10 Apr Miller sinks Dons
Rangers scored three late goals against Aberdeen to revive their hopes of catching the second-placed Dons in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Kenny Miller’s double and a Joe Dodoo strike gave Pedro Caixinha’s men a 3-0 victory at Pittodrie as they reduced the gap to nine points.
It was tough on the hosts, who until the goal rush began in the 79th minute had looked the likelier team to win the match.
In a frantic opening, Aberdeen’s Ryan Jack and Rangers midfielder Joe Garner were cautioned after the pair squared up in the middle of the park, the latter falling to the ground theatrically.
There were early chances at either end, with Wes Foderingham forced to push aside a Jonny Hayes drive after a swift Aberdeen break in the eighth minute.
Joe Lewis pulled off a great save to stop Garner giving Rangers an 11th-minute lead. Martyn Waghorn’s shot from the edge of the penalty area deflected kindly into the path of Garner, but from 12 yards the former Preston striker was denied by Lewis who came racing off his line.
Garner was in the thick of the action and began walking a tightrope following a clumsy foul on Lewis, moments after he had delivered a telling right-wing cross for Waghorn, who could not keep his effort down.
Referee Kevin Clancy did his best to ease the tension, although Aberdeen defender Ash Taylor was lucky to escape with a yellow card for a wild challenge on Jason Holt.
A surging Hayes run caused panic in the Rangers defence in the 51st minute and when the ball eventually broke for Graeme Shinnie with his back to goal, his hooked shot was comfortably saved by Foderingham.
The hosts started to exert pressure on their opponents as Kenny McLean tested Foderingham with a volley and the former Swindon goalkeeper then twice denied Adam Rooney.
Rooney latched on to a pass from Anthony O’Connor but his angled effort was well kept out by Foderingham, who pulled off an even better stop moments later to beat away the Irishman’s goal-bound shot from Taylor’s knockdown.
Rangers managed to cling on and on a rare venture forward, they stunned the Dons to go in front.
Waghorn found space in the box and after his shot was beaten away by Lewis, Miller thundered a superb angled shot from 14 yards into the net.
The Light Blues scored again two minutes later, profiting on an O’Connor mistake, to take firm command. A misplaced pass from the Dons defender went straight to substitute Dodoo, who slipped in Miller to roll the ball past Lewis.
Dodoo put the seal on the victory by scoring the third Rangers goal in the 83rd minute, with the former Leicester forward cutting inside Shay Logan to slot the ball low into the net.
In stoppage time, Dodoo rattled the woodwork before Miller’s follow-up effort was cleared off the line to deny the 37-year-old a hat-trick.