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Aberdeen 2 - 3 Rangers

HT Score: Aberdeen 2 - 1 Rangers

Aberdeen scorers: Vernon 10, Maguire 30.
Rangers scorers: Miller 34 (pen), Miller 52, Jelavic 67.

26/09/2010 | KO: 12:45

Dons Pegged Back After Strong Start

A spirited performance by Aberdeen was not enough to prevent Rangers claiming their first win at Pittodrie in four years. After a quiet start the Dons went ahead in the 10th minute when Maguire threaded the ball through to Vernon who beat the offside trap and calmly slotted the ball past McGregor. Rangers came storming back, but Aberdeen doubled their advantage on the half hour mark when Maguire scored from six yards following fine play from Mackie on the left. A controversial spot kick three minutes later brought the Glasgow side back into the game after Weiss went over Ifil's leg. After the break Rangers scored twice through Miller and Jelavic - the winner being particularly poor defending. Despite the loss of Maguire late on for a second caution Aberdeen went for an equaliser, but couldn't get the break in front of goal.

Aberdeen kicked off, but the opening minutes were peppered with free kicks as both sides tried to settle. Rangers threatened in the 3rd minute but Ifil did well to get back even though play was halted for an offside decision. With five minutes gone neither side had managed to create a chance, but a minute later Langfield had a simple catch from a weak header from Jelavic. Ifil made another fine challenge in the 8th minute to deny Jelavic as the match refused to settle into any coherent pattern.

Aberdeen then broke the deadlock in the 10th minute as Vernon grabbed another goal when he beat the offside trap and calmly beat McGregor. Maguire had threaded the ball through and Vernon showed great composure to finish. Rangers, as expected, came back strong, but the Dons were tackling hard and giving them no space. The visitor's went close in the 18th minute when Miller ran on to a long pass and Langfield made a fine save as he turned the ball round the post.

The resultant corner was taken quickly and Aberdeen were almost caught out. Fortunately they survived the threat as the ball was whipped across the face of the goal. At the other end Papac and Whittaker collided but the ball rolled through to McGregor before any Dons player could take advantage. Rangers were a real threat at this stage, but Aberdeen were playing like tigers and the Glasgow side looked rattled. Aberdeen then enjoyed a good period around the 25 minute mark as the Rangers back four looked shaky.

Chris Maguire looked to have broken in the 28th minute, but a very soft free kick ended that threat. Two minute later Rangers went close when Naismith played a neat one-two but failed to hit the target with only Langfield to beat. Rangers were to regret this on the half hour mark as Aberdeen doubled their advantage. Aberdeen attacked down the left through Mackie and as he crossed Maguire popped up in the middle to score. The game then exploded into controversy when Ranger were awarded a penalty three minutes later.

Ifil appeared to win the ball as he tackled Weiss, but the Rangers player went over the trailing leg. A big rammy ensued and Diamond and Naismith were cautioned before Miller sent Langfield the wrong way. With five minutes of the half remaining an Aberdeen free kick found Diamond but his knock down failed to find an Aberdeen player. Two minutes later Folly was brought down on the edge of the box, but failed to win the award. Maguire then collected a yellow for a poor challenge and in the final minute Langfield made a fine save from Papac.

An early through ball in the opening minute of the half found Vernon flagged offside and a minute later Maguire over hit a cross. Rangers then levelled in the 52nd minute and once again it was Miller who was found with acres of space on the right and as the ball came across he blasted it past Langfield. Rangers were now starting to take control as Aberdeen were forced on to the back foot. A mix up between Diamond and Langfield caused panic at the back on the hour mark and seconds later Naismith hit the post as the Dons began to creak.

Ifil was then penalised for a very soft free kick and the subsequent delivery saw Rangers win a corner, which was well dealt with by the Dons defence. At the other end Vernon forced a corner for the home side and McGregor was forced into a save from a looping header from Folly. A long throw in was then scrambled clear by Rangers as Aberdeen enjoyed a spell of pressure. In the 67th minute a loose pass from Ifil created a chance for Davis and the Dons were forced into conceding a corner. After the corner was cleared Rangers took the lead when the defence were totally exposed and the Rangers forward line were allowed to walk the ball into the net with Jelavic supplying the finishing touch.

In the 70th minute Aberdeen threatened from a corner then two minutes later Maguire cut inside and hit a shot that went inches wide. Magennis then replaced Considine in the 75th minute as Aberdeen looked to try and level the match. The Dons did push forward, but Rangers looked more comfortable now and the home side were met with a wall of black shirts. A great through ball from Young wasn't anticipated by his forward line and in the 80th minute he was replaced by Jack. A minute later there were loud appeals for a spot kick from the Dons players, but they were ignored.

A corner in the 82nd minute was whipped across the face of the goal and missed by the on rushing red shirts. The ball then went wide and another Rangers player tumbled to the ground to end the danger. Aberdeen played several passes into the danger area, but the bounce of the ball just wouldn't go for the Dons. The unsatisfactory afternoon was completed when Maguire was sent packing for a second caution in the 87th minute. A fairly innocuous event deemed worthy of a booking.

A bad knock on the head forced Vujadinovic off and he was replaced by Megginson. Rather than return the ball after the restart McCulloch went for goal from long range. The ten men then pounded the Rangers goal deep in injury time, but the referee intervened with the award of a free kick to Rangers and a deserved equaliser was denied. A final long ball from Langfield set up half a chance for Megginson, but the finish, off balance, was wayward and Rangers smuggled the points back down the road as they gained their first win at Pittodrie in four years.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, McArdle, Diamond, Ifil, Vujadinovic (Megginson 89), Considine (Magennis 75), Maguire, Folly, Young (Jack 79), Mackie, Vernon.

Unused Subs: Howard, Shaughnessy, Brown, Hansson.

Bookings:  Diamond (33),  Maguire (40),  Maguire (86).
Rangers Teamsheet
Allan McGregor, Steven Whittaker (Kirk Broadfoot 35), David Weir, Madjid Bougherra, Sasa Papac, Steven Naismith, Lee McCulloch, Steven Davis (Maurice Edu 74), Vladimir Weiss (Kyle Lafferty 81), Kenny Miller, Nikica Jelavic. Unused Subs: Neil Alexander, Andy Webster, Kyle Hutton, Andrew Little.

Bookings:  S Naismith 32.
Attendance: 15,307
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Willie Collum, Carfin