Rangers went into the game knowing anything less than a win would effectively kill off any hopes of a second place finish in the SPFL Premiership this season. Two draws in the their last two games had left Pedro Caixinha’s side 12 points off Aberdeen in second with St. Johnstone only 3 points off in 4th.
The game immediately sparked into life following a late challenge on Joe Garner by Aberdeen captain Ryan Jack. Both players reacted by squaring up to each other before Jack pushed his head into Garner’s face leaving the Englishman sprawled on the turf. Referee Kevin Clancy booked both players after bottling the decision to send Jack off for a dangerous challenge or headbutting Garner.
The hosts started off brightest but it Was Rangers who had the best early chances. Garner should have opened the scoring when Waghorn picked the ex-Preston man out but Lewis was quick to react and get down low to Garner’s shot.
Garner then turned creator when his delightful cross found Waghorn unmarked in the Aberdeen area but Waghorn couldn't quite keep his sliding volley down, much to the relief of the Dons defence, as Rangers stepped up their search for an opener.
As the first half progressed Rangers started to exert more and more pressure on Aberdeen’s defence as they tried to find a way through. Aberdeen’s few offensive forays involved long balls over the top for Niall McGinn to chase but the Danny Wilson-led Rangers back four were able to deal with whatever was thrown at them.
Aberdeen almost took the lead after 53 minutes when Foderingham had to scramble to cover Kenny McLean’s volley but the ex-Swindon keeper reacted well to push it out and keep the score level. Rangers had to rely on Foderingham again just a few minutes later when Adam Rooney tried his luck and was only denied by a fantastic one-handed stop from Foderingham.
The hosts were the much better side after the break, in particular after Rangers withdrew Emerson Hyndman for Josh Windass, and were looking the more likely of the two teams to score but couldn’t find a way through Wes Foderingham.
With only 12 minutes left Rangers took the lead against the run of play through Kenny Miller. A driving run from deep by Myles Beerman put the Dons on the back foot before the ball eventually found a way through to Martyn Waghorn. Waghorn’s shot was saved well by Lewis but the rebound fell to Miller who rifled to ball into the roof of the net.
Miller grabbed his second just a minute or two later after some terrible defending by Aberdeen. Joe Dodoo picked up on a slack pass in the Aberdeen defence before sliding a lovely pass to Miller who took his time before slotting the ball under Lewis and into the back of the net.
The floodgates had opened and Joe Dodoo got his name on the score sheet. The ex-Leicester man drove well down the left before bamboozling Joe Lewis and shooting inside the near post to make it 3-0 and seal the three points for Caixinha’s side.
Dodoo almost made it four in stoppage time after taking advantage of more poor defending but rattled the crossbar with his strike before Miller saw his follow-up cleared off the line.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, Taylor, McLean, Rooney, McGinn, Hayes, O’Connor, Jack
Subs: Alexander, Christie, Pawlett, Stockley, Wright, Ross, Storey
Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, Bates, D. Wilson, Beerman, Holt, Hyndman (Windass 52’), Toral, Waghorn, Miller, Garner (Dodoo 69’)
Subs: Alnwick, Hodson, A. Wilson, Halliday, McKay
Goals: Miller 78’ & 80’, Dodoo 82’