Aberdeen failed to leap-frog Kilmarnock into second place in the Premiership as they were held 0-0 at home by the Rugby Park side.
In a battling contest Killie were reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute when substitute Kris Boyd received a straight red card for a late, reckless challenge on Dons skipper Graeme Shinnie.
However the Dons, who had a late penalty call waved away, could not make the extra man count to secure a win that would have moved them above the Rugby Park side.
Although frustrated at a draw a point was enough to elevate Aberdeen above Rangers into third place, and the European spots.
Rangers face Livingston away on Sunday.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes retained faith with the same starting line-up that defeated Hamilton 3-0 on Wednesday.
This was a game with added spice after Aberdeen recently beat Kilmarnock to the loan signing until the end of the season of Birmingham attacker Greg Stewart.
The 28-year-old had spent the first half on loan at Rugby Park but was recalled by parent club Birmingham on January 12.
Killie boss Steve Clarke wanted to secure a return for Stewart but Aberdeen beat them to it.
Stewart had previously been on loan at Aberdeen last season and opted for a Pittodrie return.
In a twist of fate he was now tasked with shooting down the very side he had helped elevate to the upper echelons of the Premiership table.
The opening opportunity was created by Aberdeen in the fifth minute when in form striker Sam Cosgrove received a pass inside from left-back Max Lowe.
With his back to goal Cosgrove flicked the ball up and volleyed on the turn but his 15 yard effort flew over the bar.
Again it was Cosgrove, with nine goals in the previous seven Premiership games, that threatened.
In the 18th minute a Stevie May corner fell to Cosgrove at the edge of the box but his powerful half volley was too high.
Aberdeen again threatened in the 39th minute through a swift counter-attack instigated by left back Lowe’s powerful run down the flank.
As Killie struggled to regroup Lowe passed inside to Graeme Shinnie who quickly laid a pass into the path of the onrushing May.
Attacker May took a touch then unleashed a vicious 25 yard drive that looked goal-bound until keeper Daniel Bachmann dived to his left to block.
Next it was Stewart who nearly punished his former team when he unleashed a 20 yard drive that flashed just wide of the far post in the 50th minute.
In the 68th minute Dons boss Derek McInnes introduced Northern Ireland international winger Niall McGinn for Stevie May.
Moments later Lewis Ferguson shot from 30 yards but his speculative long range effort flew wide.
Kilmarnock were reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute when substitute Kirs Boyd received a straight red for a reckless late lunge on skipper Shinnie with his studs showing.
Referee Nick Walsh made the right call by sending off Boyd. .
Aberdeen had a strong penalty call waved off by the referee in the 87th minute when Niall McGinn went down in the box under a challenge from Stuart Findlay.
ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan, Lowe, Considine, McKenna, Shinnie, Ferguson, Stewart, Mackay-Steven, May, Cosgrove.
Subs: McGinn (for May 68), Hoban (for McKenna 78), Wilson (for Mackay-Steven 87)
Subs not used: Cerny, Ball, Gleeson, Wright.
KILMARNOCK: Bachmann, O’Donnell, Taylor, Power, Dicker, Jones, Boyd, Findlay, Brophy, Tshibola, Burke.
Subs: Boyd (for Brophy 60), McKenzie (for Burke 65), Ndjoli (for Jones 80)
Subs not used: MacDonald, Broadfoot, Kiltie, Waters.
Referee: Nick Walsh
Attendance: 15,560 (611 away fans)