Aberdeen lose second spot to Rangers after 2-1 defeat at Pittodrie

Aberdeen v Rangers Scottish Premiership Pittodrie Stadium Pictured is Aberdeen's Andrew Considine hitting the bar with a header. Picture by DARRELL BENNS Pictured on 03/12/2017

Aberdeen were replaced by Rangers in second spot in the Premiership as they crashed to a second successive defeat to the Ibrox club.

The Reds lost 2-1  to 10 man ‘Gers  at Pittodrie  to compound the misery of the 3-0 loss in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Before the double header Aberdeen held a six point advantage over Rangers. Now after just a few short days they trail the managerless ‘Gers on goal difference.

In a game of high drama former Dons skipper Ryan Jack was red carded on his return to Pittodrie with Rangers for a reckless challenge on Stevie May.

Aberdeen trailed 2-0 before 19-year-old substitute Frank Ross set up a compelling finale by curling in a sublime 25 yard free kick for his first senior Dons goal.

The build up to the match was overshadowed by the continued speculation linking Dons boss Derek McInnes to the vacant Rangers managerial position.

 

 

 

The match also marked the return to Pittodrie of Ryan Jack in a Rangers shirt.

The midfielder had started in Scotland’s 1-0 friendly loss against Holland at Pittodrie last month and was booed by some supporters in that international.

That was ramped up substantially following his return for the ‘Gers.

Jack bossed the midfield until he was sent off early in the second half.

 

There was three changes to the Aberdeen side that flopped at Ibrox.

Attacker Ryan Christie was suspended having been sent off late on in the 3-0 loss.

Defender Kari Arnason dropped to the bench with midfielder Greg Tansey  ruled out through injury.

Striker Adam Rooney returned to the starting line-up alongside Greg Stewart and Scott Wright.

Winger Gary Mackay-Steven, who came on as a substitute at Ibrox failed a fitness test on the morning of the Pittodrie rerun having sustained a knock in Wednesday’s defeat.

Rangers had one enforced change with Bruno Alves out injured and David Bates drafted in.

 

In the fifth minute Rangers’ Josh Windass was booked for diving after going down in the box with no contact from Joe Lewis.

However it was concerning for the Dons how easily they were split open to find Windass in a nervy defensive start for the Reds.

 

Unsteadiness in defence was punished in the 14th minute when Rangers grabbed the lead.

A free kick was awarded to the Ibrox club following a foul on Jason Holt by Graeme Shinnie, already booked for an early challenge on James Tavernier.

Declan John flighted in the dead ball from the right wing and Danny WILSON was left completely unmarked to race onto the cross and send a looping 15 yard header beyond keeper Joe Lewis who seemed rooted to the spot.

It was shocking defending from the Reds who seemed more content to watch the ball than attack it.  Lewis seemed frozen to the spot as it looped above him to deliver a hammer blow to the Dons their slow start deserved.

Aberdeen attempted to rally with Rooney latching onto a cross from Considine moments later but his glancing header flew wide of the far post from 12 yards.

Keeper Lewis denied Rangers soon after the half-hour mark when Windass latched onto a Carlos Pena back-heel and shot at goal. Lewis superbly tipped the effort wide for a corner.

The woodwork denied Aberdeen in the 44th minute as Andy Considine raced onto a Greg Stewart free-kick whipped in from the right.

The defender’s powerful header cracked off the bar.

Rangers were reduced to 10 men when Ryan Jack received a straight red card for a poor challenge on Stevie May that left the striker poleaxed as Jack’s studs connected with his shin.

It was a blow for Rangers as the midfielder had been their most influential player, dominating midfield.

May was clearly struggling and was inevitably replaced a few minutes later by Nicky Maynard.

Aberdeen should have forced home that one man advantage but instead it was Rangers who increased their advantage in the 63rd minute when Daniel Candeias burst down the right flank and Josh WINDASS moved in front of Shaleum Logan to sweep home a calm finish from 10 yards out.

The Reds delivered an immediate response with a sublime goal from substitute Frank ROSS in the 65th minute.

The 19-year-old showed admirable maturity and bravery to step up and take a free-kick. He curled a sublime 25 yard effort beyond the diving Wes Foderingham in the 65th minute.

Ross was making his presence felt and forced Foderingham into a save soon after with a curling effort.

Substitute Nicky Maynard had a low powerful drive deflected that spun up but Foderingham collected.

Substitute Ross was the shining light for the Dons and tried to make something happen as they pushed forward in an attempt to make that extra man count.

It made for a late charge with Aberdeen forcing a number of corners but they could not get the equalizer that would have ketp them in second spot.

ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, O’Connor, McLean, Stewart, Rooney, Wright, McKenna, May.

SUBS: Ross (for Wright 51), Maynard (for May 61),

SUBS NOT USED:  Rogers, Reynolds, Arnason, Ball, Harvie.

 

RANGERS: Foderingham, Tavernier, John, Wilson, Jack, Miller, Windass, Holt, Bates, Pena, McCrorie.

SUBS: Cardoso (for Wilson 46),

SUBS NOT USED: Alnwick,  Herrera, Hodson, Morelos, Candeias, Barjonas.

 

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