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Big match verdict as the big cheese of Scottish football laughs in Rangers' face

As usual when these two meet in Granite City, it doesn't take long before things heat up in a vibrant night of football. (Author: Gardener)

ScottishRangers must face titular truth as the big cheese of Scottish football laughs in their face - big match verdict As usual when these two go head-to-head in Granite City, it wasn't long before things heated up on a vibrant night of football. Get the latest Rangers news from Record Sport with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong, please try again later. What was a perfect winter campaign for the Premiership leaders under new boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst suffered its first blemish on the return from shutdown. Stephen Glass's heated dons fired up the champions to take a deserved point. But Rangers, whose Premiership lead has been reduced to four points, must now face the simple truth that their road to a second consecutive title will be much closer than last year's procession. Aberdeen questioned what makes a penalty a penalty at half-time as Kevin Clancy's decision to continue playing as Allan McGregor obliterated Ryan Hedges was followed moments later by Ianis Hagi firing the opener for Rangers. Sign up for our Record Sport newsletter. Get the latest sports news delivered straight to your inbox every day by signing up for our newsletter. The newsletter comes out every day at 12:00pm and gives you a roundup of the best stories we've covered in the last 24 hours. However, the referee had no doubts pointing to the spot after the break when Alfredo Morelos' handball allowed Lewis Ferguson to head home an equaliser. All Rangers' hopes of making the most of what was a frustrating work event went up in smoke eight minutes before Ryan Kent took his second booking in six minutes. Two weeks before their trip to Celtic Park, Gers was hoping to make another statement of intent. Instead, van Bronckhorst saw his team drop league points for the first time under his watch. The right and wrong of an Old Firm postponement is expected to be debated for a few more weeks, but cancellation was not an option for the Rangers boss as he faced a midfield crisis. Those absences meant new recruit James Sands was brought in for a debut against the Dons. His first taste of Scottish football was without airs and graces as a fresh North Sea breeze slapped his face. The Big Apple man faced Aberdeen's big cheese, returning Scott Brown, back in action after ailing. As usual when these two meet in Granite City, it didn't take long for things to heat up. Gers still looked like they were trying to get the blood pumping as the hosts came within an inch of a stunning opener in the sixth minute. Glen Kamara was muscled by Ferguson before Hedges passed the ball to Teddy Jenks, who made a touch before clipping the ball with the batted keeper from the outside of McGregor's post. This time McGregor descended to reach the low drive. Bassey looked more insecure than before since being shoved into centre-back and when he couldn't stop Funso Ojo from crawling down the left Gers was unmasked again. But a 60-second flash turned the balance of the first half on its head as the Ibrox men snapped forward. First the controversy came when Hedges sped past Borna Barisic to reach Jonny Hayes' wind-assisted long ball. The Aberdeen player hoisted the ball over the onrushing McGregor, but when his feet were wiped out by the No 1 Ger's back leg, he turned to see referee Clancy wave on. He only had Hagi to aim for in the box, but Ross McCrorie and David Bates both failed to spot the Romanian, who ghosted into the six-yard box to steer past Joe Lewis. Ferguson vented his own frustration on the ball as he almost threw the leather away when firing a shot that Brown placed just as well behind a volley three minutes into the second half when the ball broke 15 yards away to him, but only the fans high up in the Dick Donald stands scramble for cover. The temperature began to rise again as Clancy's decision-making got under Don's skin. McCrorie went in the book for a lunge on former Ibrox teammate Morelos, but Wright then escaped punishment after awkwardly rattling Brown. But the home support roared with approval when the official pointed to the spot with 18 minutes remaining after Morelos used an arm to stop Ferguson's header from a Hayes corner. Ferguson took the penalty duties for himself as if the wind blew the ball off the spot towards him on the run-up, firing past McGregor to level. That sent decibel levels skyrocketing, but it was almost Gers who celebrated a late win as Lewis tapped a Morelos volleyball away from the top corner. An unnecessary booking after 76 minutes after he faced Hayes haunted him six minutes later when he tripped Brown on the touchline.

