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‘That was for them’: Barry Robson dedicates ‘brilliant’ 3-1 win against Rangers to Aberdeen fans

Goals from Stefan Gartenmann, Jamie McGrath and Jack MacKenzie helped the Dons win at Ibrox for the first time since March 2019.

Stefan Gartenmann celebrates making it 1-0 Aberdeen against Rangers. Image: SNS.
Stefan Gartenmann celebrates making it 1-0 Aberdeen against Rangers. Image: SNS.

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson has dedicated the sensational 3-1 victory against Rangers at Ibrox to the club’s supporters.

The Dons secured a first win at Ibrox since a Scottish Cup triumph in March 2019 courtesy of goals from Stefan Gartenmann, Jamie McGrath and Jack MacKenzie.

A first league win at Ibrox since December 2018 offers emphatic proof that a Dons team rebuilt in the summer are now motoring.

The travelling Red Army were ecstatic at the victory which elevated Aberdeen up to seventh in the Premiership, just two points off fourth place.

Aberdeen delivered a defensive, tactical and counter-attacking masterclass at Ibrox to stun Rangers and silence the home crowd.

Robson said that win was for the Dons fans.

Aberdeen defender Stefen Gartenmann celebrates his goal at Ibrox. Image: Shutterstock

He said: “This is great for the fans and they deserve it.

“They came to Ibrox in numbers and sell out (their allocation) every week when we are away from home.

“We have had cracking season ticket sales as well.

“Since I came in here as manager it has been amazing how much the supporters have backed us.

“That was a brilliant performance and win at Ibrox.

“And it was for them (fans) and that is what we are in this for.”

Spirit ‘can never be underestimated’

The win at Ibrox was Aberdeen’s third straight victory in all competitions.

It continues an upsurge in form following a disappointing start the campaign where Robson’s side, with 13 summer signings, failed to win any of their first five league games.

Robson said he never doubted his reconstructed squad.

He said: “You can see the spirit of the players and that can never be underestimated.

“You can see the structure and speed we play at which is good.

“That is still a proper Rangers team and not easy to play against.”

Dons coping with heavy schedule

Aberdeen were playing their fourth game in just 10 games in all competitions.

During that period they have travelled to Germany to face Eintracht Frankfurt, Dingwall to take on Ross County and Ibrox to meet Rangers with only one home game.

Yet the Reds delivered a high intensity performance against Michael Beale’s side.

Defender Stefan Gartenmann scores to make it 1-0 Aberdeen against Rangers at Ibrox. Image: SNS

Robson said: “We looked sharp.

“We had a very detailed pre-season although there was only four or five of them out there who had that pre-season.

“The ones who have you can see that in them.

“Those who have not it is trying to get them up to speed and the way we want to do things.

“In the game we were structurally very good and tried to frustrate them for the first 20 to 25 minutes.

“We grew into the game and then stated to do the things we are good at well.”

Prior to this game, Rangers had the best defensive record in the Premiership having conceded just twice in the opening six games.

Aberdeen’s Stefan Gartenmann and Adbullah Sima in action at Ibrox. Image@ SNS

Return to team and formation used against Eintracht Frankfurt

Aberdeen made three changes to the side that defeated Ross County 2-1 in the Viaplay Cup quarter-final on Wednesday.

Duk, Jonny Hayes and Connor Barron dropped to the bench with Leighton Clarkson, Dante Polvara and Jack MacKenzie reinstated.

Boss Robson reverted to the starting XI and 5-4-1 formation that had performed so well in losing 2-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany.

That formation ensured a solidity at the back in the Europa Conference League Group G opener but also allowed the scope to attack.

And so it proved again when utilised to devastating effect at Ibrox.

Cyriel Dessers of Rangers and Aberdeen defender Slobodan Rubezic in action at Ibrox. Image: SNS

Gartenmann fires Aberdeen ahead

Aberdeen went ahead in the 38th minute Stefan Gartenmann stretched out his right leg to meet a Clarkson corner and forced the ball home from six yards.

The woodwork denied the Dons a second in the 56th minute when Miovski met a Clarkson cross but his close range header cracked off the post.

The second goal came in the 68th minute when a Richard Jensen shot was parried by keeper Jack Butland.

The ball fell to Jamie McGrath who drilled a 12 yard hitch-kick into the ground that bounced into the net.

Nicky Devlin celebrates Aberdeen going ahead against Rangers. Image: Shutterstock.

Rangers down to 10 men but hit back

Rangers were reduced to 10 men in the 71st minute when former Aberdeen winger Scott Wright, on as a half-time sub, was dismissed having received a second yellow for a foul on Gartenmann.

The Ibrox side hit back in the 75th minute when Abdallah Sima converted with a right footed shot from close range.

Aberdeen sealed a deserved win in the 85th minute when a Jonny Hayes shot was saved by Butland.

Pouncing on the rebound MacKenzie fired a powerful 10-yard drive off the underside of the bar and into the goal.

Stefan Gartenmann of Aberdeen celebrates with team mates after scoring against Rangers. Image: Shutterstock

Rangers manager Michael Beale said: “It was a horrible day. A terrible result.

“We didn’t deserve anything from the game.”

ABERDEEN (5-4-1): Roos 8; Devlin 8, Gartenmann 8, Rubezic 8, Jensen 8 (MacDonald 90), MacKenzie 8; McGrath 8, Polvara 8 (Hayes 79), Shinnie 9, Clarkson 8 (Barron 84); Miovski 8 (Duk 79).

Subs not used: Doohan, Gueye, Sokler, Duncan, Milne

RANGERS (4-3-3): Butland 6; Tavernier 6, Goldson 6, Davies 6, Yilmaz 4 (Barisic 46); Cifuentes 6, Lundstram 6, Jack 5 (Wright 46), Lammers 6, Dessers 6 (Lovelace 84), Sima 6.

Subs not used: McCrorie, Souttar, Sterling, Wright, Balogun, Rice, McKinnon.

Referee: Steven McLean

Attendance: 49,959

Man-of-the-match: Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen)