Rangers thrash Aberdeen, go 11 points clear of Celtic
Rangers surged 11 points clear of Celtic at the Scottish Premiership summit as they romped to a 4-0 victory over Aberdeen.
A deflected long-range strike by Ryan Kent put Steven Gerrard’s side in front and Kemar Roofe doubled that advantage.
Scott Arfield’s shot went in off Shay Logan and James Tavernier got the hosts’ fourth from the penalty spot.
The win, Rangers’ 13th of 15 league games, signalled the Ibrox side’s best start to a season in 53 years.
Sam Cosgrove, Ryan Hedges and Matty Kennedy threatened for Aberdeen but they could not prevent an 18th victory and 17th clean sheet in all competitions this term for Rangers.
Celtic, who drew at Hibernian on Saturday, have two games in hand over Rangers and are four points clear of Aberdeen.
Kent stayed onside to receive Tavernier’s pass and only had Joe Lewis to beat but the Aberdeen goalkeeper made an excellent stop in an early attack.
Lewis also smothered at the feet of Joe Aribo but the keeper was left helpless when Kent’s 35-yard effort took a nick off Tommie Hoban and went in off the post.
The visitors, without a glut of players because of injury and Covid-19 issues, had spent the first quarter of the match largely in their own half.
But a Hedges break drew Rangers in and allowed the winger to release Cosgrove, whose shot was touched out by Allan McGregor. The Rangers keeper also kept out a Hedges effort after another speedy advance by the Wales cap.
Aberdeen soon found themselves two down as Roofe took an excellent touch to control Connor Goldson’s chip forward and fire in off Lewis’ despairing save.
The Pittodrie side were not discouraged and Cosgrove and Hedges combined for the latter to get away a shot that Goldson blocked and Matty Kennedy tested McGregor with a well-struck free-kick.
But any optimism Aberdeen took into the second half quickly evaporated as Kent set up Arfield and the Canada midfielder’s left-foot shot smacked off Logan to wrong-foot Lewis.
Andy Considine was then penalised for grappling Leon Balogun to the ground and captain Tavernier scored for the 13th time this season.
Dean Campbell was sent on for Aberdeen and almost scored an own goal at a corner, Lewis coming to his rescue with the save.
And 16-year-old Ryan Duncan made his Dons debut as a substitute in the closing stages.