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Saturday, October 30, 1999 Published at 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK

Johansson treble sees Dons crash

Aberdeen 1-5 Rangers

A devastating hat-trick from Jonatan Johansson punished 10-man Aberdeen as the champions recovered in style at Pittodrie.

Basement club Aberdeen had stunned the Scottish Premier League leaders with a shock 10th minute lead through Thomas Solberg's penalty.

Johansson's first goal cancelled out that advantage but it was the sending-off of Paul Bernard for clattering into Giovanni Van Bronckhorst on 36 minutes that ultimately decided the contest.

Rangers were slow to turn the screw but finally nailed the Dons' resistance with two goals in two minutes courtesy of individual efforts from Michael Mols and substitute Gabriel Amato.

Thereafter Johansson was on hand to make Aberdeen suffer in the closing stages as Ebbe Skovdahl's team saw their recent mini-resurgence come to a crushing halt.

Dons move ahead

The Dons were bright from the outset and after five minutes an Andy Dow free-kick curled narrowly wide after Giovanni Van Bronckhorst had been felled by Ilian Kiriakov.

An Eoin Jess corner sparked the breakthrough after nine minutes when Solberg's missed header at the near post leaving Tony Vidmar unsighted, prompting a handball. Norwegian defender Solberg stepped up to take the resulting penalty sending Stefan Klos the wrong way to send the Dons into a surprise lead that was well-merited.

Rangers' response was impressive, however, and when Barry Ferguson set up Johansson on 23 minutes, they were level.

After 36 minutes, however, a well-balanced contest took a potentially decisive swing when Bernard was red-carded instantly for a late challenge on Van Bronckhorst.

Missed chances

The Dons might have moved ahead within a minute of the restart when a Dow free-kick released Solberg and it needed a deflection from Amoruso to send the ball over the bar.

Rangers moved ahead for the first time after 67 minutes when Numan's inside pass set up Mols for a 25-yard shot which seemed to take a deflection on its way past a wrong-footed Leighton.

A minute later and the visitors were 3-1 up when Amato beat Solberg, deftly nutmegged Jamie McAllister then rifled in a stunning angled drive for a fine individual goal.

After 78 minutes, Rangers went further ahead when Kanchelskis reached the byline on the right and delivered a cross which Johansson sidefooted past Leighton from close range.

Within two minutes, Finn Johansson had completed his hat-trick with a clinical finish after being played through by Moore as the 10-man Dons conspired to slump to 5-1 down.

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