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Ryan Kent and Lewis Ferguson take center stage, but eyes are drawn to players with the "Gazza" makeover

The key points as Rangers' lead over Celtic in the title race is limited to four points. (Author: Gardener)

Ryan Kent© Rangers winger Ryan Kent is sent off by referee Kevin Clancy in the 83rd minute of the Scottish Championship... There was plenty of competition in Aberdeen's midfield, where captain Scott Brown, as always, found the fight against Rangers and Brighton loanee Teddy Jenks enjoyed making a great impression. But the pick of the bunch was Lewis Ferguson, who put in a fine performance on his 150th appearance for the Dons, converting his team's second-half equalizer from the penalty spot. The 22-year-old excelled as Aberdeen edged out a Rangers engine room and missed the influential trio of Joe Aribo, Scott Arfield and Steven Davis. Despite the selection issues he faced, Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst would be disappointed with by far the least fluid and controlled performance his team has shown since succeeding Steven Gerrard. Saving a strong penalty claim for Aberdeen in the 20th minute when Ryan Hedges lobbed the ball over advancing Allan McGregor and then was cut off by the Rangers goalkeeper was seconds later when Ianis Hagi completed a sweeping counterattack to put the visitors ahead . Had Aberdeen had a chance to take the lead from the penalty spot they looked more than capable of inflicting a first defeat on Rangers since van Bronckhorst took charge. Kevin Clancy had his hands full as he dealt nine yellow cards - two of them to Rangers winger Ryan Kent, who couldn't complain about his stupid dismissal that pinned his team for a point. Clancy could have used some help from his assistant Graeme Stewart, who certainly had the best view of the incident as Hedges went down under McGregor's challenge, but the referee made some sort of redemption for Aberdeen by spotting Alfredo Morelos' handball, which allowed Ferguson to equalize from 12 yards.

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Ryan Kent was sent off as the top of the Scottish Premiership at Pittodrie

Match report as Aberdeen comes from behind to tie with Rangers; Ianis Hagi opened the gate in Pittodrie; Lewis Ferguson equalized from the penalty spot for the Dons; Ryan Kent was sent off for visitors; Rangers now lead Celtic by four points at the top of the Scottish Premiership. (Author: Gardener)

Ryan KentGiovanni van Bronckhorst's successful start as Rangers manager is over after Aberdeen came from behind against the Scottish Premiership leaders in Pittodrie. Lewis Ferguson's second-half penalty nullified an early opener from Ianis Hagi before Ryan Kent was sent off for a second caution. A draw marks the first lost Scottish Premiership point of Van Bronckhorst's tenure and leaves Celtic just four points behind the champions following their win over Hibs on Monday night. Stephen Glass's side dominated at times, limiting Rangers' chances in front of goal. But despite Kent's dismissal, they couldn't find a late winner and had to settle for a hard-fought point. American midfielder James Sands made his debut for Rangers, while Scott Wright started against his former club. Teddy Jenks hit the outside of a post from 22 yards after a clearance from Joe Lewis initially put Rangers on the backfoot and the Brighton midfielder on loan soon forced McGregor to stop at full length from a similar distance. Dons captain Scott Brown was heavily involved from the start, losing the ball before Kent fired straight at Lewis and then firing over at the other end from 25 yards after a Funso Ojo cutback. The former Celtic skipper was pushed to the ground by Morelos, but Clancy chose to speak to both of them. The big talk of the first half came after Jonny Hayes sent Hedges clear with a long diagonal ball. The Dons player got a foot on the ball when McGregor threw himself at it, slamming into the Welshman. There was clear contact with Hedge's leg and the Aberdeen player went down, but Clancy was unconvinced and Rangers played on. Ferguson almost caught McGregor in the restart but his attempt landed on the roof of the net and Rangers got more control of the game for the rest of the half. Booked for a challenge against Kent, Brown had a couple of chances from set pieces early in the second half. He shot wide over the goal from 12 yards before heading over the goal on a more difficult opportunity. The Dons struggled to create chances from open play but got their penalty from a corner when Morelos moved his arm towards the ball after Ferguson had headed for goal. This time Clancy had little doubt and Ferguson sent McGregor the wrong way, although a gust of wind blew the ball back at him as he began his run-up. Morelos was cautioned for handball but he almost made amends with a massive volley which Lewis dived to dislodge. Kent was booked for a foul on Hayes just before catching Brown just after the Dons skipper played the ball. Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass: "Frustrated not to win. I think for the guys' effort, the energy they gave and the quality they showed, I think they deserved three points, but we probably didn't do enough to win it." the chances we had.” I think anyone with a set of eyes can see that it's a penalty. "What I'm really proud of is the resilience they showed in the second half when they came back against a good Rangers team." Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst: "Really tough game. I think we scored at the right moment because the whole stadium wanted a penalty, so I was happy with the first goal. I think after that we knew they were going to push and we tried to defend really well. "Today I think we could have had more on the ball, especially when we were 1-0 up. I think we could have created more chances to take second place, but of course we knew they would give it our all "We then got the penalty against us, then with 10 men you knew it was going to be tough. In the end, especially with 10 men, I think we're happy with 1-1 because a point is a point. It's not like you have every seat and dominate and create chances. Rangers host Stirling Albion in the same competition on Friday night at 7.45pm.

