Rangers got the new season underway with a comfortable 1-0 win over Aberdeen as Ryan Kent’s strike was the difference between the two sides at Pittodrie.

The Gers named a starting XI with no surprises in it as Leon Balogun came in for his Gers debut ahead of George Edmundson and Alfredo Morelos led the line.

The Gers dominated the early possession as Gerrard’s side controlled the pace and dictated the tempo of the game in an eerily-quiet Pittodrie.

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Derek McInnes’ Aberdeen offered very little early on and looked content to allow the visitors to have plenty of the ball and inviting Rangers to try and break them down.

As the opening 45 progressed, the same failings that cost the Gers far too often were on display with Morelos coming too deep to try get involved in the game and the central defenders happy to move the ball on rather than drive into space and push Rangers on.

The pressure from Rangers started to show a little as the Dons conceded a couple of corners in short order but the Gers couldn’t take advantage and fire themselves into a deserved lead.

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ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 01: Alfredo Morelos of Rangers during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Aberdeen and Rangers at Pittodrie Stadium on August 1, 2020 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors.

(Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

The opening goal finally came in the 21st minute after an excellent bit of attacking play by Rangers which picked apart the Aberdeen defence and left Ryan Kent with a fantastic chance to score.

The former Liverpool youngster was picked out brilliantly by Morelos and Kent drove towards goal before slotting beyond Joe Lewis and fire the Light Blues into the lead.

 

Aberdeen suddenly started to try get themselves back into the game after Kent’s strike but the Rangers defence looked assured as they looked to get to the break with the lead still intact.

After a brief rally, Aberdeen resorted to type and again tried to gift Rangers possession in the hope of opening them up on the counter but the Light Blues moved the ball around well and didn’t offer any glimmer of hope for the hosts.

The restart saw the game settle back into a similar pattern as the opening 45 minutes and it was Ianish Hagi who went closest for the Light Blues when he sent an effort over the bar from the edge of the box after another quick counter-attack.

Despite Aberdeen wanting to be a side capable of threatening at the top of the table, there was very little on offer from the Dons going forward, making for an easy afternoon for the Gers defence.

It really should have been 2-o near the end when a fantastic passing move ended with Morelos’ strike being deflected just wide for a corner.

With just a few minutes left, Aberdeen were reduced to ten men after an utterly disgraceful challenge from Andy Considine on Scott Arfield left referee Bobby Madden no option to show a red card.

Attention will now turn to Thursday’s Europa League clash with Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday as competitive football returns with a bang.

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