Glasgow Rangers 3 Aberdeen 0

A late goal burst finally gave Rangers the scoreline they deserved a struggling Aberdeen.

Amazingly it was Stephen Hughes, who was about to be substituted before Mikel Arteta had to be stretchered off, who made the breakthrough with just 14 minutes remaining.

Two goals in two minutes from Peter Lovenkrands ensured Aberdeen went home pointless, despite the valiant efforts of David Preece in goal.

The ordering off of Alexander Diamond early in the second half when he fouled Shota Arveladze certainly contributed to the visitors' downfall as Rangers' waves of attacks intensified.

In a lacklustre first half the first threat posed by Rangers was when Hughes played a neat one-two with Michael Mols before shooting narrowly wide.

Preece saved superbly from Mols before excelling himself with a fingertip save from the same player.

The Aberdeen keeper then did well to touch Arteta's well struck free-kick on to the post, before being in the right place to catch Henning Berg's header from Arveladze's corner.

The home team had Chris Burke on for the ineffectual Emerson at the start of the second half and the youngster was immediately involved, and twice was inches from reaching crosses as Rangers redoubled their efforts.

When Mols put Arveladze through after the Aberdeen defence hesitated, Diamond had to go when he pulled down the Georgian as he advanced on goal.

Burke curled in a superb cross which incredibly Mols and Arveladze both missed, before the winger himself tested Preece with a well struck shot.

It looked as though Hughes was about to be substituted before it was noticed that Arteta was lying prone on the ground. Egil Ostenstad came on for the luckless Spaniard and three minutes later Hughes rose superbly to bullet his header home from Arveladze's cross.

Preece then threw himself to deny Arveladze's header from yet another Burke cross, but he had no chance in keeping out Lovenkrands' powerful header after good work between Mols and Ostenstad in the build up.

The Dons keeper was then unfortunate to spill a Mols cross in the final minute, allowing Lovenkrands to shoot high into the net.