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Aberdeen hit back to hold Rangers

Frustrated Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass said a wrong penalty decision cost his side a win against Rangers after a controversial home game against Scottish Premiership leaders. (Author: Gardener)

RangersFrustrated Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass said a wrong penalty decision cost his side a win against Rangers after a controversial home game against Scottish Premiership leaders. Aberdeen hit back with a Lewis Ferguson penalty and ended Rangers' nine-game winning streak, leaving them four points ahead of Celtic. "It's a penalty," Glass said of the McGregor incident. "The goalkeeper comes out, doesn't get the ball, hits our striker. It's an incident that probably cost us the win." The Pittodrie men have not beaten Rangers in the league for more than three years but were the better side in that thoroughbred encounter and will be saddened not to have ended that fruitless run. McGregor charged to the edge of his box, missed the ball as it was slung past him and caught Hedges with a kicking leg. Referee Kevin Clancy ignored Aberdeen's vociferous appeals and Rangers were quick to counter to add to the hosts' fears. Former Aberdeen winger Scott Wright switched play to Kent on the left and his superb display left Hagi with a tap-in. It was tough for Glass's men who started strong as Teddy Jenks rattled the outside of the post forcing McGregor to make a fingertip save. Buoyed by the goal, Rangers almost added a second when Alfredo Morelos chased a pitifully short back pass from Funso Ojo. Goalkeeper Joe Lewis got there just in time and then crawled over to parry his line as James Tavernier's cross threatened to sneak in at the near post. The champions were unable to build on that momentum, however, as they dropped points for the first time under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who had guided them to seven Premiership wins in a row. Aberdeen captain Scott Brown fired a volley just after the restart but his side struggled to put McGregor to the test in the second half until the penalty. Ferguson, whose header caught Morelos' arm from close range, marked his 150th club appearance by sending McGregor the wrong way with a low penalty. Lewis brilliantly tapped a Morelos volley away from the top corner, then Kent was shown a second yellow for a tough challenge on Brown, who cheerfully smacked his former Old Firm opponent off the court. Connor McLennan was inches from finding a cross from Christian Ramirez as Aberdeen shoved a late winner and then jabbed Hedges wide as a frenetic battle ended by a point apiece. Needing no extra motivation to face Rangers, Aberdeen have now followed the Ibrox club's winning streak with two draws that could have been more. Brown's return was key, as Glass' men played with aggression and never allowed the visitors to calm down. Fellow midfielder Jenks had his best game for the club and was unlucky not to score. A loss and four wins in Aberdeen's last six games shows Glass monitoring steady progress. This was as bad for Rangers as they played under Van Bronckhorst. Rangers couldn't cope with Aberdeen's midfield threesome and paid the price for pressing in the second half. Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass: "Frustrated that we didn't get the three points. We looked like a dominant team even after a goal behind.” satisfied with 1:1. "Sometimes there are games like that. Of course we wanted to be better, especially with the ball, but we weren't, so we're going down by a point." Aberdeen host Edinburgh City in Pittodrie in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday (15.00 CET) before the Premiership game against St Mirren in Paisley next Wednesday (19.45 CET). Rangers have two home games ahead of them - Stirling Albion in the cup on Friday (7.45pm), then a league game against Livingston next Wednesday (7.45pm).

