Aberdeen suffered a heavy defeat at Ibrox this afternoon and although the home side deserved the win the scoreline certainly flattered them. Aberdeen had matched Rangers in the first half but 24 seconds after the break McCulloch connected with a volley that flew into the top corner leaving Langfield with no chance. Then as Jamie Smith was forced off by a heavy challenge from Cuellar, Rangers broke forward and scored through Naismith. A late goal from Boyd finished the game off but Aberdeen's luck was highlighted deep in injury time when a Severin free kick smashed off the woodwork.
Aberdeen kicked off in the late afternoon sun and Hart made an early challenge to keep Rangers at bay. Langfield then had a comfortable save from McCulloch in the 4th minute and at the other end Lee Miller was making Weir work as he looked for an opening. Referee Brines was making a few strange decisions and he had a word with Nicholson after an innocuous challenge. Rangers were enjoying the better of the play at this stage and Langfield was forced into another save in the 9th minute after Naismith fouled Severin and was allowed to step forward and shoot.
Aberdeen then raced up field and won the first corner of the match when Smith's effort was deflected wide. The corner was cleared by Papac and two minutes later Aberdeen finally won a free kick decision when Maguire was flattened by Papac. Smith made a decent break in the 13th minute but Miller was unable to collect the pass allowing Rangers to race forward where McCulloch fired over after having his first shot blocked by Considine.
Aberdeen were failing to keep possession and Rangers won their first corner of the game in the 19th minute. Scott Severin rose to head clear but the home side kept up the pressure before Nicholson broke and fed Maguire. The youngster beat two or three players before unleashing a shot from 20 yards that went well wide of the target. Weir felled Miller three minutes later and Considine was unlucky as he headed Severin's cross into the side netting.
Scott Severin was handed the first yellow card of the match in the 23rd minute after a poor challenge on Naismith. The skipper went close three minutes later when he hit a great low strike that went inches wide and had McGregor scurrying across his line. A weak clearance by Considine allowed Rangers a sniff at goal but Diamond did well to head clear on the half hour mark. Two minutes later a Whittaker shot went over the top as both sides looked to break the deadlock.
Rangers almost took the lead in the 35th minute when a Ferguson cross was headed off of Hart by Cousin and safely into the arms of Langfield with the Ibrox legions screaming for an optimistic penalty. McCulloch joined Severin in the referee's book two minutes later after a challenge on the Dons skipper. At the other end Diamond once again kept the Rangers attack out as he produced another fine display. A late free kick gave Aberdeen a chance to take the lead in the 45th minute but Weir cleared the danger.
Aberdeen replaced Maguire with Derek Young at the interval but before the substitute could get his first touch Rangers took the lead with a sensational strike from McCulloch. He worked a one-two with Cousin and fired a volley into the top corner that left Langfield with no chance of stopping the effort. Aberdeen tried to hit back quickly but a Hart cross in the 49th minute was played too close to McGregor. Two minutes later Diamond sliced a Naismith cross over his own bar for the first corner of the second half.
Langfield was then forced into a great save from Whittaker as he touched a fierce shot over the bar. From the resulting corner Cousin headed inches wide as the Dons had to try and stay firm in the face of the onslaught. McCulloch had another volley in the 53rd minute but this time it failed to test Langfield. Foster did well a minute later as he beat Whittaker but with only Miller alone up front he was going to struggle to find him. Aberdeen won a corner through Derek Young in the 57th minute and a Clark shot was blocked for another corner, which was clutched by McGregor.
Nicholson and Miller combined well on the hour mark as they put home side under pressure and a minute later Hart had a chance to deliver a cross but sent his effort high and well out of play. Jamie Smith took a heavy knock from Cuellar and after lengthy treatment Smith had to leave the field and with Aberdeen down to ten men Rangers scored as Naismith grabbed his first goal for the club. Smith was unable to continue, no doubt his injury was aggravated by Cuellar' attempts to get the midfielder on to his feet. The player was replaced by de Visscher and he immediately fired in a dangerous cross that was scrambled clear.
Hart once again failed to deliver a cross in the 70th minute when his delivery was adjudged to have gone out of play before arriving in the penalty box. Aberdeen continued to press forward and a de Visscher corner was scrambled clear a minute later as Aberdeen tried to force their way back into the game. Langfield almost conceded another with a poor clearance that found its way to Ferguson. Fortunately the Rangers captain chipped the ball over the bar. A minute later substitute Darcheville headed over as Rangers started to take control again.
Diamond was booked in the 80th minute for a robust challenge on Naismith that looked to have won the ball. Naismith required lengthy treatment and was eventually replaced by Kris Boyd. Touzani replaced Considine in the 84th minute and a minute later Aberdeen looked to have pulled one back as de Visscher, Miller and Nicholson combined well before Weir recovered well. Lee Miller collected a yellow card in the 87th minute and a minute later Boyd added a third to flatter the home side.
Substitute de Visscher was making a positive impact since he came on but it was too little too late for Aberdeen. Deep in injury time Foster collected a yellow card when Darcheville looked to dive as he headed towards goal. Fortunately the free kick was poor. At the other end de Visscher was causing more problems and Aberdeen won a free kick in the closing seconds. Scott Severin bulleted the ball against the woodwork and that summed up the Dons luck in this match.