Rangers 2 - 0 Aberdeen
Rangers survived a second-half onslaught from Aberdeen to record a first home win under new manager Ally McCoist and stay top of the league.
Captain Steven Davis coolly chipped in to give Rangers an early lead with 15 minutes gone.
Richard Foster headed against the crossbar as Aberdeen improved in the second half.
But Steven Naismith tapped in a rebound from Davis's free kick in the dying seconds to secure victory.
The hosts made two changes to the side that was knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday. Naismith returned from suspension with youngster Ross Perry also added to the starting line-up.
Aberdeen meanwhile arrived at Ibrox without a victory there in almost 20 years, and there were early concerns for the visitors when Isaac Osbourne had to leave the field within seconds of kick-off after being caught by the trailing arm of Maurice Edu.
The 10 men left on the pitch dealt adequately with early opportunities for Rangers, Osbourne returning after a seven-minute absence sporting a head wound.
But despite being back at their full complement, Aberdeen were undone on the 15th minute mark.
Nikica Jelavic flicked the ball on to Davis who had timed his run to perfection and casually sent a lofted ball to the left hand side of David Gonzalez in the Aberdeen goal.
Craig Brown's side struggled to find any fluidity in the aftermath of the goal, but Rangers didn't capitalise, coming closest to a second from a set piece on the half hour mark; Gregg Wylde delivering from the corner flag to Dorin Goian at the near post, who headed over the bar.
For Aberdeen, Kari Arnason had the only real chance of the first half, but his shot from 25 yards fizzed well wide, with Allan McGregor otherwise untroubled in the Rangers goal.
Rangers made a change on the stroke of half-time when Goian was replaced by Steven Whittaker, who had been sidelined with a broken toe.
But it was a nervy restart for the home side when Carlos Bocanegra and Perry had a misunderstanding in defence which allowed Scott Vernon a much-needed chance for Aberdeen. McGregor, suddenly called into action, forced the Dons striker wide to extinguish the chance.
But Bocanegra gifted Aberdeen another chance, almost heading into his own net when clearing a Rory McArdle cross. McGregor clawed it away only as far as Foster whose diving header from eight yards out came off the crossbar in what was Aberdeen's best chance of an equaliser.
Rangers adapted to a 4-5-1 formation but struggled to control the midfield area as Aberdeen became more ambitious as the second half wore on, Fraser Fyvie joining the list of players making an attempt on goal.
The midfielder created space for himself before unleashing a shot from 25 yards out which forced another save from McGregor.
McCoist chose to introduce new signing Alejandro Bedoya for the remaining 20 minutes, Kyle Lafferty the player to give way.
And in added time the home side finally put the tie out of Aberdeen's reach. Davis's free kick from 25 yards out was spilled by the Dons' keeper with Naismith quick to pounce and tap the ball into the net to secure a valuable but unconvincing win.
- 01 McGregor
- 02 Goian (Whittaker - 45' )
- 04 Broadfoot
- 18 Bocanegra
- 32 Perry
- 07 Edu Booked
- 08 Davis
- 14 Naismith Booked
- 27 Wylde
- 09 Jelavic
- 11 Lafferty (Bedoya - 69' )
- 25 Alexander
- 16 Whittaker
- 17 Ortiz
- 20 Bedoya
- 10 Fleck
- 15 Healy
- 28 Kerkar
- 20 Gonzalez
- 02 McArdle (Chalali - 76' )
- 03 Foster
- 05 Mawene Booked
- 06 Considine
- 08 Milsom
- 11 Arnason
- 16 Osbourne
- 17 Fyvie
- 22 Jack (Pawlett - 46' )
- 09 Vernon (Magennis - 71' )
- 32 Brown
- 25 Shaughnessy
- 15 Pawlett
- 10 Mackie
- 18 Chalali
- 21 Magennis
- 23 Megginson
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.90:00 +1:57
Free kick taken by Steven Davis.90:00 +1:57 Booking
Booking Youl Mawene is given a yellow card.90:00 +1:54
Foul by Youl Mawene on Nikica Jelavic, free kick awarded.90:00 +1:06
Assist by Steven Davis.90:00 +1:06 Goal scored
Goal! - Steven Naismith - Rangers 2 - 0 Aberdeen Steven Naismith scores a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. Rangers 2-0 Aberdeen.90:00 +0:24
Free kick awarded for a foul by Kari Arnason on Kirk Broadfoot. Steven Davis has an effort direct from the free kick, David Gonzalez makes a save.89:42
Andrew Considine concedes a free kick for a foul on Nikica Jelavic. Ross Perry restarts play with the free kick.88:04
Gregg Wylde delivers the ball, Header from deep inside the area by Nikica Jelavic goes over the bar.87:17
Steven Whittaker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Youl Mawene. Free kick taken by David Gonzalez.86:49
Steven Davis takes a shot. Blocked by Isaac Osbourne.85:22
Maurice Edu challenges Isaac Osbourne unfairly and gives away a free kick. Isaac Osbourne takes the free kick.81:01
Centre by Kari Arnason, clearance made by Gregg Wylde.80:00 +2:32 Booking
Booking Steven Naismith receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.78:52
Unfair challenge on Kari Arnason by Steven Naismith results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Youl Mawene.77:19
Gregg Wylde produces a cross, Isaac Osbourne gets a block in.75:39 Substitution
Substitution Mohamed Chalali is brought on as a substitute for Rory McArdle.73:53
The ball is swung over by Kari Arnason, Kirk Broadfoot makes a clearance.73:13
Kirk Broadfoot sends in a cross, Youl Mawene makes a clearance.70:29 Substitution
Substitution Scott Vernon leaves the field to be replaced by Josh Magennis.
