The final game of the season told the story of the whole campaign - the Dons creating and then wasting a string of excellent chances as they slipped to defeat at Ibrox.
Stephen Glass made one change to his starting line up following the 1-0 defeat to Hibernian on Wednesday, Joe Lewis coming back in goal, in place of Gary Woods who picked up a shoulder injury in that game. On the day of his dad's birthday, Andrew Considine made his 562nd appearance for the club on the 17th anniversary of his debut, moving him fourth in the all-time appearances list above Stewart McKimmie and now only behind Willie Miller, Alex McLeish and Bobby Clark.
Rangers also made just the one goalkeeping change to the side that defeated Livingston 3-0 on Wednesday night, Allan McGregor returning in place of Jon McLaughlin.
Rangers were swiftly into a rhythm, patient passing looking to stretch Aberdeen. In the fifth minute, they were in front, through the most bizarre of goals, Tavernier drilling in a cross that struck MacKenzie on its way through. In trying to cut it out, Lewis got an arm to it as it flashed across goal but only succeeded in scooping the ball into his own net.
Goldson wasn't far away from a second, getting up at the back post to plant his header just wide of goal from a Rangers corner in the 12th minute as the home side looked to dictate terms.
The Dons responded with some lovely football down the left hand side on the quarter hour involving Kamberi, Hendry and Hedges, the cross just in front of Ferguson as he slid in to try to get a touch. A nice free-kick two minutes later nearly came off in the Rangers box, McGeouch's low ball dummied by McLennan, Kamberi not quite able to get a shot away as the ball came through to him.
Lewis had to go full stretch to claw away a Tavernier corner in the 25th minute, the Dons having enjoyed a good ten minute spell of keeping the home side at bay. Roofe somehow escaped a booking for a late challenge on Hedges on 29 minutes.
Aberdeen were on the break again on the half hour, Kamberi's cross blocked behind by Hagi for a corner. Sadly, Hedges' set play came to nothing.
It was 2-0 and another unlucky deflection off MacKenzie on 34 minutes. Kent went on a surging run after he got a fortunate break of the ball off a McLennan clearance. Getting to the by-line, he pulled the ball back for Roofe whose goalward flick lacked power, but unfortunately it hit MacKenzie on the way through, taking it away from Lewis and in.
McLennan was on the run at the other end two minutes later, a searing burst down the right giving him opportunity to cross, Ferguson running onto the ball but miscuing his shot across goal and wide, a real opportunity for Aberdeen.
HALF-TIME: RANGERS 2 ABERDEEN 0
Campbell and Hornby came on for Aberdeen at the start of the second half in place of Kamberi and Hendry and the Dons started the half with some measured possession.
Hornby had a golden chance to get his first Aberdeen goal in the 49th minute, MacKenzie setting Hedges away down the left. His cross to the back post saw Hornby darting in unmarked but at the back post, he deflected the ball wide of goal, a great opportunity gone begging.
An intricate free-kick three minutes later saw Hoban getting on the end of a McGeouch cross, his header blocked away, the Dons appealing for a penalty to no avail. Shortly after, McLennan worked a one-two with Hedges before going down under a challenge just inside the box amid rather more hopeful shouts for a penalty.
The crossbar denied Aberdeen in the 56th minute, Ferguson smacking his shot against it from eight yards out when he looked certain to score. It was a beautifully worked move down the left Hedges playing a one-two with Hayes before releasing Hornby who in turn squared the ball for the unmarked Ferguson who will know that he should have deposited it in the net.
Another opening in the 59th minute, Hedges intercepting the ball on the edge of the Rangers area, advancing forward before trying to beat McGregor from a tight angle, the goalkeeper saving with his legs.
The Dons were made to pay for their profligacy on the hour. Hoban gave the ball away with a poor pass across the pitch, Hagi's nipping in to win it, his interception finding its way into the path of Roofe who buried his shot from 20 yards out to make it 3-0. Rangers then brought on Defoe and Arfield in place of Morelos and Hagi.
More frustration for Aberdeen in the 64th minute, Hedges slaloming beyond two or three Rangers challenges, getting deep into the box, only to be denied by a fine McGregor save. The all came out to Hayes who squared it for Hornby, but his snapshot flashed over.
On 69 minutes, there was another double change for Rangers, Roofe and Kent making way for former Aberdeen men Stewart and Wright. Within a couple of minutes, Stewart swivelled on the edge of the box and pulled his shot just wide. McGinn joined the fray with 15 minutes to go, replacing Hayes before Rangers' Aribo went down injured, Itten replacing him in the 79th minute.
Six minutes left and Aberdeen were on the break, Ferguson eventually worked into space to get away a shot but McGregor saved it comfortably at his near post. Davis collected the first yellow card of the day after sliding in on McLennan a minute later. Another chance for Aberdeen in the 86th minute, Considine heading a long ball into the path of Ferguson who fed Hornby, but again it was too tight an angle and McGregor made another straightforward stop.
Where the Dons couldn't score, Rangers were clinical in front of goal and it was 4-0 in the 88th minute. Campbell played a square ball that was cut out by Stewart who fed Defoe. He picked his way past a couple of challenges and deposited the ball beyond Lewis. In the aftermath, Hedges made way for Ramsay in Aberdeen's last change.