Rangers kicked off the new season with a comfortable win at Pittodrie as they picked up the first three points of the new campaign.

The Light Blues handed a debut to new defender Leon Balogun and dominated the early play before taking a well-deserved lead through Ryan Kent after 21 minutes.

The Gers dominated play for long spells as Aberdeen looked to stifle them and hit on the counter but there were precious few opportunities for Derek McInnes’ side.

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Although the Pittodrie side never really looked like getting back into the game, the longer it dragged on, the bigger the risk of a late sucker punch for Gerrard’s side.

A second goal would have been very welcome at this point for the Light Blues – and the front three’s movement deserved more – but it never looked likely to come.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 01: Matthew Kennedy of Aberdeen is challenged by Ryan Kent and James Tavernier of Rangers FC during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Aberdeen and Rangers at Pittodrie Stadium on August 01, 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 Andrew Milligan/Pool via Getty Images)

Here’s how Gerrard’s side performed at Pittodrie:

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Allan McGregor – 6

Only had one or two saves to make in the opening 45 as the Gers controlled the game.

James Tavernier – 7

Looks to have his confidence back after some poor performances last season and poses a huge threat down the right flank.

Connor Goldson – 7

Goldson looked comfortable in his usual berth alongside the debuting Balogun. Needs to push forward with the ball more sometimes rather than allowing the likes of Ryan Jack to come deep and collect.

 

Leon Balogun – 7

The defender came into the side to make his first appearance for the Gers. A solid start from the centre-back and makes for a promising signing as the season gets going.

Borna Barisic – 7

It looks like Barisic is going to pick up where he left off last season with the Croatian international putting in a good shift down the left. Offered just as much going forward as he did defensively.

Glen Kamara – 7

Usual cool and composed performance from the Finn as he strolled through the game alongside Jack. Could do with imposing himself on the game more in an attacking sense but didn’t really put a foot wrong.

Ryan Jack – 7

Kept everything simple in midfield alongside Kamara as he looked to start attacking moves and break up Aberdeen’s forays forward.

Joe Aribo – 7

The Nigerian international came off pre-season after a string of impressive performances and showed some really nice touches against Aberdeen.

Ryan Kent – 8

Scored the opening goal after 21 minutes and took his chance brilliantly. Looked to be willing to get more involved in the defensive side of things when needed. Aguably the winger’s most complete performance in a while for Rangers.

Ianis Hagi – 7

Always making himself available for a pass and such an intelligent player. Lovely flick found Morelos in the build-up to the opener.  Struggled to keep his feet at times and didn’t influence the game enough as he can. Replaced after 77 minutes.

Alfredo Morelos – 7

The Colombian striker led the line for Gerrard’s side but spent far too much time coming deep early on in a bid to get himself involved. Lovely through ball sent Kent on his way for the opening goal. Despite all the talk over his future, El Bufalo wasn’t shy in putting himself about.

Substitutes: Scott Arfield Replaced Hagi with 13 minutes left.

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