The match started with a frenetic pace and it wasn't long before the referee had to get his cards out. Ryan Jack won a challenge in the middle of the park with Joe Garner and the Rangers striker didn't take too kindly to it. A bit of handbags followed as Garner went to ground in an effort to fool the ref but the end result was a yellow card for both players.
Hayes drove towards goal in the 7th minute and got the beating of Bates before taking a strike towards goal, Fotheringham kept it out at the near post.
It was a very open start to the match and Rangers soon had a chance of their own as Waghorn's shot was deflected into the path of Garner in the area. He stepped inside and beat O'Connor but Lewis was there to prevent a goal as he looked to continue his run of clean sheets. If was a fine block.
The battle was then in the middle of the park as tackles flew in with Aberdeen pressing high up the park. In the 20th minute Rangers had another great chance as Garner found Waghorn in the middle with a cross that split Taylor and O'Connor but the striker was stretching and volleyed over.
In the 24th minute Taylor became the second Aberdeen player to go into the book after he overran the ball in the Rangers half and caught his opponent late.
A few minutes later Garner was at the centre of the action again when he appeared to have caught Lewis from a corner. Kevin Clancy had a word with Garner but no action was taken, presumably a final warning.
The next player to be carded was in a red shirt as Graeme Shinnie brought down Toral to break up a Rangers counter-attack before it had the chance to get started. Aberdeen had started strongly but the visitors had perhaps had the better of the opening half hour but the score remained level.
The Dons then had a chance when Rooney brilliantly flicked the ball on for McLean who hit the byline, his cut back was falling into the path of Shinnie but McGinn got a touch on in which took the ball away and gave Rangers a chance to clear.
The match carried on in a combative manner for the remainder of the half but at half-time it was 0-0 and an intriguing second half lay ahead.
The second half took a while to get going but Aberdeen crafted out a chance in the 50th minute when Hayes sped away from two blue shirts down the right wing, he drove into the box but his delivery was cut out before it eventually made its way to Shinnie. He couldn't get enough on his shot to beat Foderingham.
That seemed to spark the match into life again and Holt followed his teammate Garner into the book for a late challenge in the middle of the pitch on Shinnie.
Foderingham was called into action again moments later when McLean struck a powerful volley towards goal from 12 yards after the visitors failed to deal with a high cross. Kenny caught his snap shot well but it was close to the keeper and he managed to get behind it.
Aberdeen had upped the tempo and O'Connor showed great initiative to nip in and win the ball on the halfway line before playing the ball into the path of Rooney who did well to get a shot on target but it was saved by Foderingham once again. From a slight angle Adam had gone across the keeper who spread himself well.
The Dons were piling on the pressure after the half time break and Foderingham was called up once again just before the hour mark. Hayes picked up the ball near the halfway line and looped a ball towards the penalty spot which Taylor flicked on for Rooney. The number nine connected well but it was a great save by Foderingham to keep out Aberdeen's best chance of the game.
Shay Logan was the next player to charge towards the box after getting on the end of a superb long diagonal by O'Connor, Shay's first touch was perfect and carried him into the box, Rooney peeled away for the cut back but a defender read it and cut the ball out. The Dons remained on top but were yet to take a chance as the match entered the final quarter.
It was pretty much all Aberdeen who were turning the screw and getting into good wide areas but couldn't find the elusive first goal as a couple of enticing crosses flashed across the six yard box.
The Dons were made to pay for not taking one of those chances.
First substitute Windass should have done better when he found space on the right edge of the area. Aberdeen did not heed the warning and shortly after a shot deflected into the path of Waghorn inside the area, Lewis was on hand to make a great save and push the ball partially clear but Miller was there to hit a great strike towards goal and into the roof of the net. It was a clinical finish and moments later it got worse for The Dons.
Almost straight from the kick-off a slack pass from O'Connor fell to Dodoo and he played the ball through into the gap for Miller to clip the ball past Lewis and into the net. It was a nightmare couple of minutes for Aberdeen.
The Dons made their first change when Stockley replaced O'Connor, it was time to go for broke.
With Aberdeen chasing a goal Dodoo found space down the left and drove towards the area before firing a shot straight into the bottom corner to leave Pittodrie completely shell shocked.
It was a capitulation and could have got worse when Dodoo hit the cross bar in stoppage time, thankfully Considine was there to clear Miller's rebound off the line and keep it at 3-0.
The Dons had matched the away side for most of the match and grown into it in the second half but had paid the price for a lack of concentration as the match entered its final stages.