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ANALYSIS: Yet again Aberdeen denied by a bad refereeing call against Rangers – and it has to stop

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin and his players after the 1-0 loss at Rangers.
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin and his players after the 1-0 loss at Rangers.

Aberdeen suffered agonising deja vu when a bad refereeing call yet again denied them against Rangers.

For the third successive game against the Ibrox club this season the Reds were undone by a poor decision.

Aberdeen were on course to secure a draw in Glasgow until Kemar Roofe netted in the 81st minute for a 1-0 win.

The goal shouldn’t have stood as there was a clear foul by Calvin Bassey on Calvin Ramsay in the build up.

Play should have been stopped by referee John Beaton and a free-kick awarded to the Reds, stopping the phase of play which resulted in Roofe’s goal.

Rangers Forward Kemar Roofe celebrates scoring his side’s winner against Aberdeen.

It is the third game against Rangers this campaign that Aberdeen have suffered from a poor refereeing decision.

In October the Reds were 2-0 up in an eventual 2-2 draw at Ibrox only to concede from a soft free-kick.

Rangers then equalised late on via a penalty wrongly awarded by John Beaton after a coming together of David Bates and Fashion Sakala.

Yet again in a 1-1 draw in January the Reds were denied a stonewall penalty at 0-0 when Ryan Hedges was clearly fouled by Allan McGregor.

Within seconds of Kevin Clancy waving off appeals for a spot kick Rangers broke upfield on the counter attack and scored.

VAR could wipe out costly mistakes

That is costly points dropped, particularly with Aberdeen languishing in 10th place.

It is potentially a five point swing. Aberdeen are currently five points off fourth place and an automatic European spot.

Borna Barisic and Connor Baron in action at Ibrox.

It underlines the need for the Scottish Premiership to introduce VAR to help referees who are making honest, but costly, mistakes.

The initial projected cost to top-flight clubs of £60,000 for VAR has now risen to closer to £100,000.

There is set to be a vote in the spring by Premiership clubs on the introduction of VAR.

If it would help eradicate errors like the one at Ibrox surely the investment is worth it.

Aberdeen’s Ross McCrorie and Rangers’ Ryan Jack in action at Ibrox.

Aberdeen didn’t deserve to lose

Aberdeen didn’t deserve to win at Ibrox, but they didn’t deserve to lose.

The Dons failed to show enough attacking edge and could not muster a single shot on target.

However they were not out-played, out-fought, or out-manoeuvred.

Aberdeen went toe-to-toe with Rangers and delivered a high press, aggression and energy but just couldn’t find that spark in the final third.

Aberdeen ‘s Declan Gallagher beats Alfredo Morelos of Rangers to the ball at Ibrox.

Chairman and board culpable

Defeat at Ibrox extended Aberdeen’s run without victory to 10 games.

The Reds also endured a 10 game winless run from August to October.

It is the first time in the club’s proud 119-year history Aberdeen have suffered two double digit winless runs in a single season.

Aberdeen players are not the only ones culpable for a dismal campaign as chairman Dave Cormack and the board are also to blame.

Rangers John Lundstram and Aberdeen Midfielder Dante Polvara, making his debut, compete for the ball.

They orchestrated the change in management in March last year. Fast forward 12 months and the Dons are in a worst position.

There has been regression rather than progression.

The only ones with no culpability for this winless run is new manager Jim Goodwin and his back-room staff.

They were taken in to resurrect a team with ravaged confidence, stumbling from one winless game to the next.

He has instilled aggression, fight and a resolute organisation.

However they have to marry that with an attacking threat and do that quickly.

Remarkably for a team that has failed to win in the Premiership this year the Dons are still only four points off the top six and five points behind fourth spot.

Rangers’ Ryan Kent runs with the ball past Aberdeen’s Dante Polvara

The problem is time is running out. Aberdeen have just three games remaining before the split – Hibs (h), Dundee (a) and Ross County (h).

They need to start winning now or be condemned to the bottom six wilderness.

Response after insipid loss at Hearts

After the 2-0 loss at Hearts manager Goodwin called for Aberdeen to do the basics better. They did.

Aberdeen’s passing was crisp and rapid, they fired into tackles and 50-50s and aggressively closed down ‘Gers, allowing them little time in possession.

They blocked pathways for passes and runs.

Rangers, and their fans, became increasingly frustrated.

Alfredo Morelos and David Bates in action at Ibrox.

Centre-backs Declan Gallagher and David Bates cleared their lines and appear to be building a strong partnership.

They snuffed out the danger of Alfredo Morelos who was substituted off.

Teen Barron continues to impress

Teenage midfielder Connor Barron produced an impressive shift.

Although only 19-years-old he was not intimidated by Rangers, the crowd nor the occasion.

He thrived. Barron laid down an early marker with a superb tackle to win possession from Joe Ayodele-Aribo in a 50-50 in the seventh minute.

It set the tone for the rest of the match as Barron played with maturity well beyond his years.

Aberdeen teenager Connor Barron and Glen Kamara fight for the ball at Ibrox.

Aberdeen restricted Rangers to zero shots on target in the first half with Aribo firing well wide under pressure.

Sakala also headed wide.

In the second half Sakala headed wide twice and was also off target with a shot.

Finally in the 71st minute the home side registered a shot on target but Ryan Jack’s low 20 yard drive was easily saved by Joe Lewis.

Rangers net controversial winner

In the 81st minute Rangers made the controversial breakthrough.

James Tavernier launched a cross to the back post from the right.

Ramsay was set to head clear near the byline but Bassey nudged him in the back.

It unbalanced the right-back who fell to the ground.

Bassey wasn’t winning the race for the ball and Ramsay would have cleared the danger.

It was a foul and play should have stopped, with a free-kick to the Reds.

Aberdeen supporters in fine voice during the clash against Rangers at Ibrox.

Instead Bassey secured possession and passed out to Glen Kamara who skipped by Funso Ojo inside the box.

His cross was headed back towards goal by Tavernier and Roofe broke in front of Gallagher to bundle home with his thigh.

It was harsh on Aberdeen. They deserved a point.

ABERDEEN (4-2-3-1): Lewis 6; Hayes 7 (Ramsay 80), Bates 7, Gallagher 7, Ojo 7, McCrorie 7 (Polvara 85), Barron 7, Besuijen 6, Ferguson 6, McLennan 5 (MacKenzie 68),  Ramirez 6.

Subs: Woods, McGeouch, Jenks, Ruth, Milne.

RANGERS (4-2-3-1): McGregor 6; Barisic 5 (Balogun 59), Bassey 6, Goldson 6, Tavernier 6, Kamara 6, Jack 6 (Lundstrum 77), Kent 5, Ayodele-Aribo 6, Sakala 5 (Arfield 59), Morelos 5 (Roofe 77).

Subs: McLaughlin, Lundstrum, Helander, Ramsey, Sands, Wright.

Referee: John Beaton 4

Attendance: 50,010

Man-of-the-match: Connor Barron (Aberdeen).

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