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Aberdeen vs Rangers: TV Channel, Live Stream, Team News & Preview

Aberdeen meet Rangers in the Scottish Premiership - Here's how to watch it live, team news, betting odds and more (Author: Gardener)

Team News & PreviewRangers are looking to extend their lead at the top of the Premiership table when they travel to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen on Tuesday. Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side are three points clear of Celtic with a game in hand, despite meeting a Dons side who have won four of their last five games. Before the game, GOAL brings you everything you need to know including how to watch, team news, odds and more. Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event are showing Aberdeen vs Rangers live on TV in the United Kingdom (UK) and the game can also be streamed live online on Sky Go. Dante Polvara is close to making his debut after signing from Georgetown University in the United States, although Michael Devlin and Dylan McGeouch are both doubtful with injuries. Rangers are the favorites to beat Aberdeen on 13/20 (1.65) with bet365. With 9/2 (5.50) to win, Aberdeen are considered outsiders. Alfredo Morelos is the top scorer at 10/3 (4.33) after scoring in four of his last five games, while Christian Ramirez breaks the deadlock for the hosts at 17/2 (9.50). Having won six of their last nine games against Aberdeen and lost none, Rangers look like a strong bet to come out on top in Pittodrie. Considering the Dons have only failed to score twice in 13 home games this season, it could be worth betting at odds of 3/1 (4.0) should Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side be in a game will win with goals from both sides. Having won each of their last nine league games before the winter break, Rangers will be optimistic about picking up where they left off in Pittodrie. In fact, the Gers have not lost a Premiership game at this stadium since 2016 and are unbeaten in a total of 18 league games. But Aberdeen were also on an upward trend going into Christmas, winning four of their last five games and conceding more than once in just two of their last 15 home games.

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Aberdeen hit back to hold Rangers

Ranger's nine-game winning streak in the Scottish Premiership was halted in Pittodrie as Aberdeen fought back for a deserved point in a hard-fought game riddled with controversy. (Author: Gardener)

RangersRanger's nine-game winning streak in the Scottish Premiership was halted in Pittodrie as Aberdeen fought back for a deserved point in a hard-fought game riddled with controversy. Lewis Ferguson equalized with a second-half penalty after his header caught Alfredo Morelos' arm, leaving leaders Rangers - who sent off Ryan Kent late - four points ahead of Celtic. The Pittodrie men have not beaten Rangers in the league for more than three years but were the better side in that thoroughbred encounter and will be saddened not to have ended that fruitless run. The fuse was lit on a flammable fixture in the 20th minute when Aberdeen had denied a powerful penalty claim - then Rangers parted at the other end and scored. Home winger Ryan Hedges found himself on his way with only McGregor after dashing off defense to a launched Jonny Hayes pass. McGregor charged to the edge of his box, missed the ball as it was slung past him and caught Hedges with a kicking leg. Buoyed by the goal, Rangers almost added a second when Morelos chased a pathetically short back pass from Funso Ojo. Goalkeeper Joe Lewis got there just in time and then crawled over to parry his line as James Tavernier's cross threatened to sneak in at the near post. The champions were unable to build on that momentum, however, as they dropped points for the first time under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who had guided them to seven Premiership wins in a row. Aberdeen skipper Scott Brown fired a volley just after the restart but his side struggled to put McGregor to the test in the second half until the penalty. Ferguson, whose header caught Morelos' arm from close range, marked his 150th Dons appearance by sending McGregor the wrong way with a low free-kick. Lewis brilliantly tapped a Morelos volley away from the top corner, then Kent was shown a second yellow for a tough challenge on Brown, who cheerfully smacked his former Old Firm opponent off the court. Connor McLennan was inches from finding a cross from Christian Ramirez as Aberdeen shoved a late winner, while Ryan Hedges then jabbed wide as a frenetic battle ended by a point apiece.

