Match ends, St Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 2.
Aberdeen got their league campaign back on track with a comfortable win over an off colour St Johnstone.
Peter Pawlett opened the scoring with a low drive from the edge of the box as the visitors dominated.
Saints were reduced in numbers in the second half when substitute Rory Fallon was sent off for a challenge with Dons' Michael Hector, just one minute after coming on.
Niall McGinn's solo run and wonderful finish made sure of the points.
So it was Aberdeen, then, who got the upper hand in what could be seen as a dress rehearsal for the sides' League Cup semi-final in February.
Watching proceedings was the former St Johnstone striker and Aberdeen boss Sir Alex Ferguson who was invited back by the Perth club, 50 years on from his famous Saints hat-trick against Rangers.
Another with connections to both clubs is current Pittodrie manager Derek McInnes, who returned to McDiarmid Park competitively for the first time since leaving for Bristol City.
Saints started brighter but it was Aberdeen who forced the first chance as Pawlett worked a one-two with Scott Vernon before his shot across goalkeeper Alan Mannus crept just wide.
But the former St Johnstone loanee Pawlett did not have to wait long to get on the scoresheet as he put the Dons ahead on 17 minutes with a fine strike.
Chris Millar was robbed by Barry Robson before Vernon back heeled to Pawlett, who rifled home a low shot into the bottom right corner past the sprawling Mannus.
Vernon then curled over after he was played in by McGinn.
Both teams were guilty of surrendering possession throughout and it was a poor Reynolds clearance that handed Saints their only clear-cut chance of the first half as Stevie May brought out a stunning save from Jamie Langfield.
In the second half, Pawlett was denied another goal after Hayes played him in on the right of the box, but his powerful effort was beaten away by Mannus.
Saints brought on Gwion Edwards for Millar and he quickly found himself with space in box after beating Andrew Considine but he shot tamely at Langfield.
Wright then sent on former Don Fallon, but he needn't have bothered as the big Kiwi was shown a straight red card after a clash with Hector just over a minute after coming on.
Hector then tested Mannus from distance as the Dons looked for the killer blow which duly arrived five minutes from time, and it was a sight to behold.
McGinn picked it up on the left, cut inside and bent a superb shot into the top corner for his eighth of the season, while at the other end Langfield collected his 11th clean sheet in 17 appearances this season.
- 7MillarSubstituted forEdwardsat 55'minutes
- 8McDonaldSubstituted forCaddisat 88'minutes
- 11HasselbainkSubstituted forFallonat 70'minutesBooked at 71mins
- 9VernonSubstituted forMagennisat 88'minutes
- 15RobsonBooked at 57minsSubstituted forLowat 89'minutes
- 11HayesSubstituted forFloodat 77'minutes
- William Collum
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, St Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 2.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Thomas Scobbie.
Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Michael Hector (Aberdeen).
Substitution, Aberdeen. Nicky Low replaces Barry Robson.
Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).
Michael Hector (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, St Johnstone. Liam Caddis replaces Gary McDonald.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Josh Magennis replaces Scott Vernon.
Goal! St Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 2. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top left corner.
Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).
Attempt missed. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt saved. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Willo Flood replaces Jonathan Hayes.
Attempt saved. Michael Hector (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Murray Davidson.
Rory Fallon (St Johnstone) is shown the red card for fighting.
Dangerous play by Rory Fallon (St Johnstone).