The Dons made three changes to the side that lost 3-0 against Rangers on Wednesday. Scott Wright, Greg Stewart and Adam Rooney came into the starting line-up in place of Ryan Christie (suspended), Greg Tansey (injured) and Kari Arnason, who dropped to the bench. Gary Mackay-Steven also missed out on a place in the match day squad through injury. Rangers made one change, David Bates replacing the Portuguese international Bruno Alves.
Prior to the match Derek McInnes stressed it was the Dons poor start that let them down last time out at Ibrox and emphasised the importance on improving on that in front of home support. Aberdeen got things kicked off shooting from left to right. In the opening couple of minutes the Dons conceded a couple of early corners but dealt with them comfortably.
With five minutes on the clock Josh Windass was booked for simulation. The Rangers forward latched onto a long ball over the top from Danny Wilson and found himself in behind. Joe Lewis was out quickly to meet him but made no contact with Windass, who made the most of it flinging himself to the floor and receiving a yellow card from referee Willie Collum for his troubles.
The opening 10 mins was frantic and feisty with plenty of fouls and the referee was busy keeping a lid on the players emotions.
Graeme Shinnie received The Dons first yellow card for a late tackle on James Tavernier. Moments later Shinnie fouled again giving Rangers a free kick in a dangerous position on the right hand side.Declan John delivered the ball, left footed and in-swinging and Danny Wilson was there to meet it, unchallenged by any Aberdeen player and looped his header over Joe Lewis to give Rangers another early lead.
Rooney had Aberdeen?s first half chance of the game with a cross coming into the box from the left. The striker got in front of the Rangers goal scorer Danny Wilson but couldn?t generate the power or direction on the header. Midway through the first half, The Dons soaked up most of the pressure but were giving away a lot of needless fouls. Rangers were also picking up fouls too and in the 24th minute Jack fouled Scott Wright but escaped Collum?s pocket once again after a series of fouls in the opening stages.
All in all it was a frustrating first half hour for the Dons who were starting to get the ball into the right areas without really troubling the Rangers backline.
Moments later Rangers were up the other end and Windass thought he?d scored. His side footed shot from 20 yards was tipped round the post and out for a corner by Joe Lewis.
Following a disappointing opening half hour the Dons got themselves back into the game in the final 5 minutes before half time and could have went in level at the break.
The opportunity to equalise came when Considine rattled the bar with a header from a free kick. It was a great delivery, a left footed in-swinger from Stewart which was met by Considine in the 6 yard box but he was unfortunate to see his header cannon off the underside of the bar.
HT Aberdeen 0-1 Rangers
Aberdeen continued where they left off before the break. Wright drew a foul and a yellow card from McCrorie in a dangerous position but nothing came from it. Moments later Stevie May had a shot well blocked. It was end to end stuff and in the 49th minute a great touch from Miller saw him with an excellent opportunity. His left footed shot forced another great save from Joe Lewis who threw a hand up to tip the ball over the bar.
After 51 minutes the Dons made their first change when Frank Ross replaced Scott Wright.
In the 55th minute former Dons captain Ryan Jack was given a straight red for a reckless challenge on Stevie May. Jack was first to the ball but left his studs planted high on the Aberdeen striker and was rightly sent off leaving Rangers with ten men.
Unfortunately the challenge had taken it?s toll on Stevie May who couldn?t recover and was replaced by Nicky Maynard with half an hour to play.
Just when it looked as though the Dons would take control of the match Josh Windass delivered a sucker punch to double Rangers lead. Tavernier released Candeias down the right who fired a first time ball across the six yard box which was smartly turned in by Windass. It was all too easy for the away side.
Moments later however, Aberdeen bounced back in terrific style through Frank Ross. Tavernier conceded a free kick on the left hand side of the Rangers goal 25 yards out. Frank Ross lined it up and fired an absolutely beauty into the top corner of Foderingham?s net giving the Dons a lifeline with 25 minutes to go.
Aberdeen controlled the game for the remaining period as you would expect with the extra man with patient build up, moving the ball from side to side but failed to cause any real work for Foderingham in the Rangers goal.
With 10 minutes remaining Daniel Harvie replaced Andrew Considine as The Dons went in search of an equaliser.
Wave after wave of Aberdeen pressure followed but Rangers were tough to break down. Greg Stewart came close to finding the equaliser, trying to bend one in the top corner from the edge of the box but the ball sailed a foot past the far post.
The fourth official then signalled four minutes of added time for Aberdeen to try and get something from the match. Back to back corners came to nothing. Then there was late pressure from Aberdeen, Ross delivered a great ball to the back post but neither Rooney nor Logan could get the vital touch to send it goal bound. Rangers ran the clock down in the final few minutes, Herrera was booked for kicking the ball away. The Dons had one last chance in the final minute. Lewis went up for the free kick. A bouncing ball dropped to Shinnie but his shot was blocked and Rangers held on to take the victory.
Aberdeen now face a trip to Dens Park as they take on Dundee on Friday evening as they look to get back on track after a very disappointing week.