CELTIC didn’t lose to Rangers but there were many of their supporters who lost the plot after the final match of one of the most successful years in the club’s history.

The keyboard warriors were out in force demanding several players who managed to win a treble and go through a domestic season unbeaten be immediately sold.

There were even some, more than you might think , who felt a change of manager was the way to move forward.

Yes, the same Brendan Rodgers who filled the stadium again, rhas eached the Champions League twice, won four out of four trophies and is odds-on to win an unprecedented back-to-back clean sweep, while keeping the team in Europe until after Christmas.

Is Rodgers above criticism? Absolutely not. He got his team wrong in the derby. Moussa Demeble looked uninterested, Olivier Ntcham should have started and, as for Scott Sinclair, there have been times this season and Saturday was a prime example when he was worse than a man down.

The manager’s blind spot with Sinclair must be addressed.

But, please, get a grip.

Celtic have not played as well as last season, but then last season was a unique achievement which will never happen again. Of course they were going to drop more points and yet they are eight ahead of Aberdeen, Rangers are a further three back, and will win a seventh title in a row.

The players have looked spent all of December and this is forgivable. They are, after all, human beings.

Take Stuart Armstrong, for example. In 2017 he played 57 competitive games in total for club and country and, like almost all of his team-mates, had less than two weeks off in the summer before reporting back for training.

The midfielder had a shocker against Rangers and has not reached the heights of the previous campaign. Indeed, only Scott Brown, Kieran Tierney and James Forrest can hand on their hearts say they are playing better than they did a year ago of those who were regulars for Rodgers in the invincible season.

Craig Gordon made a staggering 67 appearances for Celtic and Scotland. He played every minute of those games too, which amounted to an incredible 6,030 minutes on the park.

His final game of last season was Scotland's 2-2 World Cup draw with England on June 10, before having just over a month off before playing against Linfield in a Champions League qualifier in Belfast on July 14.

Tierney played 64 games for club and country in 2017. Mikael Lustig and Brown each made 58 appearances for Celtic and Sweden and Scotland. Then it’s Sinclair on 57.

That’s a lot of football. Maybe some of those Celtic supporters who seem incapable of enjoying their team's success should so show some understanding.

Although my guess is that they are too young to remember the early 1990s when Falkirk were favourites to beat Celtic in a Scottish cup tie and duly did with little fuss or surprise.

“We wanted to go into the break on the back of a good win and performance, but it’s been a long year for us with a lot of football,” said Armstrong. "It’s been one of the busiest seasons we have had.

“There was not much break in the summer and now we’re sitting here looking back on all our achievements, so we should be happy and proud. But the break is important, especially when you have been playing, playing and playing over back-to-back seasons with jaded legs and jaded minds.

“You could lose count of the competitions, the games, the travel - everything involved in the fixture list we have. Sometimes it’s important not to forget the intensity of our schedule. So the rest will stand us in good stead going forward into the new year.

“The break has come at a nice time, we have all played a lot of football. It will be good to let the mind and the legs recover.

“Most of us only had a week and a half off last summer. That’s a lot of football when you are playing at a club like Celtic."

Saturday’s match was an odd affair. Had Celtic taken their first-chances, as they should have, they would have returned to the dressing room at least two goals to the good.

That they didn’t mean Rangers were still in the game and while a draw was about right, the visitors should have scored and one goal was always going to be enough.

Craig Gordon saved brilliantly from James Tavernier and Alfredo Morelos. His performance did not go unnoticed.

“Both of Craig’s saves were terrific,” said Armstrong. At the time, I don’t know how he saved them. He’s got that in him and he’s done fantastic to keep us in the game.

“If Rangers had scored, it would have been a big uphill climb, so he deserves praise.

Craig gets a lot of criticism but when you are a goalkeeper or a defender and you make a mistake, it gets amplified.

“In big games he has come up with the goods for us. Craig has been fantastic.”

Not many other Celtic players can say the same. But surely they have enough credit in the bank.