RANGERS had hoped to overcome Aberdeen at the second time of asking in the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final replay at Ibrox and earn a crack at Celtic at Hampden next month.

But Derek McInnes’s men had other ideas. They performed brilliantly against Steven Gerrard’s charges throughout the 90 minutes and secured a richly-deserved win to go through. So what did we learn from events in Govan?


With nine Ladbrokes Premiership matches, including two against Celtic, remaining and 27 points still up for grabs, Rangers can theoretically still edge ahead of their city rivals, who are eight points clear of them at the moment, and win the league.

However, it is very hard to see how Steven Gerrard’s side can get the better of Neil Lennon’s team and end their agonising eight year wait for a major piece of silverware in the coming months on the evidence of this dire showing.

The quality is, despite their extensive summer recruitment drive and capture of Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe during the January transfer window, just not there. Progress has certainly, as qualification for the Europa League group stages and the Old Firm victory in December showed, been made. But there remains much work to be done.

“You’re not going to win anything this season,” the pocket of Aberdeen fans shoehorned into the corner between the Broomloan and Sandy Jardine Stands sang after their team went two ahead. Or words to that effect. They were right.


This was the sixth time this season that the Pittodrie club had squared up to their Ibrox rivals – they have met three times in the Ladbrokes Premiership, once in the Betfred Cup and twice in the William Hill Scottish Cup – and it turned out to be the fifth occasion they avoided defeat.

It was the first time they have beaten their fierce rivals three times in one season since way back in the 1987/88 campaign. The fact that all three of their triumphs this term have come in Glasgow is remarkable.

It was an unlikely result given that Derek McInnes was missing his top scorer Sam Cosgrove as well as key players Gary Mackay-Steven and Shay Logan. Greg Stewart, too, wasn’t considered fit enough to start due to the knock he was nursing. McInnes pitched Dean Campbell, who is just 17, and Connor McLennan, who is 19, into the tie and both youngsters rose to the occasion superbly.

Beating Celtic in the semi-final - without their captain Graeme Shinnie, who will be suspended, especially - will be a tall order for Aberdeen. But they can certainly be proud of their efforts here.


The Rangers striker might not have been sent off last night – which is progress of sorts for the man who has been red carded three times in games against Aberdeen in recent months.

However, the diminutive Colombian still picked up a first-half booking for diving, just as he had done in the previous match at Pittodrie. That would have ruled him out of the semi-final if his side had progressed.

The 22-year-old, the top scorer in the country with 28 goals to his name, might have, for a change, maintained his composure in the face of some full-blooded challenges from the rival defenders. He may, too, not have got embroiled in any of the needless off-the-ball antics which he has often been guilty of. But he has work still to do to improve his discipline.


There were concerns before kick-off that the minute’s silence in memory of Eric Caldow, the Rangers and Scotland great who passed away at the age of 84 earlier this month, would not be respected by the travelling support.

After all, a tribute to George Young, the former Rangers and Scotland player, had been marred by jeering and singing by followers of the same club before a game at Ibrox back in 1997 in a shameful episode for the Pittodrie outfit.

But the away fans, all 850 of them, were a credit to the north-east club and observed the silence impeccably. Those who made the long journey down from the Granite City were rewarded for their loyalty to their team with fine performance and a famous win.


It is fair to say conditions last night were far from ideal. Ibrox bore the full force of Storm Gareth. Players and spectators alike were buffeted by high winds and soaked by heavy rain virtually from kick-off to the final whistle. It was an exciting encounter played in a febrile atmosphere throughout. But the quality of football suffered as a result of the elements.