A HIGHLY emotional evening became a hugely dramatic one as Rangers came from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw with Aberdeen.
It was a truly sad occasion at Ibrox Stadium as the support paid tribute to the greatest manager of the club’s modern era, Walter Smith, who passed away yesterday at the age of 73.
A minute of silence was observed prior to kick-off, with tributes in the stands mirroring the thousands which have been left already outside the stadium
On the park tonight, Calvin Bassey came in for Borna Barisic, while Glen Kamara started instead of Steven Davis.
That meant it was a back five of Jon McLaughlin in goal with James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun and Bassey in front of him.
Joe Aribo, John Lundstram and Kamara were in midfield, while it was an unchanged attacking trio of Kemar Roofe, Ianis Hagi and Alfredo Morelos.
Joe Lewis saved well from Bassey at his front post when the big full-back was put in early by Goldson, but on nine minutes, the visitors grabbed a lead.
Gers were caught trying to play out from the back, and Christian Ramirez was to profit, heading home at the
It was almost 1-1 within two minutes, the Dons somehow scrambling away the ball when it reached Morelos at the back post, before Roofe had an effort on the end of a Bassey cross scrambled away for another corner.
But on 16 minutes, Aberdeen grabbed another – Scot Brown heading home on a Jonny Hayes header.
Rangers were in shock – but they halved the deficit on the 20-minute mark. Joe Aribo was taken out by Lewis Ferguson on the right. James Tavernier’s free-kick into the area was superb, and getting on the end of it was Alfredo Morelos, marking his 200th Rangers appearance with goal number 101.
Lundstram was to have an effort cleared off the line by Ryan Hedges, while Goldson was denied by a fine Lewis save on the end of a Tavernier corner.
Gers began the second half with all of the ball and a lot of territorial advantage, but chances were at a real premium.
That was until the 80-minute mark, when Gers were awarded a penalty as David Bates pulled back sub Fashion Jr in the box.
Up-stepped James Tavernier to take – and his penalty was outstanding, finding the inside of the side-netting despite Lewis going the right way for 2-2.
Ibrox came alive, and Scott Arfield was oh-so close to close to turning home a Scott Wright cross, but the Dons survived, while Balogun came close on the end of a Tavernier corner. Aberdeen were to hold out, and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
RANGERS: McLaughlin, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun, Bassey, Aribo (Wright, 77), Lundstram (Arfield, 61), Kamara, Roofe (Fashion Jr, 77), Hagi, Morelos.
SUBS NOT USED: McGregor, Davis, Simpson, Patterson.
ABERDEEN: Lewis, McCrorie, Brown, Ramirez (Watkins, 61), Hedges, McGeouch, Ojo, Hayes (Samuels, 90), Ferguson, Campbell, Bates.
SUBS NOT USED: Woods, McGinn, Emmanuel-Thomas, Gurr, Longstaff.
REFEREE: John Beaton