Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen4Partick Thistle0

Aberdeen 4-0 Partick Thistle

Aberdeen climbed to second place in the Scottish Premiership with a superb win at home to Partick Thistle.

Niall McGinn's free-kick opened the scoring and the Dons' lead was doubled by Calvin Zola before the break.

Michael Hector's 20-yard drive made it three but Thistle's Kallum Higginbotham almost netted when his audacious effort from the halfway line hit the crossbar.

Aberdeen finished the night in style when McGinn volleyed Hector's perfect cross beyond Partick keeper Scott Fox.

Having received his first ever Scotland call-up seven hours before this match, Fox would have been eager to show what he can do.

The 26-year-old's brilliant diving save at full stretch from a shot on the turn by Aberdeen striker Zola in the early stages of the game at Pittodrie served as a timely demonstration of his ability.

However, from there on in Fox was helpless as a combination of poor Thistle defending and clinical Aberdeen finishing had him picking the ball out of the net four times.

The result makes Derek McInnes's side Celtic's nearest challengers, four points short of Neil Lennon's men at the top of the league and Aberdeen, who were watched by more than 10,000 fans, have won four games in a row and not conceded a goal in that period.

Thistle manager Alan Archibald had spoken before the game about exploiting Aberdeen's few weaknesses.

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Interview - Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

He had witnessed, first-hand, how well the Dons rear-guard dealt with aerial balls in their 2-0 League Cup win at Motherwell and perhaps that was the reason for a low driven corner kick from which Gabriel Piccolo almost finished off at the back post.

Fox's clean-sheet hopes ended midway through the first-half, but the blame had to lie with his defensive wall at the free-kick conceded by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair.

For when McGinn neatly curled home into the near post from 22 yards, a ducking Stuart Bannigan meant the ball had a much clearer trajectory into the back of the net.

It was a welcome first goal in 12 games for the Northern Irishman, who played a key part in setting up his team's second before the break.

McGinn waited patiently for a surging run from Peter Pawlett, who upon reaching the by-line drilled the ball low across the goalmouth for Zola to extend a leg and tap in at the back post.

Partick Thistle keeper Scott Fox made a spectacular save to deny Calvin Zola early on.

Pawlett's challenge on Kallum Higginbotham earned him a yellow card and stoked the visitors a little as they began the second half looking to take the game to Aberdeen.

That rejuvenation was momentarily quelled by Hector's arrowed shot which put the hosts three ahead in emphatic manner.

But Partick nearly responded immediately through a wonderful piece of opportunism when Higginbotham's spectacular strike straight from the kick-off bounced off Jamie Langfield's crossbar.

The Aberdeen goalkeeper was scrambling because of Higginbotham again minutes later when the Englishman's deflected strike nearly looped in.

McInnes's men ended the night how they began it, though.

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Interview - Partick boss Alan Archibald

Mexican defender Piccolo denied Hayes a simple tap-in before a slick passing move ended with Hector delivering a fine cross for McGinn to meet first time and convert brilliantly - his first goal from open play this season.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Langfield
  • 22Jack
  • 5Considine
  • 8Flood
  • 27Hector
  • 6Reynolds
  • 16PawlettBooked at 45minsSubstituted forAndersonat 78'minutes
  • 14SmithSubstituted forRobsonat 56'minutes
  • 10McGinn
  • 7ZolaSubstituted forVernonat 64'minutes
  • 11Hayes

Substitutes

  • 4Anderson
  • 9Vernon
  • 15Robson
  • 17Wylde
  • 18Low
  • 20Weaver
  • 25Shankland

Partick Thistle

  • 1Fox
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 3Taylor-Sinclair
  • 4Welsh
  • 5Muirhead
  • 13GabrielBooked at 78mins
  • 8Bannigan
  • 19Osbourne
  • 9DoolanSubstituted forElliottat 69'minutes
  • 7CraigenSubstituted forForbesat 69'minutes
  • 23HigginbothamBooked at 45minsSubstituted forBairdat 78'minutesBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 10Forbes
  • 12Gallacher
  • 14Elliott
  • 16McMillan
  • 17Baird
  • 20Kerr
  • 21Mukendi
Referee:
Brian Colvin
Attendance:
10,057

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamPartick Thistle
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home9
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home12
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 4, Partick Thistle 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 4, Partick Thistle 0.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Sean Welsh.

Booking

John Baird (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.
Dangerous play by John Baird (Partick Thistle).
Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Sean Welsh (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 4, Partick Thistle 0. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Michael Hector.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Aaron Muirhead.
Attempt missed. Gabriel Rojo de la Vega (Partick Thistle) header from the right side of the six yard box is too high from a direct free kick.
Sean Welsh (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Michael Hector (Aberdeen).

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. John Baird replaces Kallum Higginbotham.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Russell Anderson replaces Peter Pawlett.

Booking

Gabriel Rojo de la Vega (Partick Thistle) is shown the yellow card.
Dangerous play by Gabriel Rojo de la Vega (Partick Thistle).
Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Isaac Osbourne.
Attempt saved. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Foul by Sean Welsh (Partick Thistle).
Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.
Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Michael Hector.
Attempt missed. Ross Forbes (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.
Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Jamie Langfield.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Christie Elliott replaces Kris Doolan.

Substitution

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Ross Forbes replaces James Craigen.
Attempt saved. Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.
Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Willo Flood.
Attempt saved. Sean Welsh (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Attempt saved. Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) hits the bar with a right footed shot from more than 35 yards.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 3, Partick Thistle 0. Michael Hector (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Vernon replaces Calvin Zola-Makongo.
Foul by Aaron Muirhead (Partick Thistle).
Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Kallum Higginbotham (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).
goal