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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 23:28 GMT
Mols brace sinks Dons
Mols scored for Rangers
Michael Mols heads Rangers in front at Ibrox
Rangers 2-1 Aberdeen

Michael Mols struck twice to help Rangers claim maximum points against a battling Aberdeen side at Ibrox.

The visitors made the league leaders work very hard for the win and will be disappointed not to have taken something from an entertaining game.

Mols grabbed a header late in the first half and added a second with 12 minutes remaining - soon after the Dons had got on level terms through Steve Tosh.

Rangers now have a six point lead at the top of the SPL, with closest challengers Celtic playing at Partick Thistle on Sunday.

Aberdeen began brightly and were knocking the ball around with confidence before Chris Clark's 20 yard shot flashed narrowly wide of Stefan Klos' goal.

With Mikel Arteta and Neil McCann deployed in wide midfield roles, Rangers were stretching the visitors and Mols was in a lively mood up front.

Caniggia celebrates with goal-scorer Mols
Michael Mols was the Rangers hero
The Dutch striker found room for a free header at a corner but Dons keeper David Preece was able to save.

With 13 minutes gone Mols broke away from the square Aberdeen defence but he was again denied by Preece diving at his feet.

Minutes later, the striker was just inches away from connecting with a dangerous low cross from McCann.

With the home side firmly in command, Ronald de Boer had the Ibrox crowd on their feet with a delicious curling shot from the edge of the penalty box which struck the post.

Aberdeen were working hard to get men behind the ball but did manage to threaten on the counter attack.

A powerful shot from Tosh was parried by Klos into the path of the onrushing Darren Mackie, but the keeper managed to recover and make an instinctive save.

Dons striker Leon Mike should have done better than hook the ball over the bar from eight yards after Klos had tipped a Paul Sheerin cross into his path.

There were loud appeals for a penalty when Jamie McAllister clipped Arteta but referee Willie Young waved away the Rangers claims.

The home side went in front after 37 minutes when Mols managed to connect with a Ricksen cross in a crowded penalty box and his feint touch sent the ball squirming into the net.

Soon after, Mols saw his fierce low drive blocked by Preece.

Michael Mols
Mols knocks home his second goal
Rangers went looking for a second goal after the restart and de Boer brought out a great save from Preece with a swerving low shot.

However, the Dons were putting up a great fight and Mike was again guilty of squandering a good chance when he hit a tame shot at Klos from 18 yards.

Clark tried his luck with another long range shot and it whistled a foot or so wide of the target.

Aberdeen were rewarded for their endeavour after 75 minutes when Tosh ended a great weaving run into the penalty box with a shot into the far corner of Klos' net, via a deflection.

However, parity was only short lived and Mols grabbed his second goal of the afternoon when he stroked the ball home from close range after Preece had saved from substitute Claudio Caniggia.

Rangers defender Maurice Ross sent in a sweet volley from 20 yards and Preece reacted well to push it away after Ferguson let the ball fly through his legs.

Rangers: Klos, Ross, Moore, Malcolm, Numan, Ricksen, Ferguson, Arteta (Caniggia 68), de Boer, Mols (McLean 89), McCann (Bonnissel 78).
Subs Not Used: McGregor, Konterman.

Aberdeen: Preece, Rutkiewicz, Anderson, McGuire, McNaughton (Derek Young 88), Tosh, Sheerin, Clark, McAllister, Mike, Mackie (Hinds 70).
Subs Not Used: Kjaer, O'Donoghue, D'Jaffo.

Attendance: 49,667
Referee: W Young


 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's David Begg
"Rangers six points clear"
Rangers boss Alex McLeish
"The equaliser woke us up"
Aberdeen manager Steve Paterson
"Given the past record, there's a lot of positives"
The SPL season gets under way

Weekend games

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