29 November 2017
Rangers 3-0 Aberdeen
The Dons made one change to the team from Sunday's 3-1 victory at Kilmarnock, with Kari Arnason returning in the place of Gary Mackay-Steven. This was the first of two meetings between the sides in the space of four days, with Rangers making the visit to Pittodrie on Sunday. A noisy Red Army were in attendance at Ibrox, hoping to witness a second victory in a row in Govan.
Not even 30 seconds were on the clock when Rangers nearly took the lead. After working the ball down the Dons' left, a low ball was played into the danger area, but fortunately for the Dons, Windass couldn't get a touch on it.
The Dons forced a corner on three minutes, but Tansey's delivery wasn't the best and was cleared away at the front post. Disaster would strike for the visitors minutes later though as Tansey was adjudged to have fouled Holt in the box and a penalty was given. Tavernier put it down the middle to give Rangers the early lead, although a diving Lewis almost got a touch with his foot.
The men in red, playing with a back three, struggled to get to grips with the game and Rangers had much more of the ball in the early stages. O'Connor became the first player to be booked after 18 minutes after misjudging a bouncing ball and taking Windass down.
In the 19th minute, Carlos Pena found space in the Aberdeen half and hit a dipping shot on target, but Joe Lewis made a very good save by tipping it over for a corner. The first opportunity for the Dons came minutes later. A lovely ball from Kenny McLean sent May through, but his attempted lob was blocked by Foderingham and went out for a corner. The keeper had come racing off his line and was fortunate to get away with an error of judgement. Tansey's fine delivery was met by O'Connor's head, and his looping effort to the far post was not far away.
Shortly after, the home side had the ball in the net as Windass was sent through. It looked close but the assistant referee correctly had his flag up. It didn't matter, as less than a minute later it was 2-0. Poor defending allowed a low Holt cross from the left to find Pena and he doubled Rangers' advantage. It completed a terrible opening half an hour for The Dons, who hadn't got going at all.
All the aggression was coming from the home side.
On 33 minutes Shinnie was harshly booked for a foul, despite winning the ball. Rangers could then have been three ahead had it not been for Lewis in goal. Pena linked up well with Tavernier and Joe managed to dive at the right-back's feet to make a superb block.
A Christie free-kick then caused a goal line scramble. The quality cross found McKenna who poked the ball goalwards but frustratingly no one in a red shirt could force the ball over the line.
Aberdeen were able to put together an excellent move in the 35th minute. Shinnie found space and picked out the advancing Considine, whose pass into the six yard box allowed May to get a shot away. Stevie's first timed angled shot went just past the front post.
On 38 minutes, Ross McCrorie was booked after an elbow on McLean.
The Dons made a tactical and personnel change in the 42nd minute with Tansey being replaced by Mackay-Steven. Almost immediately, the winger had a golden opportunity to score. He beat Tavernier on the left and, with the goal in his sights, fired wide. Gary was furious there was not a foul given as he appeared to be impeded inside the area but all he received was a booking for his protests. Although it was the slightest of touches, it was enough to put GMS off.
Half-time came shortly and the Dons were faced with a mountain to climb after a poor first period.
Ht Rangers 2 Aberdeen 0
The Dons started the second half with some promise and Christie was desperate to be involved. An early effort from distance from the midfielder was always going over the bar, but Aberdeen looked far hungrier. The hosts forced two corners within the space of a few minutes, but the Dons defended well. Christie was then booked after an altercation with Jason Holt after Shinnie was fouled.
Good link up play between Shinnie, Mackay-Steven and Christie then allowed Ryan to find space at the edge of the box. His low shot with the outside of the boot was heading for the corner, but Foderingham held well.
Aberdeen then enjoyed their only decent sustained spell of the game. They worked the ball into some good areas but three or four dangerous crosses always picked out a blue jersey.
Alves then became the latest player to find himself in the referee's book for a foul from behind on McLean. The referee's whistle was going constantly which was doing nothing to help Aberdeen get any flow into their game.
In the 70th minute, the game was killed off by the hosts. A passing move allowed Windass to find space down the Dons' left, something the home side had been able to do all evening, and a ball into the front post was flicked in by Tavernier for his second. Both he and Miller looked marginally offside when the cross came in, but the linesman gave the benefit of doubt to the forward players.
In the 77th minute, Greg Stewart replaced Kari Arnason as O'Connor dropped back to the defence. Mackay-Steven was trying to make things happen down the left, but was taken off for Rooney on 83 minutes after taking a knock. Ryan Christie then lost his discipline and was ordered off by Andrew Dallas for a tackle from behind. It pretty much summed up Aberdeen's evening. Ryan will also now miss the match on Sunday.
There was very little action to come in the final stages and the final whistle meant Aberdeen's long unbeaten run away from home was ended in an extremely disappointing manner.
Although Aberdeen can feel aggrieved about some of the close calls not going their way, they can have no complaints about the result as they did not do enough to get into this game.
Ft Rangers 3 Aberdeen 0