Into the circus came the showman.

Strip away the machismo and take out the hamming up that goes on for the benefit of those in the ringside seats and the core of what Scott Brown brings to Celtic is evident.

The Parkhead side’s ringmaster, Brown came into his own in what was a pulsating afternoon at Ibrox yesterday in a game that had all the traditional elements of a classic tussle between the two Glasgow giants; “it was like a game I’d see when I was growing up watching Celtic v Rangers,” Brendan Rodgers observed shortly after the whistle had blown.

Read more: Kieran Tierney: Celtic hero Odsonne Edouard was the quietest man in the dressing room

No sooner had Willie Collum flashed the red to Jozo Simunovic just eleven minutes after the break and Brown was doing the rounds, cracking the whip and pointing the finger, relaying orders, kicking plan B into touch as he went round every single Celtic player on the pitch explaining what was to come next.

Rodgers has maintained previously that his side plan and train around playing with ten men and Brown was his messenger yesterday.

But he was more than just that. At one point in the opening half at Ibrox in the immediate aftermath of Rangers going 2-1 up in the game there was a sense of the game slipping away from Celtic. Scenting blood from a Hoops defence that was queasily ill at ease with Dedryck Boyata toiling in his first game in six weeks and Simunovic run ragged, Ibrox rocked and demanded.

In fairness to Celtic they steadied themselves and found a foothold. But in the final minutes of the opening period there was a sense that if they couldn’t capitalise on that little bit of pressure they had put Rangers under then the Ibrox side would take that ascendancy into the second period.

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Brown was the catalyst for the leveller, crucial in its timing, and from a snapshot of the game which was the Celtic captain all over. Fouled by Daniel Candeias – who was later pulled back and booked by Collum who had correctly allowed play to go on – Brown held off both player and ball before launching a pass direct to the feet of Moussa Dembele at the other side of the pitch.

The Frenchman’s finish was excellent as he shrugged off the laborious Bruno Alves and lobbed Wes Foderingham right on the cusp of the half-time whistle blowing.

Brown celebrated, arms outstretched, Ibrox getting a reminder of a picture from some time ago. “He is a big game player,” said Rodgers. “Like I said, they all understand how we work when we go to 10 men. Obviously, Scotty is the captain and he can dictate that message. “It is important that everyone understands that. I think you saw that calmness from the players. They knew exactly what they were doing and carried it out perfectly.”

If Brown got the message over, it was Rodgers who orchestrated the bigger picture.

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It was the changes that Rodgers made that proved to the most telling influence on the game and few would have been overly critical had he opted for safety ahead of glory when the number boards went up.

Jack Hendry’s arrival to lend an edge to the backline was inevitable but the arrival of Odsonne Edouard was bold. The psychology behind the move, too, should not be underestimated with the message emanating clearly from the Parkhead bench that despite the numerical handicap, they remained in the hunt for the points.

It took just three minutes for the decision to be vindicated.

Football is so often about fine lines and fine margins and as Alfredo Morelos was guilty of scorning a chance at one end of the pitch, Edouard showed a more clinical boot at the other.

Dembele deserved credit too for his part in the move as he slipped an inviting pass to the feet of his fellow countryman but the finish itself was impressive as the teenager bent the ball into the far corner of the net.

“You can either work two ways when you lose a man,” explained Rodgers after the game. “You can go more defensive, sit and wait for the game and see what happens. But I always feel in that moment if you put on an extra attacker, reshuffle the balance in your team, the other team look to force more players forward into the game.

Read more: Kieran Tierney: Celtic hero Odsonne Edouard was the quietest man in the dressing room

“You could see Rangers ran out of ideas a little bit. Both full backs were gone. You put your two strikers on that gives you two v two on half a pitch. I will fancy Odsonne and Moussa Dembele when it is two v two on half a pitch against most centre backs.

“They worked it brilliantly. That was the thinking behind it. I can go defensive, but my intent is always to attack. Eight times out of 10 you will hopefully succeed that way.

“Odsonne is one of the best young players I have worked with. He has everything, touch, movement, speed, work ethic and a natural in-built football brain. I see it every day in training he has the quality to go either way but to show such composure and to go in the inside and finish like that it really endears him to the supporters, especially here at Ibrox.

“I am delighted for him and for the team. There was a lot of noise coming into the game but the boys kept their humility and had to twice come from behind in the game. “They then came up with a brilliant, brilliant win.”

The Celtic manager shies away from the extremes. He tends to reign himself in during moments of high drama but even he lost himself for a moment, racing down the touchline to celebrate the strike.

A lighter landed just behind his feet to add to the cup of juice – hopefully- that had been tossed earlier in addition to the plethora of objects that were thrown on the far side whenever Celtic went to take a corner kick.

When the circus comes to town it brings along the clowns.