Match ends, St Johnstone 4, Inverness CT 0.
St Johnstone ended a run of five matches without a win in stunning style to knock Inverness Caledonian thistle off the top of the Premiership.
The opener came through Stevie May's finish from Gary McDonald's cross.
May then turned provider, Dave Mackay striking home from the centre of the penalty area.
And Steven MacLean benefitted from two more May assists to net Saints' third and fourth goals in the second half as the visitors toiled in Perth.
The hosts' first victory since a 4-0 rout against Ross County was another emphatic win for manager Tommy Wright and deserved a bigger audience than the 3,020 inside McDiarmid Park.
For Inverness, their second defeat of the season drops them down to second, three points behind Celtic and seven ahead of sixth-place Saints.
St Johnstone's play was quick and slick straight from kick-off and they deservedly went ahead when Caley Thistle could not cope with the superior passing and movement that led to May stabbing home his seventh goal of the season.
That lead was doubled when a carbon copy build-up again opened up the Inverness defence and Mackay burst through for a shot which goalkeeper Dean Brill got a hand to but could not keep out.
Caley Thistle blasted out of the blocks at the start of the second half to try to turn things around but it was St Johnstone who threatened again with a Nigel Hasselbaink shot which was tipped over the bar by Brill.
And there was a similar save at the other end from Alan Mannus to deny Aaron Doran's 25-yard effort.
St Johnstone put the match out of the reach of Inverness when 20-year-old May picked out MacLean at the edge of the penalty box and he placed a shot into the corner of the net.
And MacLean struck again to complete the scoring. It was all down to the persistence of the outstanding May, who won a tussle with Graeme Shinnie at the corner flag and knocked the ball across goal for MacLean to tap.
- 8McDonaldSubstituted forDavidsonat 83'minutes
- 11HasselbainkSubstituted forEdwardsat 71'minutes
- 10WotherspoonSubstituted forBrownat 86'minutes
- 9MacLeanBooked at 76mins
- 11RossSubstituted forWatkinsat 70'minutes
- 10DoranBooked at 62mins
- 20PolworthSubstituted forAgdesteinat 75'minutes
- 9ForanBooked at 57minsSubstituted forWilliamsat 89'minutes
- Steven McLean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, St Johnstone 4, Inverness CT 0.
Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Marley Watkins (Inverness CT).
Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ross Draper (Inverness CT).
Substitution, Inverness CT. Danny Williams replaces Richie Foran.
Foul by Steven MacLean (St Johnstone).
Gary Warren (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gary Warren (Inverness CT).
Substitution, St Johnstone. Scott Brown replaces David Wotherspoon.
Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Substitution, St Johnstone. Murray Davidson replaces Gary McDonald.
Goal! St Johnstone 4, Inverness CT 0. Steven MacLean (St Johnstone) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Steve May with a cross.
Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Steven MacLean (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Torbjorn Agdestein (Inverness CT).
Steven MacLean (St Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.
Ross Draper (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.