Just over a fortnight ago St Johnstone were drawing with one half of the Old Firm and basking in the glow of achieving a little bit of club history when an unbeaten run reached 11.
After losing to the other half, that warm glow has dimmed and the statistic that is shining bright is six without a win in the Premiership.
Draws have played a big part in both spells, it has to be stressed, but the temperature drop for Saints is indisputable.
You wouldn’t say that they were out-played by Rangers but from the moment Kemar Roofe put the runaway league leaders in front, there was no doubting the result.
This was the second 3-0 scoreline between the sides and a similar story to the August Ibrox fixture of a decent start fading away.
Unfortunately there was a sending off on this occasion – one that was as baffling as it was needless.
Second half substitute Michael O’Halloran – only on the park for five minutes – picked up two quick-fire yellow cards and was dismissed for the second time this season.
With a small squad to pick from and a busy schedule to navigate, it’s an understatement to say Callum Davidson could have done without it.
The McDiarmid Park boss has significantly altered his starting line-up from game to game in recent weeks and this match was no exception.
In came Chris Kane, Callum Booth, Shaun Rooney and Craig Bryson.
Davidson would have been happy enough with the balance of play in the opening stages.
There wasn’t a hint of it being attack v defence as had been the case in Rangers’ last contest against Motherwell, that’s for sure.
In fact, the first two half-chances were for Saints.
On just four minutes a careless Glen Kamara pass across the pitch was intercepted by David Wotherspoon. He should probably have let fly after taking a couple of touches but he ended up dwelling on the ball for too long and was crowded out by a combination of Philip Helander and Connor Goldson.
When Kane laid the ball back for Murray Davidson, he chose the right option in getting a quick shot away but it was a tame effort and straight at Allan McGregor.
Defensive discipline is always one of the key themes for teams getting a positive result against Rangers and Celtic but Davidson let his slip when he committed a needless foul on Ianis Hagi.
It was too far out for a James Tavernier shot but when the set-piece into the box wasn’t fully cleared, Kamara’s effort on the angle drifted just over the bar.
Rangers hadn’t played like clinical champions in waiting up to this point but that changed midway through the half when their first shot produced their first goal.
Craig Conway was dispossessed by Ryan Kent near the centre-circle and plenty of referees would have given a free-kick for the challenge.
Unfortunately for Saints and Conway, Nick Walsh wasn’t one of them.
From there, the ball was quickly moved forward by Kamara to Hagi. His shot was saved by Zander Clark but the keeper could neither hold on to it nor push it wide.
The result was a Roofe tap-in.
Any realistic jeopardy for Steven Gerrard’s men all but evaporated when they scored their second just after the half-hour mark.
It was all too easy for Joe Aribo to pick a pass through the middle of the Saints defence and Clark had no chance of keeping Kamara’s shot out.
The last chance of the opening period fell to Kent at the edge of the box and he would have been disappointed not to score given the time and space he was afforded.
There was a double substitution for Saints for the second half – Stevie May and Ali McCann for Davidson and Conway.
They hadn’t even been on the pitch for two minutes when their team were into damage limitation territory.
Rooney blocked a Roofe shot and when it came back out to Hagi his shot found a way under Clark’s body to make the score 3-0.
Saints attacks were few and far between by this stage, with shots on target even more scarce.
May did test McGregor on 56 minutes, though, after he took a Kane flick-on in his stride.
Helander did enough to pressure the striker and a comfortable save was made.
Roofe was replaced by Alfredo Morelos on 64 minutes and, would you believe it, the controversial centre-forward’s first involvement was catching an opponent with a flying elbow.
It wasn’t premeditated like the forearm smash on Mark Connolly at Tannadice but Rooney was left nursing a sore chin all the same.
Danny McNamara doesn’t have long left as a Saints player before he returns to parent club Millwall and the wing-back came off with just over 10 minutes to go. O’Halloran was the substitute.
Guy Melamed and Liam Craig also came on late in the game – for Bryson and Kane.
Running down the clock and moving on to the next game was all that should have happened from here for Saints but there was a ridiculous late twist.
Within two minutes of football, O’Halloran had picked up two bookings and he was off.
The first offence was a tactical foul on Morelos in midfield and the second a late block tackle on Borna Barisic in front of the dug-outs.
Morelos should have made it four but dragged a shot wide and 3-0 it finished.