Gers given reminder of gulf in quality as Dons bank Ibrox win
Rangers 1 Aberdeen 2
Derek McInnes' Aberdeen rubbed salt into Rangers' wounds as a 2-1 win saw them triumph at Ibrox for the first time in quarter of a century.
A day after the Dons boss told Gers they should be "embarrassed" at only finishing third, his side gave another stark illustration of the improvements the Light Blues have yet to make.
The Pittodrie side were sharper all over the pitch and claimed their first victory in Govan since September 1991 with goals from Graeme Shinnie and Ryan Christie.
Martyn Waghorn pulled one back for Gers but there was no sign of the Reds decline predicted by Ibrox manager Pedro Caixinha earlier this week, even when they had substitute Jayden Stockley sent-off late on.
While the Dons were at full strength bar injured skipper Ryan Jack - again linked with a move to Ibrox this week - and suspended winger Jonny Hayes, fitness issues forced Caixinha to turn to the Gers youth ranks once more.
The Ibrox boss handed 18-year-old defender Aidan Wilson his first team debut as injury denied Clint Hill his Ibrox farewell.
The combined age of his centre-back partnership with the equally fresh-faced David Bates was 38 - the same as the grizzled veteran Wilson was replacing.
Aberdeen's high press forced Jon Toral to pass back to keeper Wes Foderingham but his mishit clearance put James Tavernier in trouble on the touchline.
Shinnie was quickly onto the loose ball, bursting into the box before slotting home.
Bates then had his keeper to thank 90 seconds into the second period when he was robbed by McLean, with Foderingham first stopping Niall McGinn before getting up to deny Adam Rooney.
But there was nothing the Englishman could do as Christie added a second on 52 minutes.
McGinn skipped past Tavernier out wide before hanging a cross up to the back post, where Adam Rooney nodded back across for the on-loan Celtic playmaker to finish off.
Gers substitute Waghorn was prevented from notching a quick-fire response by Considine's last-ditch block, but he did raise the noise levels on 61 minutes as he raced onto Josh Windass' through pass before lifting the ball into the net.
McInnes and Caixinha were then seen exchanging verbals as Rangers claimed in vain for a penalty when Barrie McKay tumbled at Shay Logan's feet.
The Dons had to play out the final 90 seconds a man light after Stockley picked up two quick bookings after barging into with Bates and Myles Beerman but they held on for their long-awaited win.
Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, Bates, A Wilson, Hodson (Beerman, 18 mins), Miller, Toral (Barjonas, 58 mins), Windass, Dodoo (Waghorn, 46 mins), Garner, McKay. Unused subs: Atakayi, Alnwick, Halliday, Holt.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Taylor, Reynolds, O'Connor, Logan, McLean, Shinnie, Considine, McGinn, Christie, Rooney (Stockley, 68 mins). Unused subs: S Ross, Campbell, Alexander, Wright, F Ross, Storey.
Referee: John Beaton
Man of the match: Ryan Christie
Match rating: 7/10