AN injury-time goal by teenage debutant Bruce Anderson for Aberdeen denied Steven Gerrard victory in his first Ladbrokes Premiership match in charge of Rangers at Pittodrie this afternoon.

A first-half James Tavernier penalty, netted after his team mate Alfredo Morelos had been sent off for kicking out at Scott McKenna, looked to have secured the result that Gerrard was looking for.

But Anderson, the 19-year-old forward who had come on for Sam Cosgrove in the second-half, struck in added-on time to ensure that Derek McInnes's men earned a point.

Shay Logan was suspended for the home team having been ordered off in the final league game of last season against Celtic at Parkhead. He dropped out along with Tommy Hobban and Dominic Ball and Stephen Gleeson came in to replace them at right back and in central midfield respectively.

Gerrard made three changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Osijek in the Europa League on Thursday evening. Daniel Candeias, Ryan Kent and Ovie Ejaria were replaced by Jamie Murphy, Josh Windass and Scott Arfield.

Murphy should have got the visitors off to a perfect start in the fourth minute when Connor Goldson sent him through on goal with a defence-piercing pass from inside his own half.

Joe Lewis deserves credit for getting off his line to close the wide man down. But the attacking player should have done better. But worse was to follow for his team.

When Morelos got himself sent off after kicking out at McKenna it seriously jeopardised the visitors’ prospects of success.

It was an instinctive reaction by the temperamental young Colombian forward to a little rough treatment by his opponent and only the slightest contact was made.

Many, those who view the world through light blue spectacles especially, felt it was a harsh decision by referee Kevin Clancy. But Morelos could have few complaints about his fate. He should have known far better.

Aberdeen, though, failed to take advantage of their numerical advantage. Gerrard dealt with the first major test of his reign calmly and shrewdly.

His team switched to what effectively amounted to a 4-5-0 formation. They contained their hosts well, controlled the game and deserved to take the lead after half an hour had elapsed.

Ball, the former Rangers loanee, hauled down Josh Windass as the winger tried to chase down the ball after Lewis had denied Arfield. Clancy pointed straight to the spot.

Tavernier had to wait an eternity to take the penalty, but he was clearly undeterred by the delay. The Rangers captain and right back drilled a well-taken effort beyond Lewis and into the bottom left corner.

McKenna hobbled off after his side had fallen behind and was replaced by Chris Forrester. While Aberdeen may not have looked like conceding again in the first-half following that change they offered little going forward.

A Niall McGinn cross from the left flank into the Rangers six yard area just before half-time was the sum total of their efforts. Allan McGregor did well to tip it out for a corner as Sam Cosgrove ghosted in at the far post to meet the delivery.

McInnes took off Gleeson, who had failed to make much of an impact, and put on Stevie May in positive change just seven minutes into the second-half. The striker did well to control a Ball pass in the Rangers area and square inside him on the hour mark, but there was nobody waiting to take advantage.

Gerrard took off Murphy and put on Kent and McInnes replaced Cosgrove with Anderson. The latter rose well to connect with a Ball cross in the 75th minute. But his header flew well wide of its intended target.

Tempers frequently flared, as is invariably the case in matches between these two teams, and Devlin, Lewis Ferguson, the son of former Rangers midfielder Derek, and Forrester for Abrdeeen and Arfield and Goldson were all booked by Clancy in the second-half.

Jack limped off for treatment with eight minutes remaining after a hefty tackle by May and Ovie Ejaria came on for the closing stages

Anderson pounced in the third minute of injury-time after Andrew Considine had beaten Tavernier to a high ball on the edge of the Rangers penalty box.