Match Report: All Square At Pittodrie

RANGERS were held to a 1-1 draw by Aberdeen at Pittodrie this evening in the Scottish Premiership.

After going ahead through a superb Ianis Hagi opener in the first half, Lewis Ferguson’s second half penalty ensured a share of the spoils.

Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst named one change to the side which faced St Mirren in the Light Blues’ last match back on Boxing Day.

Tonight, James Sands, who joined the club earlier this month on an initial loan deal from MLS club New York City, was handed a debut, and he replaced Joe Aribo who was unavailable through his African Cup of Nations commitments.

That meant it was a back five of Allan McGregor in goal with captain James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Calvin Bassey and Borna Barisic in front of him.

Glen Kamara, Sands and Ianis Hagi were in the middle of the park, with Ryan Kent and Scott Wright playing in support of December Player of the Month Alfredo Morelos.

Rangers had much of the early possession, but it was the home side who had the first effort on goal with Teddy Jenks cannoning an effort off the post from 25-yards.

Seconds later, Kent caught Scott Brown in possession and tested Joe Lewis from similar distance, before McGregor held on well from Jenks as he let fly again from distance.

Then on 20 minutes, a quite incredible passage of play. Jenks broke in-behind the final line of Gers defence and collided with McGregor, leading to howls for a penalty from both Aberdeen players and supporters.

Gers ignored them, and broke up the right wing through Wright. He played a beautiful switch to the left for Kent, who found Hagi in the middle with the most sublime ball.

Hagi’s one-touch finish came just a few yards out from goal, and the Romanian international certainly enjoying celebrating in front of the traveling support at that end of Pittodrie.

From there, Rangers took a real command of the game. Morelos had a decent effort from outside the area which Lewis did well to hold onto, while chances were kept to a real premium at the other end.

Into the second half, and Tavernier was denied in the area by a smart David Bates block, but the game didn’t really come to life until the 72nd minute wen Aberdeen were awarded a penalty when Morelos was adjudged to have handled in the area.

Lewis Ferguson took the kick, and sent Allan McGregor the wrong way to square the game. Gers responded, and only a smart Lewis save prevented Morelos from volleying home on the end of a Tavernier corner, before the Light Blues were reduced to 10 men – Ryan Kent seeing a second yellow.

1-1 was how it was to end, with Gers now welcoming Stirling Albion to Ibrox in the Scottish Cup on Friday night.

RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Bassey, Barisic, Kamara, Sands, Hagi (Fashion Jr, 78), Kent, Wright (Lundstram, 64), Morelos (Itten, 89).

SUBS NOT USED: McLaughlin, Simpson, Balogun, King, Bacuna, McCann.

ABERDEEN: Lewis, McCrorie, Brown, Ramirez, Hedges, Ojo (McLennan, 67), Hayes, Ferguson, Jenks, Ramsay (Campbell, 72), Bates.

SUBS NOT USED: Woods, Gallagher, McGinn, Emmanuel-Thomas, McLennan, Barron, Kennedy.


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