Last updated : 25 August 2002 By Grandmaster Suck

Attendance 49,219

Rangers secured a 2-0 win over Aberdeen at Ibrox this afternoon, a result that in no way even begins to emphasise the Light Blues’ overwhelming superiority.

The Ibrox men showed just the one change from Easter Road with Bob Malcolm replacing the injured Lorenzo Amoruso.

The one-minute silence in memory of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman was immaculately observed.

The game kicked off in intense heat before a capacity crowd, and within minutes Darren Young was fortunate to remain on the park when he committed two shocking tackles from behind on Barry Ferguson and Mikel Arteta, yet received nothing more than a ticking-off from Referee John Underhill.

This was of course an Aberdeen side that had so shamefully lain down to Celtic just two weeks ago. It was all Rangers in the opening stages without a cutting edge, although Peter Kjaer had to be alert in fifteen minutes when he fisted out Ferguson’s left-foot drive from an Arteta free-kick.

Rangers had a stonewall penalty turned down in 18 minutes when Peter Lovenkrands was taken out of play by Eric Deloumeaux, but unbelievably the referee – who hails from Aberdeen – booked the Dane for "diving". It was a shocking decision, and one which Underhill complimented two minutes later when he yellow-carded Bob Malcolm for an innocuous tackle on Derek Young, the defender’s first foul of the game.

Despite the handicap of playing against a referee who is a former Aberdeen season-ticket holder, Rangers should have taken the lead in 23 minutes when a Kevin Muscat cross was somehow scooped over the bar by Fernando Ricksen with the goal at his mercy.

The referee’s continuing bias against the Ibrox men was highlighted yet again when Phillip McGuire brought down Ricksen as he surged through, yet received no caution.

Rangers were overwhelmingly superior to their opponents, yet the scoreline remained blank. Ronald De Boer was inches away in 28 minutes with a header from an Arteta corner, but within sixty seconds the Dutch midfielder broke the deadlock when a Lovenkrands cross was cleverly dummied by Shota Arveladze, allowing De Boer to sweep the ball home.

Two minutes later an Aberdeen player at last received a yellow card, Kevin McNaughton being penalised for a foul on Arteta.

Rangers’ command of the game was absolute, yet the half ended with just that one goal to show for their control of the game. Incredibly the visitors left the field complaining to the referee, although the mind boggles at what exactly they were unhappy about.

Rangers restarted as much in command as before, yet still lacking the finishing touch near goal. There was an almighty scramble in front of Kjaer in 64 minutes when the goalbound Arveladze was chopped down by Deloumeaux, the ball breaking to Arteta whose effort was cleared off the line by Jamie McAllister.

Sixty seconds later De Boer should have sealed victory for the home side only to sky an Arveladze head-flick over the bar. The inconsistency of John Underhill was never better underlined than in 73 minutes when Darren Mackie blatantly dived in the Rangers’ penalty area yet received no admonishment from the official.

Three minutes later Rangers received their only refereeing break of the afternoon when an Arteta corner led to an almighty aerial scramble before Kjaer miss-punched the ball towards his own goal where McNaughton appeared to clear off the line with his chest. Referee Underhill however adjudged it to have been handball, and awarded a penalty-kick that Barry Ferguson coolly converted.

Kevin McNaughton received a red card for his troubles, a somewhat harsh decision in itself, but one that did not even begin to even up the numerous decisions that the Aberdeen official had awarded in favour of the visitors.

Rangers played out time content with a 2-0 win, one that marks their tenth successive victory over the Pittodrie men, and the fifth without conceding a goal.

Manager Alex McLeish afterwards admitted that his team had missed " an awful lot of chances. The win was all-important, but the second goal was a long time in coming. "Aberdeen showed little ambition to attack."

RANGERS Klos; Muscat (Ross 83), Moore, Malcolm, Numan; Ricksen, Ferguson, De Boer, Arteta (Latapy 83); Arveladze, Lovenkrands (Flo 61)

UNUSED SUBS McGregor, Konterman

ABERDEEN Kjaer; Deloumeaux, Anderson, McGuire, Anderson; McNaughton, Darren Young (Clark 73), Derek Young (Mike 63), Tiernan; Mackie, D’Jaffo

UNUSED SUBS Preece, O’Donoghue, Payne

REFEREE John Underhill