Derek McInnes brought Niall McGinn and Scott Wright into a very attack minded starting XI.
Ejaria picked up a yellow card on 33 seconds for a foul on Lewis Ferguson. From the resulting free kick McGinn forced McGregor into a save at his near post, he could only tip the ball round the post and the Dons had a corner. The ball bounced about the area before Shinnie was penalised for a soft foul on Jack and received a yellow card as well.
More questionable refereeing when Considine was penalised for a foul on the edge of the area. He appeared to get the ball cleanly in a perfectly timed tackle. From the set piece the ball was floated over for Sadiq and his header went inches over. The big striker probably should have done better.
After 8 minutes a strong run from Gary Mackay-Steven won Aberdeen a second corner. Nothing came of it and Rangers then had a promising break but Candeias wasted the opportunity when his cross was easily gathered by Lewis. On 11 minutes nice play by GMS and Scott Wright created space for McGinn but his cross was also straight at the keeper.
Rangers had a couple of balls forward but each time Sadiq was offside.
Then on 12 minutes Aberdeen spurned a glorious chance. Again Mackay-Steven did very well doen the right, his cutback found Wright who in turn found McGinn unmarked 10 yards from goal but his first time shot just went over the bar. With McGregor rooted to the spot, he really should have hit the target. Then Candeias got inside Considine but could not beat Lewis at his near post.
McGinn in the 17th minute made up for his earlier miss when he made an excellent tackle on Sadiq as he looked to burst through. 20 minutes gone, this time Candeias beat McKenna on the touchline before Devlin half cleared it. Thankfully Sadiq on the edge of the area curled his shot well wide.
Rangers were now enjoying more of the possession and forcing the Dons deeper.
On 25 minutes Aberdeen enjoyed some decent possession but Mackay-Steven's pass into the area was just a little too strong for Shinnie's run. Rangers had a couple of shots from distance before Ryan Jack struck one just past the post on 28 minutes. At the same time Andrew Considine required treatment after a clash of heads with Coulibaly. Sadly the big defender was unable to continue and had to be stretchered off. After a five minutes of treatment on the pitch Andy was replaced by Max Lowe.
When the game finally resumed Rangers again enjoyed most of the possession and the Dons survived a couple more crosses from the left.
On 40 minutes Lowe showed good vision to spread the play, Logan gave the ball to GMS early and his cross had to be tipped over by McGregor. McGinn though failed to clear his man at the front post.
There were then quite a few incidents for referee John Beaton to deal with. McGregor got away with an off the ball collision on GMS, Sadiq had a late challenge on Lewis once the keeper had the ball and then Jack took down Wright. It felt like every decision was going the way of the side in blue.
During eight minutes of added time Ryan Kent went over in the box but Shinnie had made an excellent tackle and Beaton made the right decision. Ferguson was booked for a foul on Coulibaly. Then the last bit of action saw Lowe make a great tackle on Candeias.
Half time: Aberdeen 0 Rangers 0
On 46 minutes Scott Wright was brought down by Joe Worrall on the edge of the area but nothing was given. Aberdeen then pushed forward and Wilson had a snap shot but he did not catch it cleanly.
In the 50th minute Wilson rose well to head clear a corner and then Kent beat a couple of players blasting the ball high and wide. On 52 minutes Lewis did well to save and get clear a Tavernier low shot and then McKenna cleared a Kent cross off the line. Rangers continued their first real period of sustained pressure and McKenna was booked for a trip on Goldson. Tavernier put the resulting free kick over the bar.
On the hour mark Coulibaly pushed a shot from a corner just wide. Derek McInnes made his first change of the afternoon at this point, Stevie May replacing Scott Wright.
Aberdeen were really struggling to keep possession as Rangers kept the pressure on. Shinnie did well to head clear and then Kent should have done better once he got inside Logan.
As the 70 minute mark approached there were signs that Aberdeen were coming back into the game. Lowe made a brilliant run down the left and found McGinn - his cross was taken by McGregor at the second attempt. Better from the Dons.
The game then became quite stretched and scrappy. Stevie May's presence was certainly causing the Rangers defenders problems.
Rangers had a really dangerous break on 75 minutes but when Kent stepped inside Shinnie was there to block.
On 78 minutes Lewis Ferguson played a great ball forward for GMS. The winger was unable to get a shot away but he did win his team a corner. McGinn floated over the perfect ball and Ferguson headed it in past McGregor. Queue bedlum amongst the Red Army. Aberdeen had the lead.
On 82 minutes Sadiq went round Lewis but when he went to ground he was booked for diving. In the 86th minute Wilson was replaced by Dominic Ball as Aberdeen looked to see the match out.
Could Aberdeen hold on?
When Worrall headed wide, Aberdeen had four minutes of injury time to see out. The Dons looked to be managing the game well with GMS holding the ball high up the pitch but Rangers did make it a nervy final 60 seconds after they won a corner and sent the keeper into the area.
Ultimately, the red shirts came out on top winning every ball and ensured that it would be the Red Army going home happy.