed and unparalleled powerhouses of the nation.

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Since the turn of the century, both the Old Firm giants shared the bragging rights quite equally until the end of the first decade, with Celtic winning 6 and Rangers winning 4 league titles in that span of time.

The Gers made a positive start to the new decade by winning the 2010-11 domestic title but it has been all one-way traffic ever since, with Celtic establishing a stranglehold on the Scottish Premiership.

Rangers’ entry into administration followed by insolvency and subsequent demotion to the fourth tier of Scottish football in 2012 allowed Celtic to virtually run a one-horse race on the domestic front for four years.

Rangers secured a return to the first-tier following a promotion-winning campaign in the Scottish Championship in the 2015-16 season but the Gers are yet to taste any kind of success in the post-insolvency era.

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The Hoops have made the most of their opportunity though, taking their title count up to 50, just four short of Rangers’ record tally of 54.

As far as the number of domestic trebles is concerned, Celtic were way short of Rangers’ tally of 7 in the last decade but three back-to-back trebles in recent times have seen them take their count up to 6, just one short of equalling the achievement of their arch-rivals.

Rangers, of course, are still one of the biggest clubs not only in Scotland but also in Europe, and the Gers will be expected to end Celtic’s dominance somewhere down the line in the future, although the fans at Ibrox would want that to happen sooner than later.

Whether or not Steven Gerrard’s side will be able to oust Celtic from the throne next season is definitely a burning topic that can be put up for discussion.

However, it is worth taking a walk down the memory lane to the 2010-11 season, which was the last time that Rangers won the domestic title. Here is a brief review of what happened during that campaign.

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The 2010-11 season

Having won back-to-back league titles in 2008-09 and 2009-10, Rangers came into the season high on confidence as the two-time defending champions, with the fans at Ibrox expecting their team to make it a hat-trick of league triumphs over Celtic.

However, with the ongoing financial problems pretty apparent, many players left the club prior to the start of the campaign, leaving manager Walter Smith to decide whether he wanted to increase the number of playing staff or bring in some quality players. Smith showed his experience, though, and opted for the latter option.

As a result, Rangers made the headlines with the big-money signing of Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic from Rapid Wien, while the arrival of James Beattie from Stoke City also bolstered the forward line.

Vladimir Weiss was also brought in on loan from Manchester City in a bid to add more depth to the midfield ranks.

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The Gers started off their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Kilmarnock at home, with goals from Kenny Miller and Steven Naismith propelling Smith’s side to a rather comfortable victory.

Straightforward and convincing victories over St.Johnstone, Hamilton Academical, Hibernian and Dundee United followed before Rangers faced a stern test at home against Aberdeen.

Rangers found themselves 2-0 down, courtesy of strikes from Scott Vernon and Christopher Maguire, before Miller’s brace followed by Jelavic’s second-half winner sealed all three points for the Gers.

Rangers travelled to Parkhead for the first Old Firm derby of the season towards the end of October with a perfect record in the league, and Smith’s side passed the test with flying colours despite falling behind to Gary Hooper’s opener.

An own-goal by Glenn Loovens followed by a brace from Miller completed an impressive comeback, as Rangers beat Celtic 3-1.

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Surprisingly, the Gers dropped points against Inverness at home in the following game and suffered their first defeat of the campaign against Hibernian a couple of weeks later.

A hard-fought 3-2 victory over Kilmarnock was followed by another unimpressive draw against Inverness before Rangers finished the year on a high with a 4-1 drubbing of Motherwell on Boxing Day.

The January window saw the arrival of El-Hadji Diouf on loan from Blackburn Rovers as a marquee signing, while Kyle Bartley and David Healy arrived on loan deals from Arsenal and Sunderland respectively.

Rangers’ start to the new year wasn’t the most impressive as Georgios Samaras’ brace sunk them 2-0 at home in the second Old Firm derby of the season.

Victories against Hamilton and Inverness followed but another damaging 1-0 defeat away at Hearts towards the end of January threatened to derail their title challenge.

Smith’s side once again had a tough time dealing with Celtic away from home in February, as a brace from Gary Hooper helped the Hoops register a thumping 3-0 victory over their Old Firm rivals.

Rangers fought back from that defeat though, securing victories over the St. Johnstone, St. Mirren and Kilmarnock before Dundee United pulled off a 3-2 upset at Ibrox.

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That, however, proved to be Rangers’ final stumble of the campaign, and with Celtic breathing down their neck, the Gers managed to finish the season without suffering another defeat.

A 0-0 draw in the final Old Firm derby of the campaign coupled with Celtic’s shock 3-2 defeat at the hands of Inverness allowed Rangers to complete a hat-trick of league triumphs.

Kenny Miller finished with 21 goals in all competitions followed by Nikica Jelavic with 16, while Steven Naismith and Kyle Lafferty also contributed with 11 apiece, as Rangers completed the domestic double with a 2-1 victory over Celtic in the Scottish League Cup.

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