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Rangers 2 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Rangers 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Rangers scorers: Foster og 66, Miller 68
Aberdeen scorers: Paton 77.

16/05/2009 | KO: 12:30

Brave Dons Defeated after Controversial Red

Jimmy Calderwood made two changes to the side that drew with Hearts on Tuesday. Mark Kerr returned from suspension and Peter Pawlett made his first competitive start; Chris Maguire dropped to the bench and Jamie Smith missed out through injury. The Dons lined up with a 4-4-2, with Vidal, Mair, Severin and Foster across the back. Pawlett, McDonald, Kerr and Mulgrew through the middle, with Aluko and Miller up front.

The Dons started well and won a free kick just outside the Rangers box after a Pawlett was brought down after a neat interchange with Vidal. Mulgrew took the free kick but failed to find a red shirt in the box.

It was a real end to end start to the game with both sides seeing a lot of the ball. Sone Aluko looked dangerous on the ball, as he took it past Weir, then Papac and then Weir again but his cross couldn't find Miller in the box.

Rangers had their first real chance after 12 minutes, when David broke on the right but he couldn't find Boyd in the box and the Dons defence cleared the danger.

The game erupted into life on the quarter of an hour mark for all the wrong reasons, when Charlie Mulgrew was sensationally sent off. Mulgrew cleared the ball on the touchline and Laferty crashed into him with a late, late tackle. Mulgrew got up and as he exchanged words with the Rangers striker, who threw himself to the ground, as if he had been head butted. Referee Stuart Dougal was fooled and sent off Mulgrew. It was never a sending off and Laferty should have been booked for diving.

The Dons kept playing as they had done before, and despite being down to ten men, still looked like they could get something with Pawlett and Aluko looking dangerous and Severin leading by example at the back. Foster was unlucky when his cross came back off the post.

The game took another twist after 38 minutes when Bougherra was sent off for a late challenge on Jamie Langfield. Davis found space on the edge of the area and his pass was too strong for the big defender and he clattered in to Langfield.

Peter Pawlett almost gave the Dons the lead just before half time as he picked up the ball from Foster and curled in a shot which was heading for the top corner but Alexander managed to tip the ball out for the a corner.

The Dons a had a slight scare just before half time as Boyd looked to be through on Goal but Langfield was off his line and gathered the ball before the Rangers striker could get to it.

Rangers came out with a bit more urgency at the start of the second half but it wasn't long before the home fans were on their back as the Dons continued to frustrate the home side.

The Dons were dealt a cruel blow on the hour mark as Rangers took the lead through a Richard Foster own-goal. McDonald gave the ball away deep in the Rangers half and Kenny Miller's pace got him past Lee Mair and the Scotland striker sent a great ball into the box and the Dons defender had to get something on it or Laferty would have had a tap in, but he could only slide it past the help-less Langfield.

The home side finally got behind the their team and Kenny Miller made it two nil minutes later; he rose unchallenged to head a Novo corner into the net as the Dons defence switched off for the first time this afternoon.

Rangers threatened to go further ahead but some great tackles by Scott Severin kept the Dons in the game. The Dons managed to lift their game again and again were looking good on the ball.

Gary McDonald should have pulled one back for the Dons on 73 minutes, as he was sent clear after a great ball from Aluko but he could only hit the top of the bar from inside the box.

The Dons did manage to pull a goal back when substitute Michael Paton did brilliantly in the box to hold the ball up and turn Weir before firing a low shot past Alexander.

It was to prove too little too late for the Dons as they left Ibrox defeated once again, despite some brilliant performances from the Dons. We now have to hope Hearts can defeat Dundee Utd this afternoon or the Dons Euro dream is over.

Rangers Teamsheet
Alexander, Whittaker, Bougherra, Weir, Papac, Davis, Mendes (Ferguson 61), Edu, Lafferty (Fleck 81), Miller, Boyd (Novo 61)

Bookings:  Rangers: Lafferty 18,   Papac 63
Aberdeen: Vidal 26   Rangers: Bougherra (39)
Aberdeen: Mulgrew 17
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Vidal (Maguire 83), Mair, Severin, Mulgrew, Pawlett (Duff 58), Kerr, McDonald, Foster, Aluko, Miller (Paton 64).

Unused Subs: Ross, Stewart, Bossu, Clark.

Bookings:  Vidal (26),  Mulgrew (17).
Attendance: 50,295
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Referee: Stuart Dougal, Burnside
Next Match
Heart of Midlothian
09 Dec 2023 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen