Aberdeen put so much into this match yet defensive frailties cost the Dons the points once again. Aberdeen dominated the first half and it took a magnificent save from McGregor in the 45th minute to deny the Dons a deserved half time lead. Aberdeen continued to hold the upper hand after the break until Rangers were awarded a corner in the 53rd minute, failed to deal with the cross from Adam allowing Darcheville to bundle the ball over the line. Aberdeen were unaffected by the set back and were unlucky not to level in the 67th minute when a Diamond header was scrambled off the line. A minute later Rangers won another corner and once again the Dons defence failed to deal with the Adam cross and the ball appeared to bounce of the head of Boyd and into the back of the net. It was a case of close but no cigar, but they are going to have to improve their defending. On a positive note both Aluko and Kerr looked the part and on this form they will win more than they lose.
Rangers kicked off and Mendes carved out the first chance for the home side in the second minute, but fortunately Boyd fired well over. Aluko then took advantage of some slack defending a minute later to win the first corner of the match, but the threat was comfortably dealt with as Rangers cleared their lines. A Severin throw in the 4th minute caused more problems for the home side and Broadfoot was forced to concede a second corner. From the delivery McGregor ran into Lee Miller and was awarded a free kick to ease the pressure.
McDonald carved out a half chance in the 8th minute as the Dons put the home side under sustained pressure. A minute later Aluko was causing real problems on the wing before he cut the ball back to Severin who over hit his pass to McDonald. In between the constant Aberdeen pressure the Rangers crowd were screaming for two spot kicks, but both appeals were laughable. The Dons were forcing Rangers on to the back foot and the Dons won their third corner in the 11th minute but Derek Young failed to make a decent cross.
Zander Diamond had to earn his corn in the 14th minute as he put in a telling challenge as Darcheville and Boyd looked to threaten. McDonald and Miller combined well in the 17th minute but they failed to find Aluko as the Dons continued to probe for an opener. Rangers then won their first corner two minutes later but Aberdeen were able to clear their lines. A Severin throw in the 22nd minute just eluded Aluko as the home defence continued to look nervous. Kerr was running the show in the middle of the park and Aluko was flagged offside after Kerr and Miller had set up the English youngster.
Aberdeen were battling for everything and the home side were clearly rattled and their fans were beginning to get on their back. Of course pressure is nothing without a goal to show for it and the Dons looked determined to convert this possession into something more positive. Darcheville set up Ferguson on the half hour but the skipper screwed his header wide. At the other end Miller took a sore one in the back from McCulloch, but the Dons failed to convert the chance and in fact Langfield had to be sharp off his line as Rangers broke quickly.
Mulgrew almost set up Miller in the 34th minute but Weir just managed to intercept the ball as the Dons striker looked to pull the trigger. A minute later Mulgrew had a great chance to whip in a free kick but he floated the ball too close to McGregor and wasted the chance. The Dons won another corner in the 37th minute but the delivery was poor. The home fans were incensed again in the 39th minute when referee Thomson rightly stopped the game for a head knock to Young. Rangers won a couple of corners in the last five minutes of the half but Aberdeen looked comfortable at the back.
In the final minute Aluko set up Derek Young but McGregor made a magnificent save to deny the Dons a deserved half time lead. Then right at the other end Langfield had to make an equally fine save as he turned the ball for a corner as Lee Mair almost steered the ball into his own net. The Dons had produced one of their best performances at Ibrox in the opening 45 minutes, but they know they will have to do the same again after the break.
Aberdeen started the second half in a positive frame as Aluko probed down the wing and won a throw in that was once again taken by Severin. McGregor was able to claim the ball after a bit of scramble and at the other end Langfield made a magnificent save from Darchville despite the striker looking well offside. There was no let up in the pace and seconds later Aberdeen were back up the other end and Mulgrew looked to have won a corner but the ball was adjudged to have come off Lee Miller before going out of play. Aluko was once again causing problems in the 50th minute as he skinned Mendes then had his cross blocked.
Rangers then took the lead against the run of play in the 52nd minute as the Dons defence failed to clear a corner and as the ball fell to Darcheville the striker was able to bundle the ball over the line. Two minutes later Miller was the victim of a cynical challenge from McCulloch who unbelievably escaped a caution. From the resulting free kick Aluko looked to be bundled off the ball but nothing was given. A minute later Sone delivered another great cross but again there were no takers in the middle. Nervous defending from Adam gifted Aberdeen a corner in the 57th minute and from the delivery Diamond headed wide then held his head in anguish as he realised he should have done better.
On the hour mark referee Thomson lost the plot as first Lafferty went in late on Severin then Aluko had the shirt almost pulled from his back and as the Dons players looked on in disbelief Diamond was penalised for his challenge on Darcheville. Fortunately nothing came of the chance and Aberdeen were soon back on the attack with Aluko. McGregor eventually grasped the ball at the second attempt as Miller lurked at the far post. A great move in the 67th minute produced another corner after Mulgrew sent a brilliant ball to Aluko and the youngster turned the Rangers defence inside out before his shot was deflected wide.
From the resultant corner a Diamond header was booted off the line by Mendes allowing Rangers to break quickly and kill the game. Once again Aberdeen were undone by a Adam corner. As the cross was swung in, the Dons defence failed to deal with it allowing the ball to virtually bounce of the head of Boyd, who knew little about it, and into the net. Foster and Maguire replaced Mair and Young in the 71st minute as the Dons looked to try and salvage something from the match. Rangers were now looking more confident with their two goal lead and Jimmy Calderwood must have been wondering how his team could put so much into the game and find themselves two goals behind.
Maguire beat Broadfoot in the 74th minute but his shot-come cross was easily gathered by McGregor. Lafferty went down in the 75th minute clutching his face after he had been all over the Zander Diamond. The referee was clearly unimpressed and decided not to award a free kick to either side. Whittaker won a very soft free kick from Foster in the 79th minute and Langfield was forced into a fine save from the resulting set play. Kerr and Aluko combined well two minutes later but the midfielder got it all wrong and neither passed nor shot. Broadfoot was booked in the 82nd minute as the match of promise stumbled to a conclusion.
Diamond followed Broadfoot into the book three minutes later producing the biggest cheer of the day from the home crowd. The resulting free kick saw Adam go close as he scraped the post with Langfield scurrying across his goal. Referee Thomson had the Dons fans bemused again in the 86th minute after a great challenge on Novo was perceived as a free kick to the home side. A minute later Ferguson went unpunished for a two footed lunge at Aluko. Aberdeen will now be looking to build up a head of steam in the run up to Christmas as the Dons slip back into the bottom six.