RANGERS moved to within one point of Celtic in the Premiership title race on Saturday, and they did so in style as Aberdeen were brushed aside and beaten 5-0 at Ibrox.

James Tavernier netted twice from the spot either side of strikes from Greg Stewart and Alfredo Morelos before Jermain Defoe rounded off an emphatic victory.

It was a demoralising defeat for the Dons and boss Derek McInnes but take nothing away from a Gers outfit that could, and should, have won by more on the day.


Losing to Celtic earlier this month was never going to break Rangers’ campaign, but it did give them a chance to prove a point and show their mettle. It remains the only time this term that Steven Gerrard has seen his side lose and the showing on that day continues to baffle and frustrate supporters, especially when they play like this.

In the four games heading into the visit of Aberdeen, Rangers had emerged victorious on each occasion, but the performance levels had fluctuated between terrific and terrible as Livingston were overcome twice and St Johnstone and Feyenoord seen off in very different manners.

On Saturday, the Gers hit the heights once again. The win was, of course, the most important factor for Gerrard but he was rightly delighted by the manner in which his side controlled the game from start to finish.

Gerrard spoke pre-match about the rivalry and sense of occasion when these teams meet but the gulf in class here ensured this was never going to be a memorable battle and it was all rather straightforward. Rangers were utterly dominant as they produced a performance that gave another insight into just what this team are capable of on their day.


The numbers – 13 goals in 17 appearances – are impressive and tell you enough about how well Morelos has started the season for Rangers. But days like this really show the development in him as a player, and even as a person, too.

Three of the five red cards, one of which was rescinded, that Morelos received last term came against Aberdeen as the Dons were able to get at him and provoke him. On Saturday, they could barely get close enough to have a kick on a word in his ear.

Morelos showed his prowess in the penalty box to meet the cross from Borna Barisic and head beyond Joe Lewis to kill the game early in the second half. The goal was the highlight of his afternoon, and greatly deserved, but far from the only positive for him to take.

As he dropped deeper into the midfield or drifted out wide to either flank, he left the Dons defence looking bewildered. His movement was intelligent, but his running still powerful and the Colombian appears to be getting better and better with each passing week at present.


When there are at least a handful of candidates for the Man of the Match award, you know it has been a good day at the office. The one that took home the champagne deserved it just that little bit more, though.

This was an exquisite display from Davis and Aberdeen had no answer to him as he cruised through the game with calmness, composure and creativity. Allowed time and space on the ball, he barely wasted a pass as his positional sense and skill saw him control the game from the middle of the park.

One pass in particular – a deftly weighted scoop over the Aberdeen defence – deserved an assist but Stewart, an impressive performer himself on a day when he had to produce, couldn’t complete the move as he was denied by the woodwork.

Davis surely won’t mind that too much, but he will take satisfaction from the way he is playing at present. At 34, he is as good as ever.


Having cut their arrears at the top of the Premiership on Saturday, Rangers can now turn their attentions to another table as they prepare to return to Europa League action in midweek.

Gerrard spoke after the game about looking to keep the momentum going and another win on the continent – with Hamilton to come at the weekend – would be hugely significant for the Light Blues and give them a real chance of reaching the knock-out rounds.

Young Boys kept their own title challenge on track with a 3-2 win against Sion and will provide a stern test for Gerrard’s side. The Gers have shown different sides to their game in the matches with Midtjylland and Legia Warsaw away from home and Gerard can take his side to Switzerland confident they can earn another result on the road however he chooses to approach it.


Boss McInnes highlighted the players that he was without at Ibrox as he came to terms with the worst defeat of his Aberdeen reign. But he should be more concerned with the ones that he did have available as his side were outfought, outthought and outclassed.

In the ten games since beating Hearts on the opening weekend of the Premiership, Aberdeen have won just two – against Ross County and Livingston – and this was a lamentable display.

Nothing worked for the Dons and McInnes and his players have some serious soul searching to do if they are to put a hugely disappointing week behind them as quickly as possible.