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AFC - Match Report
match report 1997-98 fixture list
Premier Division 
10/01/1998
 
Rangers 2 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM          
Attendance: 49,542
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Full Time Score
Rangers 2 v 0 Aberdeen
Scorers - Porrini (9), Laudrup (12)

Rangers maintained their place at the top of the Scottish Premier Division shrugged off their Old Firm blues with a win against Aberdeen. The defeat at the hands of Celtic last week raised serious questions about their ability to go on and make it 10 titles in a row. But Walter Smith's men rose to the challenge and returned to winning ways thanks to an inspirational performance from Brian Laudrup. The Danish star scored once and set up the other goal as Aberdeen were forced onto the defensive all afternoon. To complete the Dons' misery Ilian Kiriakov wa sent off in the 75th minute for his second bookable offence. Laudrup's display was all the more welcome for Ibrox boss Smith as Marco Negri, Rangers' 33-goal top scorer, was ruled out with an eye injury while Gascoigne had to settle for a place on the bench after a bout of flu. Italian striker Negri had beensidelined after being hit by a squash ball during a match with Sergio Porrini.

Ibrox central defender Porrini must have felt a bit guilty about the accident as he put the home side ahead after just nine minutes. Laudrup started the move, releasing Alex Cleland down the left. The full-back's cross was precise and Porrini stole in to volley home his third of the season from 12 yards. Rangers had been within a whisker of taking the lead a minute earlier when Gordon Durie saw a header come back off the post following a fine cross from Jonas Thern. Aberdeen were looking for their first league win in 12 attempts against the champions and their first at Ibrox since 1991. Manager Alex Miller gave a debut to Northern Ireland midfielder Michael O'Neill following his three month loan deal from Coventry. But it was a torrid start for the former Hibernian star with Rangers adding a second goal after just 12 minutes. Laudrup, so quiet in the Old Firm match, carved a path through the Aberdeen defence to release a 25 yard thunderbolt that went beyond goalkeeper Jim Leighton. Rangers stepped up the pressure and Durie could have had at least a hat-trick before the break.

The Scotland striker knocked the ball over from six yards after Jorg Albertz had delivered the cross. Then he saw Leighton twice thwart him in quick succession, tipping away a close-range shot followed by a point blank header. Aberdeen found it hard to get going after those two early strikes and had one effort of note in the first half. Rangers skipper Richard Gough was penalised for a challenge on the highly rated Stephen Glass. The youngster took the free-kick himself only to find his effort come back off the bar. Rangers supporters were impatient for another goal and Albertz nearly obliged in the 54th minute. He set himself up nicely 25 yards out but his fiercely-struck effort went marginally wide. Leighton continued to defy Rangers and beat away another effort from Thern. But Kiriakov's dismissal 15 minutes from time took the game firmly out of Aberdeen's reach. Laudrup almost added a third, seeing his shot come off the post from the edge of the area.

Rangers Teamsheet: 

Bookings:

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Leighton, Bernard, Whyte, O'Neil, Inglis, Smith, Kiriakov, Jess, O'Neill (Windass), Dodds (Anderson), Glass.

Unused Subs: Newell.

Bookings:  Kiriakov (75).

Referee:

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