Rangers 1-0 Aberdeen: James Tavernier nets as Philippe Clement wins first silverware as Ibrox boss

James Tavernier’s goal proved the difference between the sides at Hampden

Captain James Tavernier delivered once again for Rangers as they edged out Aberdeen to claim their first Scottish League Cup in more than 12 years.

In a final devoid of any real attacking quality at a blustery and drenched Hampden, Tavernier provided another decisive moment after squeezing in a back-post winner with 76 minutes on the clock.

Aberdeen had frustrated the Ibrox side for much of the contest but failed to make goalkeeper Jack Butland work once, even with striker Bojan Miovski passed fit to start.

It was instead Rangers’ talisman from right-back who found a way, taking down Borna Barisic’s cross before firing past Kelle Roos to spark wild scenes in the blue end.

The result means manager Philippe Clement, now unbeaten in his first 15 games, has won silverware as Ibrox boss just two months after his appointment.

Aberdeen, who pushed desperately for an equaliser without registering a shot on target, have not won a trophy in nine years since winning this competition in 2014.

In a frenetic first half, misplaced passes and general sloppiness hampered both sides.

Perhaps it was a hangover from the European successes of the pair on Thursday. Perhaps it was just the occasion. It was most likely somewhere in between.

Dujon Sterling and Graeme Shinnie both had dangerous-looking volleys blocked and Abdallah Sima ought to have burst the net when he turned in the box before forcing Roos to save low to his right.

That was the first shot on target after 30 minutes of play and the only one of the first half as Leon Balogun and Stefan Gartenmann then watched a header apiece loop wide of the far post.

But the final sparked into life on the first whistle of the second period.

By minute 70, Roos had tipped wide from an under-pressure Ross McCausland, denied Cyriel Dessers at his near post, pushed away free-kicks from Tavernier and Barisic, then watched Balogun fire over from close range.

At the opposite end, Ester Sokler inexplicably failed to turn in Nicky Devlin’s front-post cross before Jonny Hayes had a goalbound header blocked.

But no-one could make the net ripple until Tavernier, in trademark style, popped up at the back post and acrobatically drilled past Roos, who got a touch on the ball but could not prevent what turned out to be the decisive moment.

Player of the match – Dujon Sterling (Rangers)

Dujon Sterling
Signed as a full-back in the summer, Rangers might have just stumbled across their best midfielder after another superb showing in the middle of the park

Dream start for Clement as Robson suffers heartbreak – analysis

As far as starts go, it really does not get much better for Clement.

When he was appointed in October, Rangers’ season had almost been written off. Two months later, the Belgian has won a trophy, guided the team to the Europa League last 16, and they will go top of the Premiership if they win their games in hand.

Yes, there have been a couple of disappointing draws in there, as well as performances which have been far from vintage – that includes Sunday.

But Rangers are finding a way under their new manager, who has instilled a steeliness in this side. All of a sudden, this season could become a real memorable one.

What now for Aberdeen, though? Boy, this will be hard to take. They failed to make Butland work but were always in the game.

Given their recent record against Rangers, there was a sense they were going to throw up something special again the longer this match went on.

There is still a huge chunk of this season remaining for Barry Robson and his players to make this a successful one.

The Aberdeen boss’ days looked numbered after that recent defeat to Kilmarnock, but wins against Hearts, Eintracht Frankfurt and this Hampden heartbreak simply must unlock this group’s potential.

What they said

Rangers manager Philippe Clement: “That’s why I do this job, to share it with players, staff and fans. I get my energy from that. It’s an incredible evening.

“It’s great to get our hands on silverware after just nine weeks together. There’s not one fan or board member who is more demanding to win than me. That’s my character.

“I know with the mentality that is growing that we can do really good things this season.”

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson: “The players gave me everything. First half, with transitions, we missed that final pass. We knew they were scared of that, but we picked the wrong pass.

“Of course it’s sore. I told my players that we need to try and get back here. We need to get to finals, to try and win.

“We went toe-to-toe, we tried our best. We tried to fight in the last 10 minutes, made positive substitutions but we fell short.”

What’s next?

Both sides are in midweek Premiership action on Wednesday (19:45 GMT) as Rangers host St Johnstone while Aberdeen welcome Livingston.

Line-ups

Rangers

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Butland
  • 2Tavernier
  • 6Goldson
  • 27BalogunBooked at 90mins
  • 31BarisicBooked at 90mins
  • 4LundstramBooked at 40mins
  • 21Sterling
  • 45McCauslandSubstituted forWrightat 74′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 13CantwellSubstituted forLammersat 82′minutes
  • 19Sima
  • 9DessersSubstituted forRoofeat 82′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Yilmaz
  • 5Souttar
  • 14Lammers
  • 17Matondo
  • 20Dowell
  • 23Wright
  • 25Roofe
  • 28McCrorie
  • 38King

Aberdeen

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 24Roos
  • 6Gartenmann
  • 33RubezicBooked at 90mins
  • 5JensenSubstituted forMorrisat 80′minutes
  • 2Devlin
  • 10ClarksonBooked at 63mins
  • 4ShinnieBooked at 88mins
  • 17HayesSubstituted forMcGarryat 66′minutes
  • 7McGrathBooked at 52minsSubstituted forPolvaraat 70′minutes
  • 9MiovskiBooked at 90mins
  • 19SoklerBooked at 40minsSubstituted forHenriques de Barros Lopesat 65′minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Barron
  • 11Henriques de Barros Lopes
  • 15McGarry
  • 20Morris
  • 21Polvara
  • 23Duncan
  • 27MacDonald
  • 28Milne
  • 31Doohan

Referee:
Don Robertson

Attendance:
49,296

Live Text

Player of the match

TavernierJames Tavernier

Rangers

  1. Squad number2Player nameTavernier

  2. Squad number21Player nameSterling

  3. Squad number19Player nameSima

  4. Squad number27Player nameBalogun

  5. Squad number1Player nameButland

  6. Squad number4Player nameLundstram

  7. Squad number45Player nameMcCausland

  8. Squad number13Player nameCantwell

  9. Squad number31Player nameBarisic

  10. Squad number6Player nameGoldson

  11. Squad number23Player nameWright

  12. Squad number9Player nameDessers

  13. Squad number25Player nameRoofe

  14. Squad number14Player nameLammers

Aberdeen

  1. Squad number24Player nameRoos

  2. Squad number2Player nameDevlin

  3. Squad number9Player nameMiovski

  4. Squad number19Player nameSokler

  5. Squad number5Player nameJensen

  6. Squad number6Player nameGartenmann

  7. Squad number10Player nameClarkson

  8. Squad number7Player nameMcGrath

  9. Squad number17Player nameHayes

  10. Squad number33Player nameRubezic

  11. Squad number4Player nameShinnie

  12. Squad number21Player namePolvara

  13. Squad number11Player nameDuk

  14. Squad number15Player nameMcGarry

  15. Squad number20Player nameMorris

Reference

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