Liverpool loanee Sheyi Ojo scored the only goal of the game, and some goal it was, letting fly from more than 20 yards and firing past Kenneth Vermeer in the Feyenoord goal. The game came just a day after former captain Fernando Ricksen lost his battle with motor neurone disease. Gerrard emphasised the significance of the step up to European football at the other end of the field too, also singling out his goalkeeper for praise.
A grand total of 56 games down the line and half an hour into the second Old Firm derby of the season before a crowd of 49, at Ibrox, Jack found himself in space just inside the Celtic penalty area when Ryan Kent turned a cutback into his path.
By such combinations of heartbeats and fractions are destinies altered and, in this case, it ended — or, at least, punctuated - the hegemony established by Brendan Rodgers in a long succession of Old Firm collisions. That moment came midway through the second half when Callum McGregor — who had deputised at left-back for Kieran Tierney - cut in from the flank to strike a shot through the legs of his namesake, Allan McGregor, the Rangers goalkeeper, for what Celtic and their enclave of supporters believed was the equaliser.
They were disabused by an offside flag and TV replays showed the decision to be correct, although marginally so. Otherwise — and despite the fact that it was settled by a single goal — this was close to a no-contest because, aside from the fact that Brown headed against his own post, Rangers bossed and bullied their opponents in every area of the outfield, a trend established in the first minute when Andy Halliday applied a bone-shuddering challenge to Olivier Ntcham, who looked bewildered by the strength of purpose of the tackle.
The Hoops back line, already rejigged in the absence of Tierney — who had been judged sufficiently fit to make the bench — was battered to such an extent that the injured Filip Benkovic had to be replaced by Kris Ajer just before the interval.
When the teams reappeared, Mikael Lustig had also departed the scene, his right-back berth filled by Anthony Ralston. The personnel changes made no difference to the pattern of the contest. Indeed, Rangers almost doubled their lead in the opening seconds of the second half, with Gordon blocking a shot from Kent and Dedryck Boyata — who looked spooked throughout — gathering his wits sufficiently to knock another effort off the line.
Their keeper made some outstanding saves and we hit the woodwork. They remain favourites for another title and even another treble but, with Rangers level on points and Kilmarnock - the best performing Scottish Premiership team over the calendar year - only one point behind, a truly intriguing mix has developed at the top of the table.
Rangers played well in the game, we had a lot of unforced mistakes and didn't create as much as we'd like. I thought Callum was outstanding for us but with players missing and one or two out it took a bit of strength away.
We have no excuse though, Rangers were better. Defensively we defended well, made some good clearances but decision making we weren't as bright, crisp and brought pressure onto ourselves.
It's collective, sometimes the other team just play better than you, which Rangers have done. The honest answer is we weren't at our best, Rangers were better, got the goal and they deserved to win. We tried our best and we've had our days, but today wasn't one of them.
I asked the players to win the one v ones and we won them. We won them all. We were superb today. The first half of the season has gone really well, we can still improve and grow and we will. We respect Celtic and the other people pushing high up the league.
The message from us is we're game to give as good as we've got. This is what this club is all about, these fans have stuck with the club through thick and thin.
We have good days, bad days but we're always believing. With that crowd behind you we can get a result anywhere. We always want to be there, top of the league, it's only one game, it's got us back on track but we've gave ourselves a good chance going forward.
Ryan Jack It's been a long time coming but I've been getting closer and closer, thankfully it came in this game. I think we always knew Old Firm is fierce, feisty, all guns blazing so it's important to play with your head. They were excellent.
A note for Kilmarnock fans Brown, Boyata, Lustig all absolutely honking. Certain individuals have to be questioned as their quality and input beggared belief: replacements required in January. Credit to Rangers for playing well.