Rangers blew the chance to go into Sunday’s League Cup final level on points with Celtic in the Scottish Premiership after a disappointing 2-2 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Gerrard’s side had to deal with some rough treatment in the opening minutes as both James Tavernier and Steven Davis were on the receiving on of harsh tackles.
Moments later, Tavernier was hit by something thrown from the Aberdeen fans as the Gers captain tried to retrieve the ball.
The hosts seemed happy to settle into a pattern of booting Rangers players up and down the pitch with Sam Cosgrove guilty of three bad fouls in the opening five minutes.
The first real chance of the game fell to Alfredo Morelos in the tenth minute when Greg Leigh failed to control the ball and El Buffalo capitalised on his mistake but Aberdeen keeper Joe Lewis done well to save.
Referee John Beaton finally discovered his cards when Shay Logan pole-axed Joe Aribo in the corner of the pitch, sending the Nigerian international flying.
Rangers continued to keep pressing Aberdeen and the Dons were penned in their own half as the Light Blues enjoyed the bulk of possession.
The inevitable goal soon came as Scott Arfield broke the deadlock with a lovely finish from one of Tavernier’s cross.
Joe Aribo started the move with a driving run before releasing Tavernier on the right, sending a cross into the box which Arfield stroked into the far corner to make it 1-0.
It was nothing short of what Rangers deserved after absolutely dominating the game as Aberdeen looked bereft of ideas.
Ryan Jack returned to haunt his former club when he made it 2-0 12 minutes later after pouncing on a mistake by Lewis when the keeper spilt a shot by Morelos right into the path of the onrushing Jack to fire home.
There was a goal for Aberdeen very much against the run of play as Jon Gallagher somehow found space to shoot after taking McGregor out and Tavernier and Helander couldn’t stop it going over the line with seven minutes until the break.
Rangers made an atrocious start to the second half as Andy Considine drew the Dons level just three minutes after the restart after the Gers failed to clear a long ball into the box.
Aberdeen were much livelier after the break and Lewis Ferguson was a big reason why as he snapped into challenges and tried to make things happen for McInnes’ side.
The Gers slowly started to find their footing again with Arfield and Kent the main protagonists but there was little happening in the final third as they failed to test Lewis.
Gerrard’s side were starting to look short of ideas to find a way through the Dons defence but Gerrard opted not to turn to his bench, despite the Gers needing an injection of some energy.
There was a big shout from the hosts for a penalty with 20 minutes left as Cosgrove went to ground under a challenge from Tavernier but John Beaton waved play on.
Rangers then had one of their own as Morelos was brought down right on the line and replays suggested it was a penalty but Beaton instead gave a free-kick to the Light Blues – but Tavernier crashed the set-piece off the wall.
Gerrard finally turned to his bench with just under 15 minutes left as Sheyi Ojo was introduced, taking over from Scott Arfield as he tried to change the game and salvage the win.
There was a chance for late drama as the Gers won a free-kick on the edge of the box after Morelos was brought down, with Tavernier forcing Lewis into a smart save to keep it out.