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Derek McInnes: The 10 key games in Aberdeen manager’s six-year reign at Pittodrie

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes.

Derek McInnes’ tenure as Aberdeen manager has brought arguably the greatest spell of consistency since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club in 1986.

European football has become a regular occurrence and the Dons have frequently appeared at the business end of domestic cup competitions.

Silverware under his stewardship numbers just one – the 2014 League Cup – but the club is undoubtedly in a better competitive state than when he inherited the job in 2013.

Aberdeen 2-1 Celtic, Scottish Premiership, February 25 2014
Jonny Hayes opened the scoring four minutes before half-time and in the process, ended Fraser Forster’s record clean-sheet run. Adam Rooney doubled the lead before half-time and despite James Forrest pulling a goal back in the second half, the Dons held on.

Aberdeen 0-0 Caley Thistle (Aberdeen win 4-2 on penalties), League Cup final, March 16 2014
In a dire game, with neither side showing particular urgency to win the game, the Dons emerged triumphant on penalties to win their first silverware since 1995.

Billy Mckay and future Don Greg Tansey missed from the spot, allowing Rooney to tuck away the decisive spot-kick.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes and Russell Anderson with the League Cup in 2014.

Aberdeen 5-0 Daugava Riga, Europa League, July 3 2014
The Dons’ return to European football proved a fruitful one as they thumped the nine-man Latvian side at Pittodrie.

Shay Logan, Niall McGinn, a Rooney brace and another from Hayes sent the Pittodrie faithful home happy.

Caley Thistle 1-2 Aberdeen, Scottish Premiership, April 25 2015
Victory over the Caley Jags on their own turf effectively secured second spot for the Dons, a position they would not relinquish until this year.

Edward Ofere had put the Scottish Cup finalists in front, before a David Raven own-goal and McGinn’s strike five minutes later nudged the Dons over the line.

Aberdeen 2-1 Celtic, Scottish Premiership, February 3 2016
During the season where the Dons ran Celtic close for the Premiership title, this was a pivotal win in establishing them as genuine championship contenders.

Hayes and Simon Church both found the net in the first period and all the Hoops could muster was Leigh Griffiths’ stoppage-time consolation.

Aberdeen’s Simon Church (right) celebrates his goal.

Dundee 0-7 Aberdeen, Scottish Premiership, March 31 2017
The biggest away win under McInnes came courtesy of a memorable hat-trick from Andy Considine.

Rooney, Kenny McLean, Ryan Jack and McGinn were also on the scoresheet in the rout at Dens Park.

Celtic 2-1 Aberdeen, Scottish Cup final, May 27 2017
Tom Rogic’s goal prevented Aberdeen winning their first Scottish Cup since 1990.

The two sides had swapped early goals between Hayes and Stuart Armstrong, before Rogic broke Aberdeen hearts in the closing moments of the game.

Celtic 0-1 Aberdeen, Scottish Premiership, May 13 2018
Needing a victory to cement second spot for the fourth season in a row, Aberdeen won at Celtic Park for the first time in 14 years thanks to Considine’s goal.

Coupled with Rangers’ dramatic 5-5 draw with Hibernian at Easter Road, it was mission accomplished for the Dons in Glasgow.

Andy Considine celebrates his winner against Celtic in May 2018.

Aberdeen 1-0 Rangers, Betfred Cup semi-final, October 28 2018
The year when the Dons proved they could cut it in Glasgow, Lewis Ferguson scored the vital goal that beat Rangers at Hampden Park and sealed a spot in the Betfred Cup final.

McInnes’ side would go on to beat Rangers twice more, both wins coming at Ibrox as they won 1-0 in the Premiership and 2-0 in a Scottish Cup replay.

Rangers 0-2 Aberdeen, Scottish Cup quarter-final replay, March 12 2019
Aberdeen recorded their third victory over Rangers in the 2018-19 season and all of them came in Glasgow.

Niall McGinn gave them an early lead before Connor McLennan’s late second, to set up a Hampden semi-final against Celtic.

Connor McLennan scored the second goal against Rangers.

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