Scottish Premiership
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone3AberdeenAberdeen0

St Johnstone 3-0 Aberdeen

By Chick YoungBBC Scotland at McDiarmid Park
Liam Craig scores for St Johnstone against Aberdeen
Liam Craig's composed finish completed the scoring for Saints

Aberdeen surely kissed goodbye to any already distant lingering Premiership title hopes with defeat and a nightmare performance against St Johnstone.

A free-kick from David Wotherspoon gave Saints the lead and Steven MacLean got a touch to Steven Anderson's header to add a second before half-time.

Liam Craig polished off the win with a third as the Pittodrie side produced a shambolic show of defending.

It was a spirited display by the hosts, who leapfrog Motherwell into fourth.

However, it is hard to underline just how sloppy the Dons - whose fans in the crowd of 3,990 booed them off - were at the back - and, for that matter, the middle and the front.

Dons deflated and defeated

David Wotherspoon scores for St Johnstone against Aberdeen
Wotherspoon's free-kick seemed to catch out the Aberdeen goalkeeper

But for a mysterious decision by referee Craig Thomson to disallow a seemingly legitimate goal it could have been even worse for the visitors.

This was perhaps Aberdeen's worst performance of the season. There were 87 minutes on the clock before they forced a save from Saints goalkeeper Zander Clark.

It was - to the day - the third anniversary of Dons manager Derek McInnes's first game in charge of the club and he used the opportunity to give a debut to young right-sided centre-back Michael Rose in place of the injured Ash Taylor.

But he had a tortuous start to his first-team career.

Saints had a golden chance to take the lead when former Dons player Joe Shaughnessy rattled the bar with a header from a corner. The defender should really have buried the opportunity.

However, there was only a short delay in the home side taking the lead.

Wotherspoon curled a free-kick over the wall after a Rose foul. It was a fine strike but Dons goalkeeper Scott Brown looked slow getting down to his right side.

It was a goal that was worthy reward for Saints' first-half efforts. They were totally in command, while Aberdeen were all over the place and so too was another Craig Thomson refereeing decision with 34 minutes gone.

Wotherspoon took a corner on the left, Brown went down like the victim of a sniper among a bunch of his own players and the ball fell to Anderson, who bundled it home.

But, mysteriously, Aberdeen were awarded a free-kick and the goal was chalked off, despite there being no apparent challenge on the goalkeeper.

Steven MacLean (left) gets a touch to the ball to steer it beyond goalkeeper Scott Brown
MacLean steered the ball beyond Brown for the hosts' second

The blunders just kept on coming. A harmless looking ball was floated towards the far post and Anderson knocked it back towards goal. Brown was flailing again as MacLean claimed the slightest of touches to carry the ball over the line.

Barry Robson replaced young Rose at the interval and reorganised the back line, but it made no difference.

Mark Reynolds lost possession to Graham Cummins, who played in the unmarked Craig to finished with aplomb.

Aberdeen, along with their championship chances, were dead and buried, with Robson's late free-kick their only real effort at goal.

Celtic, who face Ross County on Sunday and now need two wins for a fifth straight title, can prepare their celebration party.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-2

  • 12Clark
  • 22Fisher
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Scobbie
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 8DavidsonSubstituted forLappinat 61'minutes
  • 7MillarSubstituted forDoyleat 85'minutes
  • 26Craig
  • 18CumminsSubstituted forKaneat 80'minutes
  • 9MacLean

Substitutes

  • 1Mannus
  • 4Lappin
  • 5Doyle
  • 11Sutton
  • 20Brown
  • 25Kane
  • 36Gordon

Aberdeen

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 20Brown
  • 2Logan
  • 6Reynolds
  • 4Considine
  • 3ShinnieBooked at 84mins
  • 22Jack
  • 24RoseSubstituted forRobsonat 45'minutes
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forMcLennanat 83'minutes
  • 7McLean
  • 11HayesBooked at 65mins
  • 18Church

Substitutes

  • 8Flood
  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 19Collin
  • 23Storie
  • 26McKenna
  • 37McLennan
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
3,990

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home11
Away4
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, St. Johnstone 3, Aberdeen 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 3, Aberdeen 0.

  3. Post update

    Michael Doyle (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Connor McLennan (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Michael Doyle (St. Johnstone).

  7. Post update

    Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Barry Robson (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone).

  10. Post update

    Simon Church (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Simon Church (Aberdeen).

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael Doyle replaces Chris Millar.

  14. Booking

    Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen).

  17. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Steven Anderson.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Connor McLennan replaces Niall McGinn.

  19. Post update

    Darnell Fisher (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Simon Church (Aberdeen).

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic33237378255376
2Aberdeen33215756362068
3Hearts33179754332160
4Motherwell33135154149-844
5St Johnstone33127144851-343
6Ross County33134164855-743
7Dundee33914104849-141
8Partick Thistle33118143239-741
9Inverness CT331010134043-340
10Hamilton3399153655-1936
11Kilmarnock3388173354-2132
12Dundee Utd3366213358-2524
View full Scottish Premiership table

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