Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen1RangersRangers1

Aberdeen 1-1 Rangers

By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

Aberdeen teenager Bruce Anderson scored in stoppage time to deny Steven Gerrard's 10-man Rangers a winning start to their Scottish Premiership campaign.

Rangers played more than 80 minutes with 10 men after Alfredo Morelos was dismissed for a kick at Scott McKenna.

Despite that, James Tavernier gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spot after Dominic Ball fouled Josh Windass.

But Anderson, making his Dons debut, struck late into time added on.

The 19-year-old took an accomplished touch and skidded a finish low past Allan McGregor three minutes into added time.

It was an unlikely equaliser, given Aberdeen took 75 minutes to have a shot on goal.

Derek McInnes' side had looked lethargic, having taken Burnley to extra time before going out of the Europa League on Thursday, but did enough to start the season with a draw.

Rangers enjoy better chances

The visitors - who went through in Europe against Osijek on the same night - had started on the front foot. But after Morelos kicked out at McKenna - reacting angrily to a shove from the Scotland defender - they were up against it.

While composure had deserted Morelos, his team-mates stayed cool under pressure, continuing to dominate possession.

Gerrard elected to stick with what he had, taking the game to the hosts, and got his reward when Tavernier slammed home the opener from the penalty spot.

The Rangers manager had said he was "jealous" of Ryan Jack's Europa League performance against Osijek on Thursday, and the midfielder was again pulling the strings against his former club, his workmanlike performance making up for the one-man deficit.

Blue shirts swarmed all over Aberdeen when they crossed the halfway line, and as the home side struggled to cope, Rangers continued to create the better chances. Windass headed over and Lassana Coulibaly stretched the defence on the counter-attack, only to have a shot blocked.

Tavernier's cross found Jamie Murphy, who headed wide, but as the game wore on Rangers naturally went deeper, spending the majority of the last 20 minutes defending the high balls Aberdeen threw at them.

Derek McInnes
The point was Derek McInnes' eighth against Rangers from nine games during his time with Aberdeen

Anderson is Aberdeen's unlikely hero

In the absence of Shay Logan and Tommie Hoban, Aberdeen were forced to move Ball to right-back - a position he last occupied in a torrid 90 minutes against Motherwell in April's Scottish Cup semi-final, a match lost 3-0.

The Englishman's first lapse allowed Murphy to beat the offside trap and bear down on Dons goalkeeper Joe Lewis, who blocked the shot.

After Morelos' red card, the Dons had the advantage, but they gave that away when they conceded a penalty. Ball was again at fault, tugging the shirt of Windass after Scott Arfield's shot was deflected.

It was not much better for Aberdeen at the other end of the pitch. Their first-half attacking threat was sporadic, though twice Niall McGinn delivered crosses from the left that caused problems. Each time there was no end product, which underpinned how urgent McInnes' search for a new striker is.

McInnes was struggling to ask questions of Rangers, reshuffling his line-up as the match went on.

Having started with Ball and Andrew Considine in the full-back roles, he moved things around when centre-back McKenna limped off, switching Graeme Shinnie to left-back. The manager then changed it again, returning his captain to midfield and going to three at the back. Nothing seemed to work as Rangers continued to threaten.

His last move was to replace Sam Cosgrove with 19-year-old Anderson for his debut. The teenager sent a header wide in 75 minutes - Aberdeen's first attempt at goal.

Gary Mackay-Steven grew into the game and became the hosts' main threat, but still Rangers goalkeeper McGregor had little to do except watch Lewis Ferguson head past a post.

However, just as it looked like Rangers would comfortably see the game out, Considine headed down into the path of Anderson, who fired low into the far corner.

Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard has yet to lose in five competitive games as Rangers manager

'Gerrard answered the questions asked' - analysis

BBC Scotland's senior football reporter Chris McLaughlin at Pittodrie

Most of the intrigue around this match centred around the new Rangers manager. How would he cope being up against the side who have finished second for four consecutive seasons? How would his tactics fare next to a seasoned manager in Derek McInnes? Despite not taking the points, Gerrard's side won the battle and he answered the questions asked.

The former Liverpool captain refused to panic when Morelos was sent off. He took his time, assessed the situation and then made the necessary changes. He switched shape on more than one occasion, and each time his decisions influenced the game.

He stood, hands in suit pockets, for most of the 90 minutes and consulted with his back room team when he needed to but was very much calling the shots. The quiet man, full of passion, passed his first test and proved he has a squad capable of competing for second spot.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Lewis
  • 21Ball
  • 18DevlinBooked at 74mins
  • 5McKennaSubstituted forForresterat 31'minutesBooked at 88mins
  • 4Considine
  • 8GleesonSubstituted forMayat 52'minutes
  • 3Shinnie
  • 19FergusonBooked at 65mins
  • 10McGinn
  • 16CosgroveSubstituted forAndersonat 71'minutes
  • 11Mackay-Steven

Substitutes

  • 7Forrester
  • 15Wright
  • 17May
  • 20Cerny
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Anderson
  • 36Harrington

Rangers

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1McGregor
  • 2Tavernier
  • 19Katic
  • 6GoldsonBooked at 79mins
  • 15Flanagan
  • 37ArfieldBooked at 74mins
  • 8JackSubstituted forEjariaat 82'minutes
  • 23Coulibaly
  • 7MurphySubstituted forKentat 70'minutes
  • 11Windass
  • 20MorelosBooked at 12mins

Substitutes

  • 9Sadiq
  • 10Ejaria
  • 14Kent
  • 16Halliday
  • 17McCrorie
  • 21Candeias
  • 25Alnwick
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
19,046

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamRangers
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home6
Away8
Shots on Target
Home1
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home12
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Rangers 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Rangers 1.

  3. Post update

    Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Kent (Rangers).

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Aberdeen 1, Rangers 1. Bruce Anderson (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Andrew Considine.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen).

  7. Post update

    James Tavernier (Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Booking

    Chris Forrester (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Chris Forrester (Aberdeen).

  10. Post update

    Ryan Kent (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a set piece situation.

  12. Post update

    Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jon Flanagan (Rangers).

  14. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  15. Post update

    Delay in match Allan McGregor (Rangers) because of an injury.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Rangers. Ovie Ejaria replaces Ryan Jack because of an injury.

  17. Post update

    Delay in match Stevie May (Aberdeen) because of an injury.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Stevie May (Aberdeen).

  19. Post update

    Ryan Jack (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Booking

    Connor Goldson (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts11004133
2Hibernian11003033
3Celtic11003123
4Kilmarnock11002023
5St Mirren11002113
6Aberdeen10101101
7Rangers10101101
8Dundee100112-10
9Livingston100113-20
10St Johnstone100102-20
11Hamilton100114-30
12Motherwell100103-30
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