Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone0Aberdeen0

St Johnstone 0-0 Aberdeen

Danny Swanson (second left) had the best chance of the game with a volley
Danny Swanson (second left) had the best chance of the game with a volley

Aberdeen were left frustrated in their efforts to get their season off to a winning start as they were held by St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

Dons goalkeeper Joe Lewis denied Graham Cummins from close range in the first half, and beat away a stinging Danny Swanson volley in the second.

Aberdeen controlled possession for long periods with captain Ryan Jack forcing saves with a volley and a header.

But despite a late rally, they rarely troubled Saints keeper Alan Mannus.

After returning from a disappointing midweek Europa League exit in Slovenia, the Dons were keen to bounce back in a fixture that was not short of goals last season.

However, both sides cancelled each other out in a dour encounter with chances at a premium.

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Highlights: St Johnstone 0-0 Aberdeen

St Johnstone had found the net with ease against the Dons last season; scoring 12 goals in their four clashes.

They nearly continued that trend with their first attack of the game - Cummins almost diverting Brian Easton's shot past goalkeeper Lewis, who managed to block.

Aberdeen were dominating possession without really testing Saints goalkeeper Mannus, a Jack volley the only shot on target in the first half.

And it was the hosts again who went closest to breaking the deadlock when Anthony O'Connor's clearance landed kindly for Swanson who thumped a shot towards the corner, only to be denied by the quick reactions of Lewis.

Poor defending again handed a gilt-edged chance to Cummins inside the six yard box, but he miss-kicked with the goal gaping and Lewis was able to smother the ball.

Manager Derek McInnes' three-man attack of summer signings Miles Storey, Jayden Stockley and Wes Burns had proved ineffective, with a long Kenny McLean shot the Dons' only attempt in the opening stages of the second half.

Ryan Jack (left) shot
Ryan Jack (left) saw a first half shot saved by Alan Mannus

With ambitions of claiming their first league title since 1985, the visitors began to inject more pace into the game, and with the introduction of Adam Rooney and Niall McGinn became more of a threat.

Andrew Considine and Jack forced saves with shots in quick succession as Aberdeen launched an aerial bombardment to unsettle the Saints backline.

Jack's close-range header was tipped wide before McGinn should have done better with a weak shot.

Stockley could have won it at the end but he could not connect with Graeme Shinnie's diagonal ball at the back post.

Post-match reaction:

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "I think any point against Aberdeen is always a good point. They've proved they're a top side. They put us under a lot of pressure and we dealt with that well; quite a few teams in this league may have crumbled.

"We're pleased with the defensive performance but maybe we could have done more in an attacking sense."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "We came to win but I think there was a lot of the performance we were really pleased with.

"I thought we kept St Johnstone's threat at arm's length, we were the better team, passed it well, but maybe the effects of playing on Thursday in 30C heat took some of the sharpness out of our play.

"It's always competitive here. I've managed here, I've come here often enough with my teams, and not many will come here and get it all their own way. It's a point, we're up and running, but we wanted to win the game."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Scobbie
  • 24Easton
  • 4AlstonSubstituted forWotherspoonat 67'minutes
  • 8Davidson
  • 26CraigBooked at 35mins
  • 11Swanson
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forCoulsonat 84'minutes
  • 29CumminsBooked at 38minsSubstituted forKaneat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 12Clark
  • 15McKay
  • 17Coulson
  • 18Paton
  • 25Kane
  • 39Comrie

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 6Reynolds
  • 15O'Connor
  • 4Considine
  • 3Shinnie
  • 22Jack
  • 7McLean
  • 8BurnsSubstituted forMcGinnat 64'minutes
  • 17Stockley
  • 39StoreySubstituted forRooneyat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Rooney
  • 10McGinn
  • 18Morris
  • 19Storie
  • 24McKenna
  • 25Alexander
  • 26Wright
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
5,728

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home7
Away10
Shots on Target
Home5
Away7
Corners
Home2
Away7
Fouls
Home17
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 0.

Full Time

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

Joe Lewis (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Attempt saved. Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) header from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the top left corner.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Shaleum Logan.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Michael Coulson (St. Johnstone).

Attempt saved. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

Attempt saved. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Michael Coulson replaces Steven MacLean.

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by David Wotherspoon.

Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Jayden Stockley (Aberdeen).

Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

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

Attempt saved. Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by David Wotherspoon.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. David Wotherspoon replaces Blair Alston.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Niall McGinn replaces Wes Burns.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Adam Rooney replaces Miles Storey.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Graham Cummins.

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

Attempt missed. Blair Alston (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone).

Hand ball by Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

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

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Tam Scobbie.

Delay in match Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) because of an injury.

goal