Hibernian and Aberdeen have also risen to the occasion as Celtic prepare to set out for an eighth title in a row
The swagger returned to Scottish football in recent days. A close battle between Aberdeen and Burnley, Hibernian’s success over the fifth-ranked team in Greece last season and Rangers’ victory over the fourth-best team in Croatia triggered giddy excitement. Celtic had already taken a further step towards the Champions League with their defeat of Rosenborg. Glory, glory hallelujah.
If this wave of optimism seems rather desperate – there was a time when Scottish sides were feared on the continent – it highlights the low ebb that preceded it. The sudden notion that football north of the border was being widely disparaged in England has been hugely overplayed – and certainly in the specific context of Burnley – but has certainly played a part in the reinstatement of self-belief.