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Aberdeen vs Rangers penalty no call divides experts as Kris Boyd says YES and Michael Stewart insists they would be furious

Ryan Hedges was convinced he was fouled by a hesitant Allan McGregor in the box in the first half. (Author: Gardener)

Kris BoydGoals, colors and lots of talking points, there's nothing quite like it. And it was a blast that Aberdeen vs Rangers would deliver in terms of thrills and treats, it always does. Fans didn't have to wait long for a flash as Ryan Hedges was convinced he was fouled by a hesitant Allan McGregor in the box in the first half. This has been debated by the pundits, and there have been a variety of opinions about Kevin Clancy's decision to continue playing. "Yes, it looks like this. I don't think you would have been surprised if referee Kevin Clancy had given it.” Allan can probably be a little sharper off his line from the start. "It's very difficult to sit here and say it's not a penalty. I think Rangers got away with one and then they were late.” “He then had a kind of star jump in front of Hedges, Hedges is a bit off balance, I think there's contact there and there's a big call for the referee . "What was Allan McGregor doing? His arms were everywhere, his legs were up, he wasn't making contact with the ball." The only factor that possibly went into the referee's decision making was the way Hedges approached him . and he threw it over McGregor, he had lost his balance. "I felt there was contact, for me it's a penalty or a free-kick." "I said it could have been a free kick, then I saw it was in the penalty area and I was like, 'Yes, it could have been a penalty'. You would be angry, if you're the attacking side, you would claiming all day for it." "I think McGregor's contact comes at the very end, I think Hedges put his body in for no real reason, believing he'd ever recover the ball. "So he put himself in a position in which he's just looking for contact." I think if there were, we'd probably be discussing it very similarly. 'I think if there were, you wouldn't be able to complain.' I kept thinking Allan McGregor coming out and [Borna] Barisic had to help. There's one angle where I think Allan McGregor will catch Ryan Hedges' left calf. If there's contact there, it looks like a penalty to me."

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Progressive Aberdeen deserved better as the penalty shootout is the talk of the town

Rangers lost points in the Premiership title race for the first time under Giovanni van Bronckhorst but ultimately could feel relieved they hadn't lost all three points in a typically searing encounter with Aberdeen in Pittodrie. (Author: Gardener)

Progressive AberdeenRangers lost points in the Premiership title race for the first time under Giovanni van Bronckhorst but ultimately could feel relieved they hadn't lost all three points in a typically searing encounter with Aberdeen in Pittodrie. © ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 18: Aberdeen's Lewis Ferguson makes it 1-1 from the penalty spot during … By that point, Lewis Ferguson's 73rd-minute penalty had nullified Ianis Hagi's first-half opener for Rangers which came immediately after the hosts had seen another penalty claim denied by referee Kevin Clancy when Ryan Hedges appeared clearly cut off from Allan McGregor. © Rangers' Ryan Kent is sent off by referee Kevin Clancy. Had Aberdeen had had a chance to break through from the penalty spot in the 20th minute at this contentious stage of the game it would have been a reward for a brilliant start. The lanky midfielder was unfortunate enough not to open the scoring in the seventh minute when his shot grazed the outside of McGregor's right post from around 20 yards after an intelligent build-up from Ferguson and Hedges. As Aberdeen continued on the front foot, Jenks forced McGregor to make a decent save to the right of the keeper before Dons skipper Scott Brown fired a long-range shot from a good position. Apart from a shot from Kent easily collected by Joe Lewis, Rangers had offered little in attack until the devastating counterattack that put them ahead after Aberdeen's penalty appeal was dismissed by officials. Scott Wright, cheered by the home fans at every touch, found Kent with a fine crossfield pass from the right flank to the left. A quick back pass from Funso Ojo nearly saw Rangers double their lead, but Joe Lewis was quick off his line to stop Alfredo Morelos from taking an advantage. Much of the game was incoherent, punctuated by a series of fouls by both sides, but it was Aberdeen who continued to put in most of the more effective work in the second half. Brown, firing just over the goal after a Christian Ramirez knockdown, powered his side as he dominated a battle in midfield in which USA international James Sands made a decent debut for Rangers in difficult circumstances. There was no doubt in awarding the penalty that leveled Aberdeen when Morelos handled Ferguson's header from a Jonny Hayes corner. Ferguson sent McGregor the wrong way from the spot. Kent, cautioned for an off-ball spit with Hayes, conceded his second yellow card with seven minutes remaining for an equally unnecessary foul on Brown.

