Rangers crash to defeat at Pittodrie as Aberdeen seal 2-0 win

Liam Scales and Bojan Miovski were on the scoresheet as the Dons took three points.

Aberdeen tighten grip on third place with 2-0 Premiership win over Rangers SNS Group

Rejuvenated Aberdeen made it seven straight wins under interim boss Barry Robson with a 2-0 victory over startled Rangers at Pittodrie.

The Light Blues had the best of a goalless first half but three minutes after the restart Dons defender Liam Scales beat Gers keeper Allan McGregor with a stunning if perhaps fortuitous effort from wide on the left for his first goal since signing on loan from Celtic last summer.

Striker Bojan Miovski headed in a second in the 56th minute to help the Granite City side to their first home win over Rangers since September 2016.

Robson took over from Jim Goodwin in January and the third-placed Dons continue on an upward trajectory while Gers boss Michael Beale must have concerns.

Rangers are 13 points behind cinch Premiership leaders Celtic with five post-split fixtures remaining but in reality the title was already gone for the Govan side and all the pressure has moved on to the Scottish Cup, the Gers’ last realistic chance of silverware this season.

It was a sobering defeat and before next week’s crunch Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic at Hampden Beale must get so much more from his side if they are to have a chance of retaining the trophy.

The afternoon had started with some promise for the Ibrox men.

Amid an expected hurly-burly start the unchanged visitors first threatened in the 12th minute when striker Alfredo Morelos’ turn and shot from eight yards, after a Fashion Sakala knock-down, was headed off the line by Leighton Clarkson and Gers midfielder John Lundstram fired the loose ball over the bar.

Dons keeper Kelle Roos then saved an effort from Sakala after the Gers attacker escaped the attention of Mattie Pollock.

The pace of the game refused to subside and in the 25th minute a sweeping Rangers move ended with left-back Borna Barisic striking the outside of the post with a drive.

The visitors began to build up a head of steam and after Sakala’s clever flick put Nicolas Raskin through, the midfielder’s shot was blocked by Pollock for a corner which Roos clutched out of the air.

Aberdeen had their first clear-cut chance in the 40th minute. Gers defender Ben Davies’ careless pass was cut out by Miovski, and Ylber Ramadani, in for suspended skipper Graeme Shinnie, raced in on goal before forcing McGregor into a fine near-post save at the expense of a corner. But it came to nothing, the first half ending with Aberdeen’s Ryan Duncan firing wide from distance.

Rangers skipper James Tavernier was involved in Aberdeen’s goal when his pass up to Morelos was cut out by the alert Scales, who then launched what looked like a cross from the left which flew over McGregor and in at the far post.

There was no doubt about the intention of Aberdeen’s second goal which came from Clarkson’s sumptuous cross to the back post which Miovski headed back across McGregor and into the net, after he had peeled off Barisic and Davies, the goal confirmed after a long VAR check.

Rangers were all over the place for several minutes as the home side went for a third but they steadied and worked their way back into the game.

In the 72nd minute Roos saved Tavernier’s shot from point-blank range before substitute Rabbi Matondo, on for Raskin, missed from 14 yards but prospects of a comeback diminished by the minute.

At the other end, with five minutes remaining, McGregor blocked a drive from Duncan, preventing a bigger defeat for the shell-shocked Ibrox side who could do nothing in the eight added minutes at the end of the game.

While Aberdeen’s progress under Robson continues, Rangers have to refocus on their Scottish Cup semi against Celtic, now the biggest game of their season.

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