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Rangers 0 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Rangers 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Premier Division
Aberdeen scorers: Jess 72, Grant 86.

28/09/1991 | KO: 15:00

Dons back in top spot after late double sinks Gers

Aberdeen knew that a win at Ibrox would see them return to the top of the Premier League and with the memory of their last day defeat at the end of the previous season still hurting, it proved a perfect inspiration for the Dons players. The Dons only defeat was a shock home loss against St Johnstone, which knocked the Dons out of their stride. A disastrous home defeat against BK1903 Copenhagen in the UEFA Cup resulted in co-boss Jocky Scott leaving the club to take over in his own right at Dunfermline. That left Alex Smith in sole charge of the Dons and guide them through what was to be a crucial period. While Aberdeen were knocked out of Europe and their League Cup interest at an end, they could do little wrong in the league. With Celtic well off the pace even at that early stage it was shaping up to be another battle between Aberdeen and Rangers for the flag although Hearts had at last mustered a decent enough side.

With captain Alex McLeish missing through injury it was Stewart McKimmie who was brought in to the centre of defence with Paul Mason reverting to a wide defensive role. Aberdeen adopted a rigid formation from the outset, mindful of the dangers of the Hateley-Johnston combine, which had caused problems in the past. Not unlike previous Ibrox displays the Dons seemed happy to surrender territory and hit Rangers on the break. With Eoin Jess and Scott Booth up front the Dons had a potent strike force given the opportunity. Theo Snelders was the Aberdeen hero in the first half as he made some crucial saves and it was his contribution that kept Aberdeen in touch. With the home support becoming restless at their teams failure to breach a solid Aberdeen defence, it was the Dons who hit Rangers with two late goals to secure the impressive victory.

In 72 minutes Ten Caat found Jess in splendid isolation in the box after a fine move and the Dons striker calmly stroked the ball past Andy Goram to put Aberdeen ahead. That signalled an immediate response from Rangers as they tried to get a foothold in the game but another slick Aberdeen break eight minutes later resulted in a second Aberdeen goal. This time it was van der Ark the dons towering Dutch striker who skipped past former Don David Robertson to set up Brian Grant to blast the ball past Goram. There was no way back for Rangers and the Ibrox stands emptied soon after that goal which left Aberdeen the relatively simple task of keeping a despondent Rangers side at bay for the closing minutes. It was sweet revenge for the Dons who had at least regained the initiative over their great rivals to go back to the top of the league. Alex Smith was a happy man after the game.

"We went to Ibrox confident despite our disappointments in the cup competitions, we were determined to get our season back on the rails. The players knew they had a point too prove and they responded in style. This was one of the few occasions that the whole team played well. There were no failures, no passengers. The experienced players set a great example Theo brought off a superb save at a crucial time and Stewart McKimmie and Brian Irvine were superb at the back. I expected Jim Bett to take command in the midfield and he did not disappoint. We are unbeaten away from Pittodrie this season in the league and now we are ahead of Rangers where we want to be."

Rangers Teamsheet
Goram, Stevens, Robertson D, Brown, Spackman, Nisbet, McCall, Robertson A, Hateley (Spencer 66), Johnston, Mikhailechenko (Huistra)

Bookings:  McCall 43
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Snelders, Mason, Connor, Grant, Irvine, McKimmie, van de Ven (Watson 61), Bett, Booth, Ten Caat, Jess (van der Ark 82).

Bookings:  Irvine (25),  Ten Caat (37).
Attendance: 36,330
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Referee: B. R. McGinlay, Balfron
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride