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Two sent off as Scott McKenna goal seals victory for Aberdeen over Rangers

Scott McKenna scored the winning goal against Rangers last week.
Scott McKenna scored the winning goal against Rangers last week.

Scott McKenna’s first goal of the season gave Aberdeen victory over Rangers as both sides finished with 10 men.

The centre-half found the net seven minutes into the contest and the goal proved decisive, as the Dons succeeded in holding Rangers at bay.

Both Sam Cosgrove and Alfredo Morelos saw red in a fiery encounter, with referee Steven McLean struggling to keep a lid on proceedings.

The win puts Aberdeen back into the top six ahead of Saturday’s game against St Johnstone.

In place of the injured Gary Mackay-Steven, Derek McInnes handed Connor McLennan his first start since the 4-1 win over St Mirren. The academy product impressed after coming on for Mackay-Steven in Sunday’s Betfred Cup final and was given a chance to shine at Ibrox.

McKenna got the Dons off to the perfect start just seven minutes into the game, finding a pocket of space in a crowded penalty area to hook in Niall McGinn’s free-kick, after Cosgrove’s flick-on picked him out.

It was McKenna’s first goal in nearly 11 months, his last being the 40-yard strike against Kilmarnock in January.

Alfredo Morelos came close to opening the scoring twice in a matter of minutes, however in the first instance he was flagged for a foul on Joe Lewis and the second was a header from James Tavernier’s corner into the side netting.

The Gers had another chance from a set-piece on the half-hour mark, this time through Lassana Coulibaly as he rose highest to meet Tavernier’s free-kick but headed over.

Aberdeen’s task was not helped by the dismissal of Cosgrove on 33 minutes, given his second yellow card by Steven McLean for a high foot on Connor Goldson. The Dons may well take issue with the red card, with Goldson appearing to kick the bottom of the striker’s foot.

Sam Cosgrove is dismissed for an apparent high foot on Connor Goldson.

The onus was now on Rangers to satisfy a packed Ibrox and Glenn Middleton came close to doing so four minutes before the break, with a teasing effort that Lewis did well to tip round the post.

Steven Gerrard’s side started the second half the better, with Lewis required twice in quick succession to keep out Kyle Lafferty and Ryan Jack.

McLean was again in the headlines just after the hour when he sent off Morelos for an off-the-ball incident with Dons skipper Graeme Shinnie, as the temperature of the game showed little sign of dropping.

Aberdeen succeeded in frustrating Rangers and limiting further saves for Lewis, with Max Lowe and Andy Considine the stand-outs in an impressive rearguard effort.

 

 

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