SPL - Rangers held by spirited Aberdeen

Sat, 21 Jan 17:01:00 2012

Maurice Edu's 67th-minute goal rescued a point for Rangers as a spirited Aberdeen held them to a 1-1 draw in the SPL at Ibrox.

2011 Rangers Jelavic - 0

Icelander Kari Arnason scored on 63 minutes with a superb strike that left Allan McGregor helpless, but American Edu levelled four minutes later with the help of a deflection.

The Gers continued to probe for a winner as Sone Aluko and Edu both came close, but Aberdeen hung on to take a share of the spoils.

Rangers came into the match five points behind leaders Celtic after the Bhoys' earlier 2-0 win at St Mirren and Ally McCoist's men made all the early running.

But Craig Brown's injury-hit Dons defended in numbers and it took 21 minutes before Premier League target Nikica Jelavic forced Aberdeen keeper Jason Brown into a save, pushing his header on to the crossbar.

With chances at a premium, the Gers' David Healy shot wide from a great position and was almost made to pay when stand-in Dons skipper Arnason hit the Rangers bar with a glancing header.

Lee Wallace was next to try his luck, lashing the ball wide, and Edu's shot missed the target by inches as the stubborn Aberdeen defence bent but failed to break.

Jelavic and Wallace came close after the restart, before a shot from Aberdeen's Chris Clark forced McGregor into a fine save at the other end.

Carlos Bocanegra cleared off the line from Arnason after the officials failed to spot a handball by the stand-in skipper. But Arnason made no mistake minutes later after cutting inside from Clark's pass and beating McGregor with a superb shot.

The Dons' lead lasted just three minutes: after a spell of sustained Rangers pressure, Edu's shot from the edge of the area took a deflection and beat Brown.

The Gers battered the Aberdeen backline in search of a winner, but Arnason almost defied the odds and again tested McGregor with a swerving 30-yard effort, while Edu almost added his second with a shot that flew inches wide.

Ex-Aberdeen man Aluko almost won it at the death with a stoppage-time volley that Brown palmed away, but the Dons stood firm to frustrate their hosts and leave Rangers four points adrift of Celtic at the SPL summit.

Ian Hare / Eurosport

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