Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone0AberdeenAberdeen2

St Johnstone 0-2 Aberdeen

By Liam McLeodFootball Commentator, BBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park

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.

Sir Alex Ferguson (left) with St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown at McDiarmid Park
Sir Alex Ferguson (left) with St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown at McDiarmid Park

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.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Mannus
  • 2Mackay
  • 3Scobbie
  • 18Davidson
  • 25Jahic
  • 5Wright
  • 7MillarSubstituted forEdwardsat 55'minutes
  • 8McDonaldSubstituted forCaddisat 88'minutes
  • 11HasselbainkSubstituted forFallonat 70'minutesBooked at 71mins
  • 17May
  • 10Wotherspoon

Substitutes

  • 4Cregg
  • 14Edwards
  • 15Banks
  • 16Caddis
  • 19Miller
  • 20Brown
  • 27Fallon

Aberdeen

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Langfield
  • 27Hector
  • 6Reynolds
  • 22Jack
  • 4Anderson
  • 5Considine
  • 10McGinn
  • 16Pawlett
  • 9VernonSubstituted forMagennisat 88'minutes
  • 15RobsonBooked at 57minsSubstituted forLowat 89'minutes
  • 11HayesSubstituted forFloodat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Shaughnessy
  • 7Zola-Makongo
  • 8Flood
  • 17Wylde
  • 18Low
  • 20Weaver
  • 21Magennis
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
4,741

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home3
Away10
Shots on Target
Home2
Away5
Corners
Home2
Away7
Fouls
Home6
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Thomas Scobbie.

  4. Post update

    Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Michael Hector (Aberdeen).

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Nicky Low replaces Barry Robson.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

  8. Post update

    Michael Hector (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, St Johnstone. Liam Caddis replaces Gary McDonald.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Josh Magennis replaces Scott Vernon.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! St Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 2. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top left corner.

  12. Post update

    Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Willo Flood replaces Jonathan Hayes.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Michael Hector (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Murray Davidson.

  19. Dismissal

    Rory Fallon (St Johnstone) is shown the red card for fighting.

  20. Post update

    Dangerous play by Rory Fallon (St Johnstone).