A YEAR and a bit ago, when these two met for the first time in three years, Frankie Boyle sent out the following Tweet.

“I look forward to seeing the Old Firm fans stop debating corporate identities and get back to arguing about 17th Century Irish History.”

And at Hampden Park yesterday, there were plenty of songs about Ireland with a smattering of shouts of tax evasion and one or two ditties and banners that made you think; "Really?"

But do you want to know something? It was actually okay. Sure, there were moments of nastiness and a line was crossed more than once but it was miles better than last year’s game and that at least is something.

It wasn’t the awfulness some expected, and probably hoped it would be, and maybe the fact there were so many nerves about helped. Fans on both sides were too busy biting their nails instead of pouring out bile.

There was still some of that. It is, after all, the Old Firm game.

At 2-1 to Rangers and also at the end of their team's successful penalty shoot-out, the banned and oh-so-dreary Billy Boys was belted out and the Ibrox club really should get into bother about that. They were not “up to their knees” in EBTs as some will claim. It was the, cough, traditional lyric.

Just to balance things out, Celtic fans have been told about a thousand times not to bring pyrotechnics to games and the same folk, one would imagine, continually ignore the warnings and did just that. It’s almost as if they don’t care about their own club.

And then there were the banners.

One from the Celtic end, which came in three parts, ended with rather lovely quip; “Hun Scum Forever.” While at the other side a banner was proudly shown which stated; “Zombies are fictional, Paedophiles are real.”

What strikes me about such things is that of those involved some many be parents with jobs, mortgages etc and yet they took time and effort and spent money to create such wit.

And talking of hard toil, in the early hours of Sunday morning the kerbs in the Gallowgate area of Glasgow, a strong Celtic stronghold, mysteriously turned red, white and blue. They were soon returned to green and white. Who has the energy? Who has the time?

The atavistic anthems are not going away. Neither are the add-ons with swear words about the Pope who got a mention from both ends, and it wasn't to praise the man for his humanitarian work or modernisation of the Catholic Church.

Rangers died, according to the Celtic support. As a retort, the Rangers end helpfully reminded us that Bobby Sands had also passed away.

There were very few songs about their actual teams or the players. Maybe that will come about in the 22nd century.

But there was one song which summed up what the actual story of the day was.

It wasn’t about religion, Ireland or even whether Mark Warburton does indeed have a magic hat.

“Sacked in the morning;” rang around the old lady of Mount Florida as Ronnie Deila stood on the touchline wondering what to. The Celtic fans didn’t join in but they were thinking it and wishing it.