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Rangers 5 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Rangers 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Rangers scorers: Thompson 39, Lovenkrands 69, 75, Ricksen 88, Novo 90

31/10/2004 | KO: 14:00

Dons trounced at Ibrox as Glasgow double falters

All thoughts of an Old Firm double were shattered in a six-minute spell in the second half at Ibrox. After looking solid at the back the Dons were caught on the break for a second time in the 69th minute. As Calderwood then tried to change tactics in an attempt to salvage something from the game the home side added a third. Two late goals in the closing minutes added insult to injury and handed the Dons their heaviest defeat of the season. The Dons had looked so well organised early in the game but two quick breaks from rare Aberdeen attacks cost them dearly and by the end Rangers were rampant as the Dons were torn apart.

Aberdeen kicked off but the home side were quick to press and Prso had an effort that was fired over the top in the 2nd minute followed by a looping header that landed on the net a minute later. Aberdeen were happy to soak up the pressure at this stage hoping to hit on the break. McGuire had their first chance when he was set up by Tosh and fired over from 25 yards out. A minute later Pasquinelli forced a save from Klos from a similar range. Seconds later Aberdeen defended the first set play safely when Severin headed a Ricksen free kick clear. The Dons were tested again in the 10th minute when Hart conceded a free kick in a dangerous area. Fortunately Ricksen fired the effort over the bar.

Rangers continued to dominate and they won their first corner in the 14th minute with Namouchi firing wide from the set play. Tosh comfortably cleared a second corner a minute later before the home side forced a third and fourth corner following an error from Esson. The keeper redeemed himself by tipping a header over his bar as Rangers threatened to make the breakthrough. The Aberdeen fans were screaming for a penalty in the 18th minute when Mackie went down following a challenge from Klos. Dallas waved play on and it was the Rangers fans turn to scream for a spot kick a minute later as Namouchi went down but Dallas called this one correctly.

In the 24th minute both Clark and Pasquinelli managed to get wide but neither were able to make a telling delivery. A minute later an accidental clash of heads between Severin and Prso brought the game to a halt. Prso was forced to leave the field and was replaced by Steven Thompson but Scott Severin recovered after treatment. Lovenkrands was causing Hart problems on the wing but the Dons defence were defending resolutely to keep the home side at bay without managing to carve out many chances at the other end. Conversely Rangers was enjoying a lot of possession but little clear-cut chances this was emphasised in the 35th minute when Novo was forced to try from distance with no other options available.

A minute later Aberdeen broke well but Pasquinelli was unable to make anything of the chance. Seconds later Anderson was forced to head clear for a corner and Esson was out quickly to claim the delivery. Mackie almost grabbed a sensational lead in the 39th minute when Mackie broke and forced a great save from Klos. Unfortunately it was Aberdeen who were then caught on the break and Novo beat Severin to set up substitute Thompson to score the opener off the post. With a minute remaining Adams delivered a telling cross that was well cleared by Andrews. Seconds later Aberdeen carved out another chance but the Rangers defence was proving stronger than their Glasgow counterparts in midweek.

Jimmy Calderwood threw John Stewart into the fray at the start of the second half as Pasquinelli made way for the midweek match winner. Rangers started strongly as they put the Dons on the back foot again as they took time to settle. After 51 minutes Michael Hart showed some fine skill to halt Lovenkrands and set up a Dons attack that was eventually snuffed out by the Ibrox defence. Aberdeen went close again in the 55th minute when Stewart broke. After Boumsong halted him the ball broke to Tosh but he screwed the ball well wide of the target and two minutes later Esson was down quick to save from Novo. Aberdeen then won a free kick in a dangerous position in the 58th minute, but it ended in disappointment as they failed to get the ball past the first man.

Rangers won their first corner of the half in the 61st minute but Esson was out quickly to claim the ball as the home side threatened. The Dons should have levelled in the 66th minute when Mackie broke and set up John Stewart. Unfortunately the youngster lifted the ball over the bar when it looked like he might score. This lifted the Dons and the Rangers defence were forced to scramble the ball clear two minutes later. In a repeat of the first half Rangers broke again from a Dons attack and with the Dons defence looking for an offside flag Novo broke and set up Lovenkrands for the second goal.

Phil McGuire was booked in the 72nd minute for bringing Thompson down and a minute later Whelan and Foster replaced Tosh and Adams. Rangers almost added a third a minute later when Lovenkrands hit the side netting and seconds later the Dons defence was cut open again as Aberdeen were trying to re organise. The third did come before the Dons could settle again as Novo controlled the ball with his hand, rounded the keeper and fired the ball into the empty net. Foster almost grabbed a consolation in the 82nd minute when he out jumped Hutton and headed over. Anderson made it 3-0 to Aberdeen on yellow cards when he was booked for a silly foul in the 84th minute.

Bob Malcolm pulled one back two minutes later as Aberdeen tried to grab a consolation late in the match. With two minutes remaining Esson turned a Namouchi effort round the post and following a goal line clearance Ricksen added a fourth. In the final minute McGuire was adjudged to have brought down Novo for a penalty award. The small striker took the spot kick himself and beat Esson to make it five and inflict the Dons heaviest defeat of the season. Aberdeen won their first corner of the match in injury time but failed to make anything of it as the Dons suffered a miserable Halloween in Glasgow.

Rangers Teamsheet
Klos, Ricksen, Boumsong (Hutton 79), Andrews, Prso (Thompson  27), Novo, Malcolm, Khizanishvili, Vignal, Lovenkrands, Namouchi Unused Subs:

Bookings:  Malcolm 86
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Esson, McNaughton, Hart, Severin, Anderson, McGuire, Tosh (Foster 74), Adams (Whelan 74), Mackie, Pasquinelli (Stewart 45), Clark.

Unused Subs: Morrison, Clark, Considine, Kelly.

Bookings:  Mackie (45),  McGuire (73),  Anderson (84).
Attendance: 48,918
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Referee: Hugh Dallas