Aberdeen won’t be happy with their performance against Rangers.
But there are some positives the Dons can take from yesterday’s 1-1 draw at Pittodrie.
The first was the way they battled to the end.
The Reds showed plenty of attitude, appetite and desire to keep going and try to turn the game around when it wasn’t going well.
And in the end they got their reward with the injury-time equaliser.
The other positive for Aberdeen was the impact Bruce Anderson made on his debut coming off the bench and grabbing the equaliser.
The 19-year-old did exactly what was required of him and produced a quality finish in a high pressure moment.
It is great to see young players like Anderson coming through, we’ve seen it with Scott McKenna and Scott Wright in the past.
Youngsters need opportunities and Anderson did exactly what was required – he showed real quality and composure to slot his chance away.
It’s good to see him get an opportunity and lets hope he gets more chances this season.
Reflecting on the match I thought for large parts of the game it was a pretty poor Aberdeen display. What Derek McInnes and the players can take from it is that they never gave up and came back into the game.
It was a poor performances in terms of the quality of play – they are capable of better.
With Rangers going down to 10 men it can be awkward to break down.
But the Dons’ build-up play and decision making were poor.
The area to hurt the Gers was out wide where the Reds could use their numerical advantage.
But they struggled to get the ball out to Niall McGinn and Gary Mackay-Steven often enough.
There are some reasons for the below-par display, many of the Aberdeen players will have been mentally and physically fatigued after playing 120 minutes against Burnley in the Europa League on Thursday night.
It’s not a great pointer for what to expect from the Dons in the season ahead because you would expect Aberdeen to be better going forward.
Rangers’ performance was good, before Alfredo Morelos was sent off they were on top.
Once they went down to 10 men Steven Gerrard’s re-organisation of his side’s shape was of the highest level.
They will be optimistic about what’s ahead.
But yesterday’s game doesn’t tell us too much about what to expect from them over the course of the season because they won’t spend every game playing with 10 men for so long.
Things aren’t won and lost in the first game of the season.
But the indications from this game are that Aberdeen still have some work to do and that Rangers look a far more potent force this season.
The sending off of Morelos was off the ball and difficult to see, but the linesman David McGeachie had a clear view of it. And after seeing the replays it was an ordering off.
I don’t think Dominic Ball should have been sent off after conceding the penalty.
It appeared a silly penalty to give away because Josh Windass didn’t look like he was going to get to the ball before Lassana Coulibaly.
Windass was tugged back but he wasn’t getting to the ball, but it was a penalty.
Those were the two big decisions referee Kevin Clancy had to make in the game and he got them right.
Aberdeen will be disappointed not to have taken more.
When a team goes down to 10 men you would expect to win the game, but the Dons did well in the end to take a point when it looked like being zero.
It wasn’t an impressive Aberdeen performance, but their attitude and desire was something Derek McInnes can be happy with.