REFEREE John Beaton apologised to Steven Gerrard after denying Rangers a clear penalty in the second half of their draw with Aberdeen.

Rangers let a two goal lead slip at Pittodrie as goals from Jon Gallagher and Andy Considine cancelled out strikes from Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack that had the Gers in control.

But Gerrard was left unhappy with the controversial call from Beaton as he only awarded a free-kick when Lewis Ferguson fouled Alfredo Morelos on the edge of the area.

And the Ibrox boss spoke to the official after the final whistle on a night that saw Celtic move two points clear at the top of the Premiership.

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Aberdeen 2-2 Rangers: Steven Gerrard's side squander two goal lead and two Premiership points at Pittodrie

Gerrard said: “It’s 100% a penalty. I’m surprised it’s not given as the referee is three yards away and looking right at it. He has seen it since and agrees it is a blatant penalty he has missed.

“I have to be very careful what I say, obviously. But I don’t think there will be a more disappointed person outside of Rangers tonight than John.

“He has just explained to me that he got it wrong, right in front of his eyes, and there is no excuse. There is nothing more I can say on it to be honest. Did he apologise? Yes. I went to see him.”

Rangers have little time to dwell on their Pittodrie disappointment as attentions now turn to the League Cup final with Celtic on Sunday.

But Gerrard could be without the services of left-back Borna Barisic after the Croatian sat out the trip to Pittodrie through injury.

He said: “Barisic is a doubt for Sunday. He was limping about yesterday. He has been receiving treatment today but at the moment he is a doubt. He’s had three or four kicks on his foot and has bone bruising there.”

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Aberdeen 2 Rangers 2: Highlights as Rangers squander two goal lead at Pittodrie

The draw with the Dons was the second match of a crucial run of fixtures that could define Gerrard’s second term as boss as Rangers bid for domestic silverware and Europa League progression.

Now the Light Blues have to quickly regroup as attentions turn to the second Old Firm showing of the campaign with major silverware on the line.

Gerrard said: “We had a good chat after the international break and realised there were some tough fixtures in there – tonight being one of them.

“We need to reset the mindset very quickly as it is cup final against our rivals.”