Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen will welcome Rangers to Pittodrie on Saturday for the first game of the Premiership season with both teams eager to get off to a strong start behind closed doors.
It will be the sixth time the two clubs have met in the first round of league games. The first of these meetings came in the 1927, with the last in 2018 – when Bruce Anderson’s late equaliser salvaged a point for McInnes’ team.
To find the only opening day clash between the two teams the Dons have won, you have to go back 43 years to 1977.
In the previous Premier Division season, Ally MacLeod’s Reds had finished third, three points behind second-placed Rangers
The season opener on August 13 1977 was Celtic legend Billy McNeill’s first as Dons boss following the departure of Macleod for the Scotland job and, having a new gaffer seemed to be the catalyst for a fast Aberdeen start.
Joe Harper, Drew Jarvie and Stuart Kennedy all had early chances, before Jarvie turned in an Ian Fleming cutback for the opener.
Rangers would eventually pip McNeill’s Dons to the Premier Division title by two points, and they drew level through Bobby Russell after Derek Parlane had seen efforts blocked by centre-back Willie Garner and keeper Bobby Clark.
On 60 minutes, Jarvie scored another following a period in which he’d already seen a header and strong drive saved. His second, which can be seen alongside Harper’s goal in the clip below, was put on a plate by his strike partner, whose assist was almost identical to the one Fleming had provided in the first half.
It only took a further two minutes of action until Aberdeen’s third arrived and put the game beyond doubt, and this time Harper was the one to provide the finish, with the Dons’ record goalscorer lashing home at the back post after Gers keeper Peter McCloy parried a long strange effort straight to him.