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Ryan Kent was sent off as the top of the Scottish Premiership at Pittodrie

Match report as Aberdeen comes from behind to tie with Rangers; Ianis Hagi opened the gate in Pittodrie; Lewis Ferguson equalized from the penalty spot for the Dons; Ryan Kent was sent off for visitors; Rangers now lead Celtic by four points at the top of the Scottish Premiership. (Author: Gardener)

Ryan KentGiovanni van Bronckhorst's successful start as Rangers manager is over after Aberdeen came from behind against the Scottish Premiership leaders in Pittodrie. Lewis Ferguson's second-half penalty nullified an early opener from Ianis Hagi before Ryan Kent was sent off for a second caution. A draw marks the first lost Scottish Premiership point of Van Bronckhorst's tenure and leaves Celtic just four points behind the champions following their win over Hibs on Monday night. Stephen Glass's side dominated at times, limiting Rangers' chances in front of goal. But despite Kent's dismissal, they couldn't find a late winner and had to settle for a hard-fought point. American midfielder James Sands made his debut for Rangers, while Scott Wright started against his former club. Teddy Jenks hit the outside of a post from 22 yards after a clearance from Joe Lewis initially put Rangers on the backfoot and the Brighton midfielder on loan soon forced McGregor to stop at full length from a similar distance. Dons captain Scott Brown was heavily involved from the start, losing the ball before Kent fired straight at Lewis and then firing over at the other end from 25 yards after a Funso Ojo cutback. The former Celtic skipper was pushed to the ground by Morelos, but Clancy chose to speak to both of them. The big talk of the first half came after Jonny Hayes sent Hedges clear with a long diagonal ball. The Dons player got a foot on the ball when McGregor threw himself at it, slamming into the Welshman. There was clear contact with Hedge's leg and the Aberdeen player went down, but Clancy was unconvinced and Rangers played on. Ferguson almost caught McGregor in the restart but his attempt landed on the roof of the net and Rangers got more control of the game for the rest of the half. Booked for a challenge against Kent, Brown had a couple of chances from set pieces early in the second half. He shot wide over the goal from 12 yards before heading over the goal on a more difficult opportunity. The Dons struggled to create chances from open play but got their penalty from a corner when Morelos moved his arm towards the ball after Ferguson had headed for goal. This time Clancy had little doubt and Ferguson sent McGregor the wrong way, although a gust of wind blew the ball back at him as he began his run-up. Morelos was cautioned for handball but he almost made amends with a massive volley which Lewis dived to dislodge. Kent was booked for a foul on Hayes just before catching Brown just after the Dons skipper played the ball. Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass: "Frustrated not to win. I think for the guys' effort, the energy they gave and the quality they showed, I think they deserved three points, but we probably didn't do enough to win it." the chances we had.” I think anyone with a set of eyes can see that it's a penalty. "What I'm really proud of is the resilience they showed in the second half when they came back against a good Rangers team." Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst: "Really tough game. I think we scored at the right moment because the whole stadium wanted a penalty, so I was happy with the first goal. I think after that we knew they were going to push and we tried to defend really well. "Today I think we could have had more on the ball, especially when we were 1-0 up. I think we could have created more chances to take second place, but of course we knew they would give it our all "We then got the penalty against us, then with 10 men you knew it was going to be tough. In the end, especially with 10 men, I think we're happy with 1-1 because a point is a point. It's not like you have every seat and dominate and create chances. Rangers host Stirling Albion in the same competition on Friday night at 7.45pm.

