Saturday, 23 August 2008

Aberdeen 1-1 Rangers, 23 August 2008

Rangers return to Pittodrie, the same place where they lost the SPL title last season after arguably throwing it away to Celtic. After the disappointment against Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Cup final, and being unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League at the first hurdle this season, Walter Smith can concentrate on the SPL this season.

After a steady if unconvincing start to the campaign, Aberdeen are probably the sternest test so far. In a lively encounter, Rangers had the upper hand in the first half with the majority of play, although they didn't fashion too many chances. They did take one of the few chances, with David Weir knocking one in. Aberdeen bucked the play to pull a goal back right on the stroke of half-time. Rangers were toothless in the second half, and the match wasn't much of a spectacle. DaMarus Beasley has a goal chalked off in stoppage time for offside, althugh replays suggested that it should have stood. The highlight was listening to the Rangers' fans singing either the National Anthem, Rule Britannia or various offensive songs about Aberdeen players. Living up to type - never!

My experience of Rangers last season was mostly the UEFA Cup, when they played very drab, defensive football. If this performance is anything to go by, it's a much more entertaining and attacking side on display this season, although somewhat lacking in end product. Some of that could be down to the number of new players in the side, the money raised from the sale of Carlos Cuellar to Aston Villa looks to have been well spent, with Pedro Mendes looking to be the pick of those signings, his skill marking him out in a "lower level" league. Once the players learn each other's style of player further, perhaps more chances will be forthcoming.

Matches so far this season:

Sky: 5
Setanta: 5
BBC: 1
Foreign Satellite: 2
Bet365: 1

No comments: