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Rangers 3 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Rangers 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Rangers scorers: Davis 24, Lafferty 65, Miller 76
Aberdeen scorers: Mackie 68.

07/04/2010 | KO: 19:45

Dons Lose Out as Grimmer Makes Debut

This was not the worst performance by Aberdeen, but once again poor defending and a lack of fire power up front was the downfall for the Dons. In a low key first half a great strike from Davis separated the teams. Aberdeen looked a much better prospect after the break, but just as they looked as though they might get back on terms a quick Rangers break allowed Lafferty to score. Aberdeen hit back three minutes later as MacLean did well and Mackie slid in to score. Aberdeen looked as if they could possibly take a point when a badly defended corner gave Miller the third. In the 79th minute 16-year-old Jack Grimmer became the youngest player to play in the SPL as he made his Dons debut when he replaced MacLean. With Fyvie and Marshall also coming on, it was a young team that finished the match.

Rangers kicked off, but Aberdeen worked their way forward in the opening minute, before David Weir tidied up at the back. Two minute later Rangers won the opening corner of the match and Langfield punched clear before Grassi was upended by Whitaker. Whitaker then pushed McLean, but no action was taken against the light blue player. As expected Rangers were on the ascendancy in the early stages, but after ten minutes Jamie Langfield had yet to be tested. Grassi collected the first caution for his first discretion as he went in late on McCulloch.

A minute later Ranger won their second corner as Grassi did well to clear. Following a short corner Aluko conceded on the edge of the box, but Davis was unable to find a team mate in the Aberdeen area. Aluko did well in the 14th minute when he skinned Whittaker, but he let himself down with a poor delivery. A third corner for the home side followed in the 15th minute, but the opportunity was wasted as this match was still looking to take off. In fact at this stage it had the feel of an end of season affair as neither side looked like creating anything.

Grassi caught Edu in a 50-50 challenge in the 23rd minute that had the locals screaming for red, but it was clearly accidental and no foul was awarded. A minute later Ranger went ahead when Aberdeen failed to clear their lines and Naismith fed the ball to Davis who hit a screamer into the top right hand corner of the net giving Langfield no chance. That was the first goal that Aberdeen had conceded against Rangers this season. In the 28th minute Mackie did well on the right and delivered a decent cross, but Weir did enough to put Paton off. A poor ball from McLean ended another chance a minute later before Rangers were back on the attack.

Grassi had a pot shot at goal in the 33rd minute, but the effort was high and not very handsome. McCulloch extracted some revenge on Grassi in the 37th minute, but the match official saw nothing wrong with the heavy challenge. Aberdeen had not played badly, but they were struggling to create chances. That almost changed in the 41st minute when Grassi released McLean, but the striker couldn't make anything of the half chance. Lafferty took a dive two minutes later, but the referee wasn't taken in by the play acting as the first half stuttered to a conclusion.

In the 47th minute McLean won a free kick when he was clattered by McCulloch, but the set play came to nothing. Aberdeen broke well a couple of minutes later, but Kerr delayed too long and Paton was closed down quickly. Rangers had once again gained the initiative as Aberdeen were required to do some serious defending, but Mulgrew and Diamond were performing well. Lafferty headed an easy chance wide then Papac fired over as the home side looked to finish the game. McLean then won another free kick and this looked their best chance of scoring.

Mulgrew delivered a decent ball, but Grassi failed to test McGregor as he headed over. Naismith was doing a lot of moaning at the officials then he was penalised for a foul on Diamond, but he escaped any caution. Mulgrew and Paton combined well in the 63rd minute, but McLean missed the final ball by a matter of inches. Just as Aberdeen were beginning to look confident Rangers had a quick break and the Dons fans favourite, Kyle Lafferty, scored as the Aberdeen defenders backed off. Aberdeen almost hit back two minutes later when Paton did well, hit the bye line and found Mackie. Unfortunately the striker tried a chip instead of going for goal and the chance was gone.

Mackie made amends a minute later following great play from McLean he slid in at the back post to force the ball over the line. Kerr won another free kick in the 71st minute and McGregor was forced to punch clear as the flag went up for offside. Rangers won their first corner of the second half in the 76th minute and poor defending gifted Miller the third goal as Wilson headed the ball down for the striker to score. In the 69th minute 16-year-old Jack Grimmer became the youngest player to play in the SPL as he made his Dons debut when he replaced McLean.

A Grassi shot was blocked by Edu in the 81st minute then Grimmer had a sniff of goal before Papac cleared. Marshall replaced Aluko a minute later then Fyvie replaced Grassi as the average age of the Dons side dropped even further. A shocking challenge by Miller on Marshall again failed to produce a caution then with two minutes remaining Aberdeen won their first corner of the match. It was easily cleared and as the game came to a conclusion Diamond had an effort that went well off target as the Dons now turn their attention to St. Johnstone on Sunday.

Rangers Teamsheet
Allan McGregor, Steven Whittaker, David Weir, Danny Wilson, Sasa Papac, Steven Davis, Lee McCulloch, Maurice Edu, Kyle Lafferty (Nacho Novo 77), Steven Naismith, Kenny Miller. Unused Subs: Neil Alexander, Kris Boyd, DaMarcus Beasley, Steven Smith, Andrew Little, John Fleck.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Diamond, Ifil, Grassi (Fyvie 84), Foster, Mackie, Kerr, Aluko (Marshall 83), Mulgrew, Paton, MacLean (Grimmer 79).

Unused Subs: Nelson, Young, Duff, Jack.

Bookings:  Grassi (9).
Attendance: 47,061
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Referee: Willie Collum, Carfin