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The Gers continue to extend their lead at the top of the table

Never boring, right? Even by the standards of a game that seldom disappoints, last night's clash between Aberdeen and Rangers was certainly a memorable event. (Author: Gardener)

GersEven by the standards of a game that seldom disappoints, last night's clash between Aberdeen and Rangers was certainly a memorable event. That it ended with part of the loot in the second game in a row, Lewis Ferguson's penalty that nullified an opener by Ianis Hagi, hardly tells half the story on a night the visitors saw Ryan Kent's red card late - while the home side it were left with a deep sense of grievance. The hard facts show that Rangers have extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to four points, while Aberdeen maintained their steady progress in an upwardly oriented season. Aberdeen drew 1-1 in Tuesday night's Scottish Premiership game against Rangers. After a Stonewall penalty and an instant hammer smash within the frantic opening 20 minutes, Aberdeen had to wait until the last 20 to earn the penalty that allowed them to regain par in a night of drama. The Reds, robbed by the softest penalty of victory at Ibrox in October, were seething with anger at Kevin Clancy's non-decision here last night, the official blithely waving on after Allan McGregor knocked out Ryan Hedges right inside the box with 19 minutes played . Ianis Hagi (left) scored the first goal of the game in the 20th minute for Rangers. Hagi (left) scored his goal by sliding it past Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis (right). Well, that did little to improve the humor of a home crowd that had been so eagerly awaiting this game. They had to wait for a mood lift thanks to Ferguson who kept up his impeccable run from the point. The hosts went into last night's game in decent form, with four wins in their last five Premiership games more than suggesting something was going right for Stephen Glass and his team. And of course, the memory of that 2-2 draw at Ibrox – on a night they could and should have won – would have given the home side confidence in their ability to compete with the visitors. Despite what Aberdeen may muster in belief, the Rangers hit the town looking like the model of an unstoppable force. These two points “fell” to the Dons at home? That was the last time they failed to win a league game, with a streak of nine straight wins helping them move clear at the top of the table. And that was certainly the case here in the hectic opening minutes of 20 minutes. However, Lewis Ferguson (above) equalized with a penalty in the 70th minute. Aberdeen was superb at this stage as Teddy Jenks hit the post and tested McGregor with a couple of brilliant efforts. At times, Rangers barely got out of their own half. And it looked like the Dons were about to get a golden chance to continue as Ryan Hedges chased a ball over the top from Jonny Hayes and raced on goal. McGregor is fully committed to getting there first. He lost the race, didn't have any contact with the ball - but brushed off Hedges clearly on the edge of the penalty area. But the fact that Clancy waved plays on? The fact that even Kris Boyd - yes, that Kris Boyd - thought a penalty should have been awarded said it all. The Aberdeen players were certainly stunned. Some may even have contemplated the penalty that denied them victory at Govan earlier this season; Hedges certainly had a much stronger claim than Fashion Sakala on this emotionally charged night. As upset as they may have been on that occasion, there really was no excuse for the pathetic defense that allowed Rangers to score almost immediately, with three or four left in red looking stupid when Hagi threw in Ryan Kent's cross for the Converts stole the left. Rangers were more than emboldened to take the lead against the flow of play and enjoyed their best period of the game yet as they pushed Aberdeen back. Still, the home side caused a few scares at half-time as Borna Barisic almost scored an own goal and young Calvin Ramsay McGregor staggered with a cross shot from the right. Aberdeen improved early in the second half, with former Celtic and Scotland captain Scott Brown helping to prevent him from keeping the goal with a couple of quick shots – a volley and a header. As the game progressed, Rangers seemed more than content to contain the hosts. Ryan Kent (left) received a red card shortly after Aberdeen equalized. And it was inevitable that Aberdeen actually conceded a penalty after 71 minutes, one so obvious that not even Alfredo Morelos could muster much grievance when Ferguson's header struck his outstretched left arm. The midfielder improved his penalty record as an Aberdeen player to a perfect 10/10. Morelos almost scored an absolute miracle goal as the game went into the closing stages. And then, because the game wasn't nearly eventful enough, Kent - already booked for a previous shove match with Hayes - received his second yellow for a foul on Brown, who certainly made the most of a fairly tame challenge. There were seven minutes left - plus four overtime. Enough for Aberdeen to scare the Rangers a bit.

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