Report: Dons 2 Gers 3
Sun 26.9.2010 / 12:45
An amazing comeback by the Champions means Rangers are still on top of the SPL table on goals scored after the weekend's SPL action. A double from on form Kenny Miller and another from Nikica Jelavic gave Rangers a 3-2 victory after they had been two goals down in half an hour.
It's always a tough tough game at Pittodrie and today was no different. Walter Smith had not won a game up here since 1996, and this was his seventh attempt after he took charge for his second spell at Rangers. The champions had not won here since the Paul le Guen era in 2006.
Walter Smith went for a strong line-up after resting some players for the Dunfermline League Cup game midweek. It was the usual back four of Papac, Bougherra, Weir and Whittaker in front of Allan McGregor in goals. The midfield was Weiss, McCulloch, Davis and Naismith with Miller and Jelavic up front.
Rangers dominated the first half in terms of possession but were not creating too many chances. Despite the possession though, it was Aberdeen who were to take command of the game. They scored in the tenth minute after a Scott Vernon beat the offside trap to get on the end of a Chris Maguire through ball. The in form striker cooly stroked the ball past Allan McGregor and into the Rangers net.
Rangers had a couple of half chances but nothing that threatened the Dons' net too much before they went 2-0 ahead on the half hour mark. Chris Maguire who set up the first goal got his head on the end of a Darren Mackie cross. It was a well taken goal by the Dons' striker.
Rangers responded well though and shortly afterwards they were awarded a penalty after Vladimir Weiss was clearly fouled inside the area. Thug Zander Diamond was lucky not to be sent off after he raised his hand pushed Weiss over after he had won the kick. It was hand bags at dawn then with Diamond and Naismith ending up in the referee's book.
After the referee managed to sort out all the fisticuffs, Kenny Miller finally stepped up to take the penalty and what a great penalty it was, straight down the middle giving Langfield no chance as he dived to his left. Rangers were right back in it.
Shortly after the goal, Steven Whittaker who had taken two knocks to the head was taken off and replaced by Kirk Broadfoot. There as not too many more chances in the first half and Rangers went in 2-1 down at the interval.
It didn't take Rangers too long in the second half to get back on level terms. Six minutes into the half in actual fact, Kenny Miller scored again for his TENTH goal of the season already. Naismith found Davis and Davis then sent a great pass into the path of Kenny Miller who finished superbly.
Then fifteen minutes later, Rangers completed the remarkable comeback when a terrible kick out by Langfield was picked up by McCulloch who put Naismith through. Naismith was one on one with the goalkeeper but unselfishly squared the ball to Jelavic who couldn't miss.
The Rangers fans summed it up nicely with a chant from the terrace that went: 'That's why we're champions, That's why we're champions.' Aberdeen tried to fight back but Rangers always looked comfortable once they went into the lead, and the held on for all three points.
Rangers and Celtic are both miles ahead this season. Usually they are but there is usually at least one side giving them a run for their money in the first part of the season. Not so this season, both teams on eighteen points after six wins from six, eight points ahead of nearest rivals. Both teams on same goal difference but Rangers ahead on goals scored.
Aberdeen 2 Rangers 3 Match Stats