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AFC - Match Report
match report 2002-03 fixture list
Rangers 2 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   De Boer (30), Ferguson (76)        
Attendance: 49,219
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Kev sees red as Dons lose out
Kevin McNaughton was red carded at Ibrox as Rangers eased to a 2-0 win. The Dons looked positive at times, but didn't really have the drive or ability to create clear-cut chances. With the first two Old Firm matches of the season out of the way, the Dons now needed to turn their attention to Europe and the task of picking up SPL points over the next two months.

The Dons kicked off the match and McNaughton, playing in midfield, created an opening for Mackie in the opening minute. The shot was weak however and rolled harmlessly beyond the post. Rangers were quick to hit back and there was panic at the back for the Dons as De Boer threatened in the 3rd minute. The Dons did eventually scramble the ball clear. Aberdeen looked positive in the early stages and made a solid start.

The 9th minute saw Tiernan beat the offside trap and get himself into a dangerous position wide left. He cut the ball back to Mackie, but the youngster's cross was poor. A minute later Rangers were threatening when Arteta was theatrically up-ended outside the box, but once more the Dons defence coped well. Mr. Underhill spoke to Darren Young after a second reckless challenge in the opening 15 minutes. From the resultant free kick Kjaer easily collected Ricksen's effort.

Rangers went close in the 17th minute when Barry Ferguson hit a powerful drive from the edge of the box, which Kjaer blocked, and Anderson completed the clearance. There was controversy a minute later when Lovenkrands went down in the box following a Deloumeaux challenge. Referee Underhill ignored the loud appeals and booked the Dane for diving. Bob Malcolm quickly followed the Dane into the book when he was cautioned for a trip on Derek Young 25 yards out. McAllister took the free kick and bent it round the wall and wide of the far post.

The Dons had a lucky escape in the 23rd minute when Muscat drilled in a low cross, which Ricksen managed to scoop over the bar from a yard out. The home crowd was incensed in the 25th minute when Darren Young once more escaped punishment for another trip. Ferguson wasted the opportunity by firing the ball into the wall. Rangers took the lead on the half hour mark when De Boer had a simple tap in following some trickery on the left by Lovenkrands. Kevin McNaughton was booked in the 32nd minute for what appeared to be persistent fouling. Rangers were now taking the game by the scruff of the neck as the Dons struggled to regroup.

Lovenkrands continued to cause the Dons problems and Kjaer had to look lively in the 39th minute to smother another cross from the Dane. A minute later Numan turned provider as Lovenkrands directed a header inches wide. The first half petered out although Laurent D'Jaffo managed a tame shot on target in the final minute, similar to the one that Mackie had in the opening minute.

The second period started in a similar pattern to the opening 45 minutes. The Dons looked eager to take something from the match and were constantly snapping at the heels of the Rangers players. Mackie had a half chance in the 49th minute when he narrowly lost out in a chase with Moore to latch on to a dangerous through ball. Derek Young picked up the Dons second yellow card in the 54th minute when he stupidly kicked the ball away after being penalised. Two minutes later McNaughton tried to beat Klos from 35 yards when a pass to D'Jaffo on his left looked the better option.

Rangers went close in the 57th minute when Ferguson was given far too much space and played a neat one-two only for Anderson to block his final shot. Seconds later, indecision at the back almost cost the Dons another goal when Ferguson rolled the ball into the path of Ricksen and the Dutchman fired his effort wide. Leon Mike was thrown into the fray in the 63rd minute in place of Derek Young and two minutes later Rangers went close when Jamie McAllister was forced to clear from the goal line following a mix up inside the Dons penalty box. The Dons got a bigger break a minute later when De Boer should have added his second, but instead he blasted the ball over the bar from ten yards.

Rangers were increasing the pressure on the Dons, but Aberdeen did have a nice sequence of passing football in the 73rd minute, which was ended with Mackie being felled on the edge of the box. It was no surprise to see Mr. Underhill wave play on. Aberdeen introduced Chris Clark a minute later to replace Darren Young who had not enjoyed his best match in an Aberdeen shirt. There was more controversy in the 76th minute when Kevin McNaughton received a straight red card after it was adjudged that he handled the ball on the goal line. It looked like the ball had hit his chest but this didn't trouble Barry Ferguson who sent Kjaer the wrong way to kill the game.

Rangers Teamsheet:  Klos, Ricksen, Moore, Numan, Malcolm, Ferguson, Muscat, Arteta, De Boer, Lovenkrands, Arveladze

Unused Subs: Flo for Lovenkrands (60), Ross for Muscat (73), Latapy for Arteta (73)

Bookings:  Lovenkrands (18),   Malcolm (19)

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Kjaer, Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire, McAllister, Young (Clark 74), Tiernan, D'Jaffo, McNaughton, Young (Mike 63), Mackie.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:  McNaughton (32),  Young (54),  McNaughton (76).

Referee: John Underhill, Edinburgh

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