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Rangers 2 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Rangers 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Rangers scorers: McCann 41, Ferguson 81

27/04/2002 | KO: 15:00

Dons suffer the blues again in Glasgow

The Dons once again failed to take anything from a trip to Ibrox as Rangers ran out 2-0 winners this afternoon. Although they competed well in the first half it was the Ibrox side who found the net in the 41st minute when McCann scored direct from a corner kick. Barry Ferguson added a second late on to ensure the Dons took no points and no goals from the Glasgow club this season.

It was a quiet start in a subdued Ibrox, but the Dons created a half chance in the 2nd minute when Anderson delivered a long ball to Mackie. The youngster laid it off to Mike, but the return was too firm and it rolled through to McGregor in the Rangers goal. Ferguson had a half chance for Rangers in the 8th minute, but he delayed, allowing McNaughton to burst forward. The youngster ran out of options and the break came to nothing. The home side should have taken the lead two minutes later when McNaughton failed to clear his lines and McCann swung in a low cross which Caniggia failed to connect with from only three yards out. The resultant corner produced some intense Rangers pressure, which saw Derek Young make a dramatic goal line clearance.

The Dons had another half chance in the 14th minute when Derek Young met a Jamie McAllister cross, but his header was deflected wide of the target. Rangers won a free kick in the 18th minute when Mike halted the progress of Tony Vidmar. Ferguson tried his luck from 20 yards, but curled the ball wide of the target. A minute later Thornley created space for himself and hit an effort from a similar range, but it floated over the Rangers cross bar. Thornley was causing problems again in the 24th minute, but once more his shot went high. A minute later he surged forward again and tried to play a one-two on the edge of the box with Mackie, but the pass was intercepted.

The Dons were playing some neat passing football at times, but they tended to be a bit over- elaborate when they made it into the final quarter. The Dons forced a couple of corner kicks in the 32nd minute, but were unable to capitalise. Both sides were sloppy in the midfield and Mackie took advantage of a slack pass in the 34th minute to break on the right. McGregor just managed to get in front of Mike to collect the cross. Two minutes later, it was Phil McGuire who saved the day when he cleared a Caniggia effort for a corner. Arveladze had a half chance in the 39th minute, but Anderson closed him down and Esson gathered easily. Esson didn?t look so clever two minutes later when he conceded a goal directly from a McCann corner. He went for the ball late and neither he nor Darren Young could prevent it crossing the line. Esson redeemed himself a minute later with a fine block from the same player, and in the 43rd minute De Boer had a great chance from 12 yards but screwed the ball wide of the target.

Rangers created the first opening in the second half when De Boer broke into the box in the 47th minute only to drill a low shot wide of the target. The Dons worked their way forward a minute later, but Mike?s cross was blocked and the danger eventually cleared. The Dons were on the attack again in the 52nd minute when a neat flick by Mackie set Thornley free. He was illegally halted and the resultant free kick saw Anderson shoot wide of the target. Aberdeen?s goal survived an onslaught on the hour mark with a first effort being cleared from the line, the second hit Esson?s head and the third shot was blocked as the Dons defence creaked.

Bisconti picked up the first yellow card of the match when he tripped Ferguson in the 64th minute. Seconds later Esson was forced into a fine save, unfortunately it was from a cushioned header from Darren Young, which had floated over his head. Rangers were now dictating the game and went close again in the 67th minute when once more Caniggia failed to connect with a low driven cross. Two minutes later Arveladze turned Jamie McAllister and drilled a fierce shot off the base of the post. Ebbe brought on Chris Clark for the tiring Mike and in the 75th minute McGuire limped off to be replaced by Whyte. Two minutes later Tiernan replaced Thornley, but not before Esson made a fine block from A Flo shot.

The Dons had their best chance of the game in the 80th minute when a fine Bisconti pass found Mackie in the box. The youngster did well to control the ball but was closed down as he shot and Bisconti was unable to latch on to the loose ball. The Dons rued this missed chance a minute later when Rangers added a second. Flo looked offside as he drilled a powerful shot against the post and as the Dons defence appealed, Ferguson reacted quickest to roll the ball into the empty net. Darren Young hit an effort in the 88th minute, which was easily held by the keeper to leave the Dons without a win or a goal against the Glasgow club this season.

Rangers Teamsheet
McGregor, Vidmar, Moore, Ross, Malcolm, Ferguson, Nerlinger, McCann, De Boer, Caniggia (Flo 67), Arveladze Unused Subs: Smith, Dodds, Kanchelskis, Latapy
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, McNaughton, Anderson, McGuire (Whyte 75), McAllister, Young, Young, Thornley (Tiernan 77), Bisconti, Mike (Clark 67), Mackie.

Unused Subs: Peat, Rutkiewicz.

Bookings:  Bisconti (64).
Attendance: 48,878
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Referee: John Underhill, Fife