Aberdeen joined hosts Rangers in paying their respects to former Gers manager Walter Smith at Ibrox before playing their part in a thriller which bore the hallmarks of his time in charge.
Smith loved nothing more than teasing the Dons about how they raised their game whenever they faced his side.
Stephen Glass’ side produced a display which no doubt would have prompted a similar retort after leaving his old stomping ground with a point to show for their efforts following a dramatic 90 minutes in Glasgow.
The Dons ripped up the script for this one, racing into a two-goal lead in the opening 14 minutes and they stayed in the lead until nine minutes from time.
The Dons boss will have mixed emotions after watching his side fail to hang on to their lead, but he will also be proud of team’s gritty and committed showing.
He has every right to be.
With Declan Gallagher and Calvin Ramsay joining Jack Mackenzie and Andy Considine among the defensive players unavailable due to injury, Glass was forced into a major reshuffle of his backline for the trip to Ibrox.
Dean Campbell came into the team in midfield with captain Scott Brown dropping to central defence to partner David Bates and Ross McCrorie in a back three.
Campbell was one of three players who came into the starting line-up as he was joined by Dylan McGeouch in midfield, while Jonny Hayes joined Christian Ramirez and Ryan Hedges in attack. Marley Watkins was the other Don to drop to the bench.
Following an impeccable minute silence in honour of former Rangers and Scotland manager Walter Smith, the tone was set for an emotional night, but it was the Dons who kept their cool to stun the home side by taking a ninth-minute lead.
Much of Aberdeen’s focus following their weekend win against Hibernian centred on their defence, but it was the home backline which was exposed badly as Dean Campbell robbed Connor Goldson of possession before passing the ball to Hedges.
The Wales international drove forward, committing Jon McLaughlin in the home goal before clipping the ball across for Ramirez to head home from close range.
Rangers looked for an immediate response from Alfredo Morelos, but the striker was denied by Joe Lewis.
Aberdeen, however, were equally threatening and crucially, they did not sit back after taking an early lead and their positive start was rewarded with a second goal in the 16th minute.
This time it was set piece which cost the home side as McGeouch’s corner was met by Brown and he expertly guided his diving header into the net.
Brown revelled in his goal, sliding on his knees for a Morelos-inspired celebration while Ibrox was silenced for the second time in a stunning opening period.
The home side needed an urgent response and they got it – although Aberdeen were far from happy about how it came to pass with Lewis Ferguson penalised for a foul on Joe Aribo.
Ferguson was adamant he had committed no foul, but referee John Beaton thought otherwise and the Aberdeen midfielder’s unhappiness with the decision turned to anger when Morelos headed home Tavernier’s delivery to haul his side back into the game.
Ferguson earned a caution for his trouble.
The champions surged forward looking for an equaliser and they came close to getting it three minutes before the break when Goldson powered in a header from Tavernier’s corner but he was denied by a terrific save from Dons goalkeeper Lewis.
The first half brought goals and excitement galore. The second period was one for concentration and organisation for the Dons as they looked to hold on to their hard-earned lead.
Rangers dominated possession after the break, but the Dons did well to protect their goalkeeper with Lewis not called into action.
Aberdeen suffered a blow just after the hour mark when striker Ramirez limped off with what looked like a groin injury, with Marley Watkins taking his place up front.
With no sign of a breakthrough coming former Aberdeen attacker Scott Wright and Fashion Sakala were sent on 13 minutes from time in the hope of helping conjure an equaliser and the goal the home side craved came their way nine minutes from time.
Captain Tavernier got it, firing past Lewis from the penalty spot after David Bates had hauled Ianis Hagi to the ground to concede the spot kick, to set up a frantic finale.
Aberdeen, having let their lead slip, however, were in no mood to be breached again and they held on for a deserved point.