Andrew Considine restarts play with the free kick.68:17 Substitution
Substitution Kyle Lafferty goes off and Alejandro Bedoya comes on.68:17 Booking
Booking Booking for Maurice Edu.68:08
Free kick awarded for a foul by Maurice Edu on Kari Arnason.64:45
Fraser Fyvie takes a shot. Save by Allan McGregor.64:22
Rory McArdle sends in a cross, Steven Whittaker makes a clearance.62:51
The ball is swung over by Gregg Wylde, Kyle Lafferty takes a shot. Save made by David Gonzalez.61:26
Shot from long range by Gregg Wylde goes wide of the left-hand post.59:31
The ball is sent over by Steven Davis, Rory McArdle manages to make a clearance.58:53
Corner taken left-footed by Fraser Fyvie, Youl Mawene takes a shot. Save by Allan McGregor.58:42
Peter Pawlett crosses the ball, Steven Whittaker manages to make a clearance.57:26
Steven Whittaker delivers the ball.56:29
Scott Vernon takes a shot. Save by Allan McGregor. Close range header by Richard Foster goes over the bar.55:29
Nikica Jelavic has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.54:29
Corner taken left-footed by Gregg Wylde from the right by-line to the near post, Richard Foster makes a clearance.54:22
The ball is crossed by Steven Whittaker, Richard Foster gets a block in.53:18
Youl Mawene fouled by Kyle Lafferty, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Rory McArdle.53:05
Scott Vernon is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Steven Whittaker takes the indirect free kick.52:44
Peter Pawlett fouled by Kirk Broadfoot, the ref awards a free kick. Rory McArdle restarts play with the free kick.52:09
Foul by Youl Mawene on Kyle Lafferty, free kick awarded. Kirk Broadfoot takes the direct free kick.48:23
Steven Whittaker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Fraser Fyvie. Fraser Fyvie takes the direct free kick. Shot from just outside the box by Kari Arnason misses to the left of the target.47:34
Gregg Wylde delivers the ball.46:00
Fraser Fyvie takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Ross Perry.45:44
Fraser Fyvie produces a cross, Gregg Wylde makes a clearance.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Peter Pawlett replaces Ryan Jack.45:00 +2:38 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.45:00 +1:50 Substitution
Substitution Steven Whittaker is brought on as a substitute for Dorin Goian.44:06
Cross/shot by Gregg Wylde.42:15
Dorin Goian concedes a free kick for a foul on Fraser Fyvie. Free kick crossed left-footed by Robert Milsom from right channel, Steven Naismith manages to make a clearance.41:44
Kari Arnason produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.40:19
Kari Arnason takes a shot. Steven Naismith gets a block in.39:01
Steven Naismith produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.36:14
Steven Davis is caught offside. Youl Mawene restarts play with the free kick.33:20
The ball is delivered by Gregg Wylde, clearance by Andrew Considine.32:40
Steven Davis concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan Jack. Youl Mawene restarts play with the free kick.31:57
Kari Arnason produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.29:37
Inswinging corner taken by Gregg Wylde from the right by-line played to the near post, Dorin Goian produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.29:25
Steven Davis produces a cross, blocked by Kari Arnason.28:10
Andrew Considine challenges Nikica Jelavic unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steven Davis takes the direct free kick.22:47
Kyle Lafferty takes a shot. Isaac Osbourne gets a block in.20:55
Isaac Osbourne delivers the ball.18:37
A cross is delivered by Gregg Wylde, Richard Foster manages to make a clearance.15:38
Ryan Jack sends in a cross, save by Allan McGregor.14:26
The assist for the goal came from Nikica Jelavic.14:26 Goal scored
Goal! - Steven Davis - Rangers 1 - 0 Aberdeen Steven Davis finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Rangers 1-0 Aberdeen.13:02
Gregg Wylde sends in a cross, clearance made by Andrew Considine.12:14
Effort on goal by Kyle Lafferty from just inside the area clears the bar.11:56
Unfair challenge on Maurice Edu by Isaac Osbourne results in a free kick. Kirk Broadfoot takes the direct free kick.10:38
Gregg Wylde has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the target.9:43
Dorin Goian fouled by Ryan Jack, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Dorin Goian.9:10
The referee gives a free kick against Nikica Jelavic for handball. Free kick taken by Andrew Considine.6:04
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Kyle Lafferty from the right by-line, Unfair challenge on David Gonzalez by Maurice Edu results in a free kick. David Gonzalez restarts play with the free kick.5:50
Centre by Steven Davis, Ryan Jack manages to make a clearance.5:46
Gregg Wylde delivers the ball.4:19
Kyle Lafferty takes a shot. Blocked by Youl Mawene.3:35
The ball is delivered by Gregg Wylde, Youl Mawene makes a clearance.0:00
The ref blows the whistle to start the match.
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