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Aberdeen v Rangers Preview

September 23, 2016 6:54 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Quotes from Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes:

“We have not always had game changers at the club. We have that now.

“We have been reliant on the same boys. Stockley and Burns came off the bench on Sunday and we found a way to win. Rooney and Pawlett had a similar impact on Thursday night. It might not have been as obvious till Adam scored but that different dynamic gives defenders something else to think about.

“We suffered a blow on Thursday night when Jonny had a problem in the warm up. So there was an adjustment with Niall coming on and I thought he did really well, he carried a threat the whole game. Jonny felt a tightness and when the physios looked at him they decided we could not risk it. He has been out for too long already so he will not play on Sunday if he is not right. I can’t say for certain whether he is ruled out or ruled in. A lot will depend how he is over the next day or two.

“It is a big week. We said that. We were happy to take on that responsibility. I felt it would be a defining week for us. We got three points away to Dundee, it is never easy down there and then we beat St Johnstone and we all know how good they are. There was nothing between the teams and I thought St Johnstone played well. It was a very hard fought game.

“The reason we celebrated so much was because we have scored late on and we have beaten a very good side.

“So we are delighted so far and now we need a big effort from everyone for Sunday. It is ridiculous that Rangers got 48 hours extra recovery for a league game when that does not need to be case. Why our game was moved to the Thursday, I don’t get that. But it is what it is and we will be ready for them on Sunday and I am looking forward to it.

“We will see on Friday how we are and who is available for it. Who is fit and ready. A full house here is the type of game everyone wants to be involved in.

“I think it is important that we see it as a game. It is a game that has been eagerly anticipated. It is tasty for both sets of players and both sets of supporters but it is only game. We will concentrate on the game and concentrate on trying to get a win. The atmosphere will be great with it being a sell-out and with the rivalry between the supporters but it is the game that we are focussing on.

“We have to try and get on top of a good side.  I think it will be tight.

“They have only lost one game this season and that was against Celtic. They had an impressive performance the other night which we were at and watched. I think Rangers have much quality, they have invested much into a squad that looked capable in the championship last season and they have a very good management team so they will be a tough nut to crack. They have good experience in their squad. But we are in good form now and I think Sunday’s result helped the St Johnstone game and our result on Thursday will help the game on Sunday.

“We always feel we can win especially at Pittodrie. Every game is winnable for us and Sunday is no different. When you go onto the pitch it is eleven players against eleven players and we have shown we can beat good teams in the past. We had a couple of good wins against Celtic last season and it will take a similar performance on Sunday to get a positive result because they have good players who can hurt you. We have to do our job well.

“We have to use the 17,000 or 18,000 Aberdeen fans to our advantage. They will help the players. We look forward to that atmosphere.

“It is still early in the season but it is important we try and get as many wins as possible regardless of who it is against. Draws feel like a defeat at this club now and I am pleased with that situation.”
 

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Maddison stunner earns late victory : Live

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Maddison stunner earns late victory

September 25, 2016 7:06 pm Author: Aberdeen FC

Aberdeen were given a huge boost ahead of kick off with the news that Jonny Hayes was not only fit to make the squad, but play from the start. His inclusion was one of four changes to the team that won on Thursday against St Johnstone as the manger freshened up the starting XI. In came Peter Pawlett, Mark Reynolds and Adam Rooney to replace James Maddison, Wes Burns, Ash Taylor and Jayden Stockley.

In front of a sell-out crowd, the opening exchanges were well fought by both sides. Peter Pawlett had a great surging run forward but couldn't release the ball in time.

A couple of Rangers set pieces put the Dons under pressure but overall there was not much between the two teams in the first 20 minutes. The visitors could have made more of a free kick from 20 yards in a very central position. Tavernier's shot couldn't make it over the wall allowing the Dons to clear.

On 26 minutes Joe Lewis made a quite outstanding save. A shot from Garner took a horrible deflection of Logan and the ball lopped up and was heading into the far corner. The big Englishman did superbly well to get across and get a touch with a flying leap which he timed perfectly.

At the other end Aberdeen's best effort came when Shay Logan squared it for Kenny McLean who drove it from the edge of the box. The shot was very well hit and on target and Fotheringham was forced to tip the ball over the bar.

Then for the rest of the half it was Rangers who looked the more likely to open the scoring and were denied by some great last ditch defending by Mark Reynolds after 37 minutes when Wallace played over a good ball to the back post which Garner headed back into the danger area and Reynolds had to be well positioned to clear. The Govan side looked threatening and were perhaps unlucky not to be ahead a minute later when after a good passing move the ball broke for Holt inside the area but his first time shot was well off target.

On 39 minutes during a rare Dons attack Shinnie put a good ball across the face of goal but Rooney could not get on the end of it. A minute later Considine made a superb last ditch tackle on Waghorn just as the Rangers striker was away to shoot. Then just before the break Holt had another good chance but his shot was straight at Lewis.

It had been a tough half of football for Aberdeen as Rangers had enjoyed a lot of possession but the Dons did defend well.

Half Time: Aberdeen 0 – 0 Rangers

The first change of the game was made at the restart. Peter Pawlett came off and was replaced by James Maddison.

Straight away the Dons were on the front foot and within 25 seconds of the restart they had taken the lead. A long ball from Lewis was flicked on by Rooney who out jumped his man on the left hand side. Jonny Hayes gambled and his run was not tracked. Hayes’ pace allowed him to get onto the loose ball and with so much calmness Jonny slid the ball underneath Fotheringham. It was a superb finish, and there was a huge celebration from the Red Army to match.

With their noses in front, the Dons tried to bring some composure to a game that was being played at an extremely quick tempo throughout.

The visitors had a golden opportunity to level the match when Barry McKay weaved his way past Logan, he cut the ball back but Waghorn blazed the ball over the bar from six yards.

It was a game that was crying out for someone to get their foot on the ball and slow things down, McLean and Shinnie were putting in a huge shift in the middle of the park but the Dons continued to sit deep and were happy to soak up the pressure.

Niall McGinn was the next man to come off and was replaced by Wes Burns. It was a like for like change with the pace of Burns likely to cause problems. Hayes moved over to the left but shortly after the substitution, with 12 minutes to go, Rangers won a penalty when Jonny Hayes dragged Wallace down in the box. It was certainly a foul as Jonny had lost his man although the initial contact may have been outside area. Halliday stepped up and made no mistake from the spot with a well taken penalty. It was game on at Pittodrie.

Rangers looked hungry for a winner and pressed The Dons high up the park but the visitors looked frustrated with what was a very solid defensive performance from Aberdeen.

With the stoppage time board minutes away it was time for heroes. And it was the youngest man on the park who would rise to the occasion. After a period where a lot of fouls were given away, the Dons won a free kick on the left hand side when Hayes was taken down by Tavernier.  James Maddison is not a player short of confidence. His direct free kick sailed through the air, crashing off the post into the net. What. A. Goal.

Three minutes of stoppage time turned into five after the goal celebrations. Ash Taylor was thrown on to solidify a defence which never looked like conceding. The final whistle went, and the Red Army erupted.

It had been a long 90 minutes but a famous win and a goal that will be remembered for many years to come.
Three games played in one week, three wins. A superb effort from the players. Second in the league and with a semi-final to look forward to, it looks like being an exciting Autumn.
 

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