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Gers blow it as Dons roar back to share the spoils

Aberdeen 2 Rangers 2

In control: Former Dons skipper Ryan Jack puts Rangers two goals to the good
In control: Former Dons skipper Ryan Jack puts Rangers two goals to the good
Don good: Aberdeen’s Andrew Considine (left) celebrates drawing the home side level
Steven Gerrard

By Andy Newport

Rangers failed to convert first-half dominance into three points as they allowed Aberdeen to snatch a 2-2 draw at Pittodrie.

The Dons were simply dismal for half an hour as they fell behind to goals from Scott Arfield and former skipper Ryan Jack.

But a goal that arrived thanks to the efforts of Jon Gallagher - making amends for his part in the Light Blues' opener - just before the break restored some much-needed belief and they levelled soon after the change of ends as Steven Gerrard saw his side's intensity levels fall off a cliff.

The hosts had looked stricken with fear early on and Rangers finally capitalised after 18 minutes.

Gallagher's touch deserted him and Joe Aribo was on him in an instant. He drove forward before picking his moment to lay off to James Tavernier, whose low cross from the right was expertly steered home by Arfield.

Lewis Ferguson tried to get angry home fans back onside with something spectacular but Allan McGregor simply took a couple of steps back before plucking the midfielder's 35-yard attempted lob into his chest.

Instead, it was the travelling faithful who were celebrating again as Aberdeen served up another goal to Rangers.

Zak Vyner was under no pressure on halfway yet still managed to gift possession straight to Jack. Joe Lewis then failed to deal with Morelos' fairly routine strike, letting it squirm loose for Jack to gobble up.

Then, out of nothing, the hosts grabbed a lifeline. James Wilson and Sam Cosgrove combined on the edge of the Rangers box before Gallagher took over, going round McGregor before hooking the ball past Tavernier, with Filip Helander inadvertently rifling into his own net.

It was Rangers' turn to look shaky as the action resumed after the break. Jack was robbed just outside his box and had McGregor to thank as he denied Cosgrove.

But Gerrard's team did not heed that warning and found themselves level after 48 minutes.

Kent switched off as Ferguson collected a throw-in then hooked the ball into the six-yard box for Cosgrove. Aberdeen's top-scorer saw his attempt to bundle home blocked but the bounce was kind as it looped to Considine to ram home at the back post.

The turnaround should have been completed with 20 minutes left but Cosgrove failed to nod home from point-blank range.

Gers were given a free-kick soon after when Ferguson tripped Morelos but replays showed the collision was inside Aberdeen's box.

Tavernier sent the set-piece into the wall to add to Gerrard's annoyance before seeing Lewis push away another late on.

ABERDEEN: Lewis, Taylor, McKenna, Considine (McLennan, 81 mins), Logan, Ferguson, Vyner, Gallagher, Leigh, Cosgrove, Wilson (Hedges, 74 mins). Unused subs: Devlin, Main, Cerny, Campbell, Anderson.

RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Flanagan, Arfield (Ojo, 77 mins), Jack, Davis, Kent (Katic, 90 mins), Aribo, Morelos. Unused subs: Defoe, Foderingham, Halliday, Kamara, Stewart.

Referee: John Beaton

Man of the match: Jon Gallagher

Match rating: 8/10

Belfast Telegraph


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