On an emotional evening at Ibrox, a minute’s silence to remember legendary manager Walter Smith was followed by an action-packed first half where Aberdeen strode into a two-goal lead through Christian Ramirez and Scott Brown, but were pulled back by an Alfredo Morelos header, but Joe Lewis maintained the advantage at half-time with several key saves.
He was beaten later by James Tavernier’s penalty for a share of the spoils, but Rangers saw their lead on top of the cinch Premiership cut to two points with Celtic moving into second place after a full quarter of the campaign played.
Here is how both teams rated using our usual ratings scale –- 10: One of best performances you've seen. 9: Outstanding. 8: Very good. 7: Good. 6: Average. 5: Poor, 4: Very poor. 3: Terrible day at office. 2: Abysmal. 1: One of worst performances you've seen.
John McLaughlin – 6
Little chance for either goal, barely involved in the second half as Rangers stepped up for the equaliser.
James Tavernier - 8
Delicious delivery for Morelos, again, and for Goldson in the first half before firing the equaliser. Did allow Brown to run for header but played a captain’s role and Rangers’ stand-out on emotional evening.
Connor Goldson – 6
Two headers went close in the first half and dictated passes in the second while limiting the Dons to little but better distribution required for the first.
Leon Balogun – 6Occupied by Ramirez throughout the first half without too many errors but quiet in the second as Rangers pressed for leveller.
Calvin Bassey – 6
Drafted in for Barisic and played higher than the Croatian to support the attack and coped defensively with Hayes. Rarely troubled in the second half.
John Lundstram – 6
Careless for the opener but otherwise patrolled the midfield area without Davis sharing. Probing passes forward held potential, but need refining and was replaced by Arfield.
Glen Kamara - 7
Positioning gave Lundstram space to operate then assumed the metronome role for final half hour. Typically tidy, recycling the ball and rarely wasteful.
Joe Aribo – 6
Heavily involved in the first half linking with Morelos but dropped deeper in the second to create space for wing-backs to get forward.
Ianis Hagi – 6
Played longs spells on the periphery of the game, came into it in the second half but limited influence.
Kemar Roofe – 6
Feeding off scraps in the box, chances were few and far between for the Jamaican international.
Alfredo Morelos - 7
On target again after being picked out well by his captain, threatened to become embroiled with old adversary Brown but largely kept his composure until being booked in injury time.
Subs: Scott Arfield (on 61) 5 – replaced Lundstram’s passes with runs but couldn’t impact the game and dropped deep later; Fashion Sakala – 6 pace caused difficulties and won penalty; Scott Wright 4 (on 77) replaced Aribo but little impact against former side.
Joe Lewis – 7
Big saves in the first half to deny Goldson and Bassey. No chance for the penalty and later booked for time-wasting.
Dean Campbell – 7
Busy with Tavernier but Rangers captain’s danger came from set-plays, not open play and youngster coped well.
Scott Brown – 8
Incredible diving header for goal and won plenty more headers in his new-found centre-back role. ed new side well on return to Ibrox.
Ross McCrorie – 6
Central role but often outmuscled by Goldson at set-pieces on his own return to Ibrox.
David Bates – 5
Looked uncomfortable as part of the three-man central defence and conceded penalty and lost Morelos for Rangers goal.
Jonny Hayes – 6
Still has signs of incisive attacking instinct especially in the first half, hassled and harried in the second.
Funso Ojo – 5
Booking for challenge on Bassey meant he had to watch his step and impacted the following 75 minutes.
Ryan Hedges – 5
Few attacking angles beyond the opening 15 minutes by which point the Dons were well ahead.
Dylan McGeouch – 6
Broke play up where he could and attentions forced errors from Rangers midfield.
Lewis Ferguson – 7
Should have scored third in first half but shot was tame. Bursting runs to support Ramirez threatened to build attacks but goal threat was limited.
Christian Ramirez - 8
Scored the opener to give team a foothold and led line well. Gave Goldson and Balogun a tough 45 minutes before fading and being replaced.
Subs: Marley Watkins (on 63) 4 – replaced Ramirez but little involvement; Austin Samuels (on 90) n/a – on for Hayes.