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Match Preview | Rangers v Aberdeen
Competition: Scottish Premiership
Match: Rangers v Aberdeen
Kick Off: 12:00
TV Coverage: Sky Sports & Red TV International.
The manager sat down with the media via Zoom to preview Sunday’s game with Rangers at Ibrox.
“It was a fantastic result for Scotland last week. You see the importance of the national team doing well from the reaction from that and the feel good factor it can give everyone.
“For Andy to be involved in that it is a fantastic experience for him and we are delighted that he has played a part in that. You see the celebration of the team and what it means to them, you can see in their interviews the honesty of them. Sometimes players get a bit of criticism for not caring enough but that is a lot of nonsense, they are desperate to do something for their country.
“The players deserve all the plaudits, and it gives the whole nation a lift. We have a couple of players who could be involved in that and it does give everyone that extra spring in their step to do well and to try and be involved in that. It should be special to be involved with your country.
“It is a challenge; they are obviously a good side, but we can take confidence from our record of late against Rangers in Glasgow. We must play a lot better than we did in our first game of the season against Rangers, we all accept that. In possession of the ball we did not do enough. If we can take the confidence from previous games, everyone takes on responsibility, everyone has a high level of performance, everyone has a high level of performance and we get the balance between attacking and defending, we know we are capable of getting the result. When we have had positive results in Glasgow, the personality, the intent of the team has got to be there and that is what I will be looking for more than anything on Sunday.
“It is a tough ask; they are in great form. We are pleased with our start as well, but it is only a start. We have got to demonstrate over the upcoming months that we have to sustain a good level of performance and sustain a good level of results. We are looking forward to the challenge. It is the opportunity for us to put ourselves up against a good side and to try and come away with the desired result. They have got a strong record at home, but we have a strong away record and have yet to concede away from home this season. It will need to be a strong away performance to get a positive result.
“We are going to have to play well. We are going to need big performances from everybody in a red shirt and we have that we certainly have a chance.
“It has been a wee bit stop start this season. The games are now coming thick and fast and it is a heavy schedule. We haven’t had a game in 16 days and we then have three games in six days, that is the nature of it.
“We recognise he is still a long way off his match sharpness and fitness, and he might not have the full 90 minutes in him yet. We have topped up his work this week. For any striker scoring a goal it is worth the weight in gold and he will be hungry for more. He has had a tough time with injury but to see him score was brilliant for him, he is trying to find his way to get back to his best and scoring goals along the way will do him no harm.
Supporters Back into Stadiums
“It is important to keep banging the drum about getting supporters back. We see the importance of getting supporters back in. The chairman has come out last week and made his feelings known on it. He has the responsibility of looking after every job in the club and the financial situation without fans in the long term is bleak. Hopefully we can get supporters back in by adhering to the current restrictions.”
Head to Head
Played 282, Won 66, Drawn 80, Lost 136. Scored 302, Conceded 453.
Did You Know?
- Aberdeen did not lose a league game at home to Rangers between December 8th 1974 and September 25th 1982 – a run of fourteen games, ten of which were victories with four draws.
- Sam Cosgrove’s penalty goal on February 6th 2019 was Aberdeen’s 300th League goal against Rangers.
The Last Time at Ibrox
We last met Rangers at Ibrox back at the start of February as the sides played out a goalless draw. Sam Cosgrove had the best chance for The Dons in the first half as he found himself one on one with Allan McGregor but the striker took a heavy touch which allowed the Rangers keeper to gather. The Dons defence was solid throughout and Joe Lewis pulled off a number of impressive saves to earn Aberdeen a well earned point.
Dons Line Up: Lewis, Logan, Considine, McGeouch (Gallagher), Taylor, McKenna, Kennedy (Devlin), Ojo, Cosgrove, Ferguson, McGinn (Campbell).
Unused Subs: Cerny, Hernandez, Hedges, Anderson.
Match Page - Formation
Match Page - Text Commentary
Report | Depleted Dons undone at Ibrox
RANGERS 4 ABERDEEN 0
Sunday 22nd November 2020
Ref – Nick Walsh
An Aberdeen side that was decimated by injuries and absentees found league leaders Rangers too much to handle fell to a four goal defeat at Ibrox Stadium. The home side scored with three deflections and a penalty.
With Ross McCrorie already absent under the terms of his loan agreement, Aberdeen’s preparations for the game at Ibrox were further rocked when Lewis Ferguson and Connor McLennan were ruled out under the Covid-19 protocols after being away with Scotland’s Under 21 side during the international break. Niall McGinn was also injured on international duty with Northern Ireland. Jonny Hayes, Dylan McGeouch, Marley Watkins and Tomas Cerny were also joined on the treatment table by Scott Wright who has a groin strain.
As a consequence, Derek McInnes made four changes from the side that beat Hibernian at Pittodrie before the break. In came Shay Logan, Funso Ojo, Greg Leigh and Ryan Edmondson in place of McLennan, Ferguson, McCrorie and Wright as the Dons adopted a 4-4-2 formation. Coming into the matchday squad on the bench were Dean Campbell, Mark Gallagher, Kieran Ngwenya, Calvin Ramsay and 16-year-old Ryan Duncan.
