Aberdeen made it seven straight wins under interim manager Barry Robson with a 2-0 win over a stunned Rangers at Pittodrie.
The hosts had the better of a goalless first half, and three minutes after the restart, defender Liam Scales beat Allan McGregor with a stunning, if perhaps unlucky, effort from wide on the left for his first goal since joining Celtic on loan last summer.
Aberdeen’s first home win over Rangers since September 2016 came thanks to a second goal from Bojan Miovski in the 56th minute.
Robson took over fromCeltic Team News For The Crucial Rangers Derby Has Been Revealed Jim Goodwin in January, and the third-placed Dons are on the rise. Meanwhile, Michael Beale must be worried, with Rangers trailing Celtic by 13 points with five post-split games remaining.
But, in reality, the title was already gone, with Rangers’ only realistic chance of silverware this season residing in the Scottish Cup.
It was a sobering defeat, and Beale will need a lot more from his team in next week’s crucial semi-final against Celtic if they are to retain the trophy.
The afternoon had begun promisingly for the Ibrox side. In the 12th minute, Alfredo Morelos’ shot from eight yards was headed off the line by Leighton Clarkson, and John Lundstram fired the loose ball over the bar in a frantic start. After the attacker evaded Mattie Pollock’s attention, Kelle Roos saved Fashion Sakala’s effort.
The tempo of the game did not slow down, and in the 25th minute, a sweeping Rangers move ended with left-back Borna Barisic driving into the outside of the post. The visitors began to gain momentum, and when Sakala’s clever flick put Nicolas Raskin through, the midfielder’s shot was blocked for a corner by Pollock.
In the 40th minute, Aberdeen had their first clear-cut chance. Miovski intercepted Ben Davies’ careless pass, and Ylber Ramadani, filling in for suspended captain Graeme Shinnie, raced in on goal, forcing McGregor into a fine near-post save. The resulting corner, however, resulted in nothing, and the first half ended with Aberdeen’s Ryan Duncan firing wide from distance.
Rangers captain James Tavernier contributed to Aberdeen’s goal when his pass up to Morelos was intercepted by the alert Scales, who then launched what appeared to be a cross from the left that flew over McGregor and crept in at the far post.
Aberdeen’s second goal came from Clarkson’s sumptuous cross to the back post, which Miovski headed back across McGregor and into the net, the goal confirmed after a lengthy VAR review.
Rangers were all over the place for several minutes as the home side went for a third goal, but they eventually settled down and worked their way back into the game.
Roos saved Tavernier’s point-blank shot in the 72nd minute before Raskin’s replacement, Rabbi Matondo, missed from 14 yards as the chances of a comeback faded by the minute.
McGregor stopped Duncan’s drive at the other end, preventing a bigger defeat for the stunned visitors.
While Aberdeen’s progress continues under Robson, Rangers must now refocus on their upcoming semi-final against Celtic, which has become the most important game of their season.
Leave a Reply