A controversial afternoon for the Dons as they lost 2-1 at home to fierce rivals Rangers. Aberdeen never really got going and despite a reasonable first half performance, they were made to pay at the start of the second when a clinical finish by Kyle Lafferty then a Nikica Jelavic penalty ensured Rangers travelled south with the points. Ricky Foster did half the deficit when keeper Alan McGregor spilled his speculative effort into the back of the net but there was to be no late surge and the game ended in a second defeat inside 7 days to the Old Firm. It was the referee who would once again create the headlines though with a series of decisions that wouldupset the home supporters, including the dismissal of Rory Fallon near the end.
Craig Brown had to make 2 enforced changes to the starting line up with Scott Vernon and Ryan Jack dropping out- replaced by Chris Clark and Rory McArdle. Jack was suspended for the game following his sending off at Celtic Park last weekend while Scott Vernon was injured in training on Thursday and didn't make the game.
Rob Milsom was first to have a shot at goal but his strike failed to trouble McGregor and went wide of the post in 2mins. The Dons were passing the ball about well in the opening stages and in 7mins Fyvie and Milsom combined well but Chris Clark was unable to gather the ball properly and the ball went out for a Rangers throw.
The first controversial decision of the afternoon came in the 9th Minute when referee Collum booked Kari Arnason for what looked like a reasonable tackle, and certainly not one worthy of a caution. Moments later though Arnason had a fantastic shot at goal which was parried by McGregor and Bocanegra made the clearance.
A clash between Rob Milsom and Steven Naismith held the game up for a significant length of time as both players required treatment. Although both players continued it was not for long, and Naismith was soon replaced by Kyle Lafferty while Milsom had to be replaced by Darren Mackie.
Rangers were beginning to get more of a foothold in the game and they created their first real chance when a Lafferty cross was met at the back post by an unmarked Sasa Papac- but his header went behind to the relief of the home side.
Up the other end the Dons were next to create a chance when no one was there to connect with a sublime cross from captain Foster- Lee Wallace headed behind for a corner to the Dons. Foster was instrumental in the Dons next attack and it would end in controversial style. Foster's threaded ball behind the Rangers defence was latched onto by Chris Clark however his touch was well saved by McGregor who could only palm the ball to Darren Mackie. Under pressure from defender Goyan, Mackie went down but referee Collum waved play on- much to the bemusement of the home supporters and manager Craig Brown who was spoken to soon after by Collum on advice of the fourth official, Craig Thompson.
Rory Fallon was next to test McGregor but his shot from just outside the goal didn't have enough power and McGregor saved low to his left. Maurice Edu was then booked as Kari Arnason broke away.
Andrew Considine, having another fine game in the centre of defence, made a superb tackle on McCulloch then delivered a fine ball down field but Rory Fallon didn't have the pace to get behind the Rangers defence and the ball drifted harmlessly though to McGregor.
The second half began with Rangers turning the pressure on the Dons. Gonzalez had to look lively in the Dons goal to parry a Jelavic effort away and McCulloch fired the rebound wide of goal under pressure from Considine. The centre half then had to head a cross from Lee Wallace away as Rangers began to dominate proceedings.
McCulloch had another shot straight at Gonzalez but it wasn't long before the visitors did take the lead. Edu broke down the right, passed in field to Steve Davis and with the Dons defence unable to clear, the ball fell at the feet of Lafferty who fired low past Gonzalez into the far side of the net.
The Dons tried to respond but they were creating very few chances- though a Foster free kick was well saved by McGregor. Craig Brown then decided to shuffle the pack with Mohammed Chalali coming onto the field in place of Fraser Fyvie. Moments later McCulloch fouled Darren Mackie 35 yards out but Arnason's free kick hit the wall.
And on 67mins the Dons found themselves 2 goals down. Steve Davis played a good ball forward towards Lafferty and he slid the ball across the box towards Papac who went down under the challenge from Mackie .The Referee pointed to the spot and booked Mackie. Jelavic then converted the spot kick to double Rangers' lead.
The Dons were now left with an uphill struggle to get themselves back in the game. Considine was booked for a foul on Jelavic in 75mins, while Chalali shot just wide of the Rangers goal soon after, following a cross field pass from Chris Clark. Aberdeen continued to push forward in search of some way of getting back in the game and they were rewarded with 9mins left. Kari Arnason's short throw was met by Ricky Foster who then shot a thunderous drive towards goal. It looked like it would be a routine save for Alan McGregor but he somehow managed to fumble the ball into the net and Aberdeen became the first team to score against the Ibrox side away from home this season.
As the Dons looked in vain for an equaliser, Josh Magennis replaced Chris Clark but in the dying minutes though the Dons were reduced to 10 men for the second game in a row. Just moments after Jelavic was cautioned for a dangerous tackle on Considine, Rory Fallon rose to head the ball alongside Doran Goyan and when the Spaniard went down clutching his face, referee Collum produced the Red card and sent the Dons striker off. The Dons bench were particularly unhappy with the refs decision. And he soon blew for full time to end a frustrating and ultimately fruitless afternoon for Aberdeen who now move on to an away match with St Johnstone next Monday evening.