Derek McInnes made two changes to the side which played at Hampden last week. Mark Reynolds and Jayden Stockley came in for O'Connor and Rooney.
Aberdeen started with real intent and won a couple of early free-kicks. In the second minute Maddison curled a free kick just wide from about 25 yards - keeper Foderingham had it cover. In the third minute Hayes had a good opening after referee McLean waved away appeals for a free kick. The Rangers players stopped expecting to get the foul, this allowed the ball to be played through to Jonny but his shot was weak. McLean then tried his luck from distance but again it was a comfortable save for the Rangers keeper. Rangers first attack a minute later saw Kenny Miller cross the ball into the area but Lewis confidently came and claimed the cross despite being put under pressure. 7 minutes in and a shot from Garner had to be turned around the post by Lewis at the expense of the games first corner. The shot might have been going wide but Joe could not take any chances.
The home side then enjoyed a good spell of possession but the Dons defence comfortably dealt with anything that came their way.
Quarter of an hour in great play by Maddison set up a chance. Although he was fouled the referee played advantage. James played it wide to Shinnie and his cross was flicked on by Stockley. For a second it looked like the ball was creeping in but Foderingham produced a fine stop and Hill managed to get to the ball just again of Logan to clear the danger.
The pace of Aberdeen on the break was causing problems and Lee Hodson on 20 minutes was booked for a foul on Shinnie. Then Kiernan was booked for a high lunge on Shinnie.
On 23 minutes a golden opportunity was wasted by Rangers. A fine passing move set Wallace clear and the Rangers skipper had enough pace to get himself one on one with Lewis. The left back though pulled his shot wide. The chance lifted the home fans and the Dons had to withstand another spell of pressure. On the half hour mark Aberdeen had worked the ball into a promising position but Shinnie's cross went behind everyone. Rangers then broke and had numbers forward. Thankfully for the Dons Barrie McKay went himself and curled a shot well over.
37 minutes in, another Dons promising break resulted in a Jack shot being deflected just wide. This led to an Aberdeen corner which was cleared. The Dons though did appear to have a height advantage from set pieces. Unfortunately on 41 minutes a free kick from Maddison did not make use of the advantage as it was too strong and claimed by the keeper.
Aberdeen started the second period very positively. Shinnie put over a great cross but no one there. The ball came back over from Hayes and after Stockley had miscued Shinnie was brought down in the area but nothing was given.
A minute later Hayes ghosted past the left back. He stood the ball up perfectly for Stockley but his header went agonisingly wide with Foderingham rooted to the spot. A key moment in the game and the striker will feel he should have scored. Aberdeen had started the second period strongly and won a free kick on 50 minutes, Maddison though fired the ball into the wall and Hayes fired the rebound well over.
Then on 51 minutes Rangers took the lead. Aberdeen switched off and allowed a free-kick to be taken quickly. A hopeful Garner cross into the box somehow found its way to Kenny Miller and the former Scotland striker fired past Lewis. The ball in seemed to take a deflection which took it away from Taylor. Out of absolutely nothing the Dons were behind and the atmosphere inside the ground was suddenly very different.
On 55 minutes Maddison beat a couple of players on the edge of the area but unfortunately his shot did not match the quality of the run. On 58 minutes a Hayes cross almost reached Stockley but was knocked behind for a corner from which Rangers broke quickly from and Jack was penalised for give away a free kick and received a yellow card.
Aberdeen had two or three chances to put over good crosses but failed. Then Maddison received the ball in a great area after Rangers had gifted possession with a misplaced square pass. Although James worked room for the shot he never got any power in it.
On 67 minutes Jayden Stockley was replaced by Adam Rooney.
On 70 minutes Aberdeen found themselves two behind. On the right the ball was worked by Waghorn and McKay to Lee Hodson with a simple triangular move again. Hodson has a lot of time to pick his shot and riffled a powerful shot into the roof of net. Just before that Rangers had won a questionable throw-in but the Dons will feel they should have defended the situation a lot better.
With fifteen minutes to go Peter Pawlett, making his 200th appearance, came on for Kenny McLean and Niall McGinn replaced Graeme Shinnie. On 78 minutes Hill was booked for taking out Maddison which stopped a promising attack. On 82 minutes Considine was booked for a strong challenge as things started to become a bit heated.
After 85 minutes a McGinn cross was missed by Rooney and then Hayes coming in behind, had space and time, but knocked the ball out of play. It about summed up the afternoon. In the final minute Harry Forrester should have added a third after Logan slipped but Lewis diving the other way produced a brilliant stop.
The game then boiled over in injury time. It started when Clint Hill received a second yellow and then a red card for another foul on Maddison. Shortly after that Wallace and Pawlett were yellow carded for a flair up on the far touch line. As the referee was still dealing with the aftermath of that, inside the area another flair up resulted in a yellow card for Waghorn and a second yellow for Ryan Jack after the two had squared up to each other.
Aberdeen finally out together a decent set-piece when Considine headed home a Maddison free kick. The Dons looked to have set up a dramatic finish but referee McLean frustratingly blew his whistle despite not adding on time for the previous altercations or the goal.
Plenty of fight from the Dons but they will be disappointed to have given away two soft goals.