Rangers, eight points clear at the top of the table, made two changes from the side that beat Hamilton Accies 8-0 before the break. Allan McGregor and Alfredo Morelos returned to the starting XI in place of Jon McLaughlin and Jermain Defoe.
Good work from Ryan Hedges put McGregor under pressure in the second minute, making him hurry his clearance, showing the kind of energy and commitment the Dons would need at Ibrox. Moments later, Kent got in behind the Aberdeen rearguard from a Tavernier pass, the assistant missing a clear offside, Joe Lewis doing brilliantly to save with his feet.
Aribo looked to be in on goal in the seventh minute, getting away from Ojo, but Lews was smartly off his line to smother. But just as Aberdeen looked to be settling to the game, Rangers were in front in the 15th minute in unfortunate circumstances, Kent’s blast from 25 yards hitting Tommie Hoban and spinning beyond Lewis and in off the post. Four minutes later, Roofe threw himself to the deck under Ojo’s challenge but the referee was unmoved and didn’t give the penalty that Roofe was after.
Aberdeen had a first look at goal in the 23rd minute, Edmondson setting Hedges on the run to feed Sam Cosgrove, McGregor palming his shot from a tight angle behind for a corner. From that, Aberdeen forced another but that came to nothing as the referee gave a foul against the Dons as the ball came in.
Cosgrove was also unlucky when he was wrongly flagged for offside.
In the 26th minute, Hedges was on the run again, accelerating through the Rangers half and away from their defence, McGregor making a sharp save at his near post again from a difficult angle for the Aberdeen man.
Good, quick feet from Roofe made it 2-0 in the 29th minute though, the striker dragging the ball through the box rather too easily before firing in his shot that wrong footed Lewis on its way in. They had the ball in the net again four minutes later, the goal chalked off for offside.
Fine work from Leigh sprang an Aberdeen attack in the 38th minute, winning the ball well and then finding Cosgrove with a great 50 yard crossfield ball. Cosgrove rolled the ball into the advancing Hedges but his shot cannoned away to safety off Goldson.
Jack and Goldson somehow escaped a yellow card for combining to wipe out Cosgrove on the edge of the box in the 44th minute. From 25 yards out, Matty Kennedy put it over the wall but McGregor was equal to it, diving to his right to clutch the ball.
HALF-TIME: RANGERS 2 ABERDEEN 0
Rangers opened the half well, Andy Considine making a terrific block to deny Arfield after a wayward defensive header from Hedges. Arfield wasn’t to be denied though and in the 50th minute, he made it 3-0, his shot getting a thick deflection off Logan that caught out Lewis, going the other way, able only to watch helplessly as the ball bobbled in.
Two minutes later, referee Walsh gave a penalty as Considine pushed Balogan over, the defender getting booked too. Tavernier stepped up and sent Lewis the wrong way to score. Rangers then brought on Davis to replace Jack.
A good cross from Considine gave Aberdeen a glimpse of the Rangers goal in the 58th minute, Edmondson not able to get on top of the ball and putting his header over the bar. Aberdeen kept the pressure on with a good ball in from Hedges that Tavernier struggled to turn behind, Rangers scrambling the resultant corner away.
Curtis Main replaced Edmondson after 64 minutes as Aberdeen looked for some kind of consolation from the game. Rangers responded by bringing on Defoe and Kamara for Kent and a disgruntled Morelos who threw down his gloves and stomped off to a seat on his own in the stand – you find your entertainment where you can on days like this. Dean Campbell returned from injury in the 74th minute, replacing Cosgrove, Rangers introducing Hagi and Itten for Roofe and Aribo as the game began to meander towards its close.
Rangers roused themselves for another attack in the 78th minute, Hagi crossing for Tavernier, Hoban getting an important touch to get it away in the six yard box, Ash Taylor tidying up behind him. The Dons responded, Kennedy away down the right a couple of minutes later, his cross getting a deflection, Main looking to turn it in at the near post, McGregor saving comfortably.
Lewis made a much better save in the 83rd minute, another unlucky deflection from a corner, the ball striking Campbell and heading for the top corner, quick reactions from Lewis allowing him to claw the ball away to safety. Aberdeen then brought on Ronald Hernandez and young Ryan Duncan, Leigh and Logan making way in the 84th minute.
Good defending from Kennedy stopped Itten having a tap-in in the 88th minute after Considine was caught in possession. Itten had another chance in time added on, up high at the near post but directing his header wide as the game came to its conclusion.
RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Barisic, Jack (Davis 56), Aribo (Hagi 75), Arfield, Kent (Kamara 66), Roofe (Itten 75), Morelos (Defoe 66).
Subs: McLaughlin, Bassey, Helander, Barker.
GOAL: Kent (15), Roofe (29), Arfield (50), Tavernier (pen) (54).
ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan (Hernandez 84), Hoban, Taylor, Considine, Hedges, Ojo, Leigh (Duncan 84), Kennedy, Edmondson (Main 64), Cosgrove (Campbell 74).
Subs not used: Woods, Devlin, Ngwenya, Ramsay, Gallagher.