Aberdeen were dealt a double blow before kick off when it was announced that Considine was injured then during the warm up his partner Ifil also picked up a knock to leave the Dons with a makeshift central partnership of Foster and Mulgrew. The Dons overcame this start and went into a deserved lead in the 17th minute when fine play saw Paton skin Whittaker and fire a pin point cross for Lee Miller to convert. The problems increased after the break when Mark Kerr became the fourth Don to be sent off in four games for a couple of innocuous challenges. The Dons felt a sense of injustice, but showing great team work and defiance they kept Rangers out and recorded a deserved victory.
Rangers kicked off but in the 3rd minute Aberdeen threatened when Miller challenged McGregor, but was harshly penalised. Two minutes later Miller knocked down to Maguire and the striker fired inches over. At the other end Kerr was forced to concede a corner and McCulloch headed wide from the subsequent set play. A minute later Pawlett went on a great run into the box, skinning Papac and hitting a fierce shot that was deflected wide. The corner came to nothing and in the 11th minute Fleck made a shocking challenge on Pawlett and somehow avoided a caution. From the free Kick Mulgrew was inches over the bar with McGregor rooted to the spot.
Aberdeen had started well, but it was an open game with chances at both ends. A Maguire shot on 15 minutes was well off target, but two minutes later the Dons took the lead. Good play on the left saw Paton beat Whittaker and whip the ball across for Lee Miller to net a deserved opener. Rangers went close in the 26th minute when Grassi was dispossessed by Boyd and his shot was turned over by Lafferty when it looked easier to score. A minute later Fleck hit the ball well over as Rangers started to take control.
A Mulgrew free kick was scrambled clear in the 29th minute and a minute later Rangers had a penalty appeal turned down as Whittaker went down too easily. Kerr made a good challenge in midfield and released Young, but play was pulled back for the challenge on the Dons midfielder when advantage would have suited the Dons. At the other end Langfield parried a Boyd shot and Mulgrew completed the clearance. Mulgrew conceded a free kick 25 yards out, but the delivery from Davis was poor. At the other end Pawlett, who was having a great game, swung in a cross and Miller cushioned the ball to Maguire but his shot was blocked.
Kerr had to leave the field to receive stitches with blood pouring from a leg wound and Rangers pumped up the pressure against the ten men as the makeshift defence was forced to work hard. Kerr returned after five minutes and the Dons were back to their full compliment. Wilson was all over Maguire like a bad rash and no free kick was given but at the other end Boyd fell over when challenged and the free kick was instantly awarded. Aberdeen were having to dig in and were not being helped by the award of a series of soft free kicks to the visitor's. Aberdeen held out and took the one goal lead into half time.
Kenny Miller replaced Lafferty at the interval, but it was Aberdeen who made the first chance as Paton went down the left, but hit the side netting. In the 48th minute Langfield had a comfortable stop from Miller and at the other end McGregor was smartly off his line to clear. Kerr was then booked for an innocuous challenge on Naismith. The Rangers player was injured, but it looked to be more to do with the Rangers player rather than anything Kerr did. The Dons midfielder must have been left wondering about the challenge that cost him stitches.
A minute later Naismith fell over and won another free kick before a lovely turn from Maguire almost brought an opening, but he was quickly closed down. Aberdeen won a free kick on the edge of the box when Pawlett was upended by Papac. The Rangers player earned a yellow card for his trouble and from the free kick the ball was scrambled off the line by the same player after the ball rebounded off the wall. In the 58th minute Langfield made a great save from a Boyd shot 12 yards from goal.
On the hour mark Aberdeen ended up with ten men for the third time in four games and once again it was another innocuous challenge and again it was a challenge on Naismith. In the stramash that followed Boyd and Mulgrew was yellow carded. Once again the Dons players felt a sense of injustice and Maguire was replaced by Duff. Aberdeen were now having to defend in numbers and a Miller shot went wide as the team had to show total concentration. In the 68th minute Young was taken down by McCulloch to relieve the pressure and of course no yellow card was shown.
Novo replaced McCulloch a minute later as Young was helped off the park after a collision with Duff. Weir blatantly obstructed Miller and again no action was taken then a minute later Langfield saved from Novo as Rangers increased the pressure. A free kick was being awarded every 30 seconds as the game became a stop start affair. Miller fired over in the 76th minute then Bougherra replaced Whittaker as the Dons looked to hold on. Miller was then bundled to the ground by Wilson and Thomson waved play on much to the anger of the red army.
This incident led to Mr Thomson talking to an incensed Aberdeen bench. Paton went down with cramp leaving the Dons with nine men for a short spell, but fortunately Boyd ran the ball out. An ironic cheer went up in the 85th minute as Fleck was yellow carded for a cynical foul on Pawlett. Paton was then replaced by Mackie. The assistant referee awarded a corner for Aberdeen in the 86th minute and Mr Thomson promptly reversed the decision. Pawlett collected the seventh yellow card of the match with three minutes to go in a game that could hardly have been described as dirty.
There was a nervous moment in the final minute as Langfield fumbled the ball and it was steered wide. Four minutes of injury time was called as the Dons looked to hold out. Miller then won a free kick on the left that was played short to waste some more time. In the final minute Boyd made a poor attempt from 12 yards and Langfield claimed the ball. Rangers then came in droves that ended with Weir firing wide and the Dons had deservedly earned the three points.