Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen0St JohnstoneSt Johnstone2

Aberdeen 0-2 St Johnstone

By Liam McLeodBBC Scotland at Pittodrie

St Johnstone scored two late goals to beat Aberdeen and consolidate fourth place in the Scottish Premiership.

Adam Rooney's early shot for the Dons was held by Alan Mannus and Kenny McLean later headed wide of the Saints goal.

The visitors took the lead against the run of play when Danny Swanson netted from an indirect free-kick inside the penalty box.

And Swanson set up Craig Thomson to fire in St Johnstone's second.

Precious points in Euro pursuit

Tommy Wright's side move six points clear of Hearts and to within six of Rangers, who lost heavily to league winners Celtic earlier in the day.

Derek McInnes's Dons remain nine points ahead of Rangers with four games to go.

The sides finishing second, third and fourth will enter next season's Europa League qualifiers and Aberdeen, who have reached the Scottish Cup final, can finish no lower than third.

Danny Swanson
Swanson, who will join Hibernian in the summer, had a hand in both goals

Super Saints

This victory encapsulates perfectly the good work that Wright and St Johnstone have done over the past four years.

They were far from their best and barely tested Joe Lewis in the Aberdeen goal, but with 12 minutes to play, Lewis saved from young substitute Thomson before Ryan Jack tapped the ball back to his keeper, who picked it up.

Swanson received the indirect free-kick on the left from Liam Craig and smashed the ball into the reverse corner of the net for his 14th goal of the season.

It came after the Perth team kept their hosts at arm's length for large chunks of the game.

Kenny McLean has had a fine season, but he should have put the Dons ahead with chances either side of half-time.

Saints' victory was sealed with a swift counter-attacking move. Swanson this time teed up David Wotherspoon's replacement Thomson, who still had plenty to do but hammered home to guarantee the points would go back to McDiarmid Park.

Second not done yet for Dons

Aberdeen knew a win would all but seal second spot, however, this will keep Rangers' faint hopes of usurping the Dons alive for another week at least with the two still to play in Glasgow before the end of the season.

Worryingly for McInnes and the Dons fans, the team has tailed off badly in all of his four previous seasons with just one win post-split in each campaign.

Adam Rooney and David Wotherspoon
Aberdeen were restricted to few chances against St Johnstone

The spectre of the cup final against Celtic and the fact the pressure was off thanks to Rangers' derby capitulation at Ibrox may have played a role in an under-par performance.

However, McInnes will be frustrated at a second straight home defeat when - like against Rangers three weeks ago - they arguably did not deserve to lose.

The Dons travel to face Hearts next in the capital before hosting champions Celtic, meaning the worst case scenario could see Rangers go to within three points of them before the teams meet at Ibrox in their penultimate fixture.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lewis
  • 2LoganBooked at 18mins
  • 5Taylor
  • 4Considine
  • 3Shinnie
  • 22Jack
  • 7McLean
  • 11HayesBooked at 19minsSubstituted forWrightat 88'minutes
  • 8ChristieSubstituted forPawlettat 66'minutes
  • 10McGinn
  • 9RooneySubstituted forStockleyat 66'minutesBooked at 90mins


  • 6Reynolds
  • 15O'Connor
  • 16Pawlett
  • 17Stockley
  • 25Alexander
  • 26Wright
  • 39Storey

St Johnstone

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Mannus
  • 19Foster
  • 14ShaughnessyBooked at 33mins
  • 6AndersonBooked at 28mins
  • 24Easton
  • 7MillarSubstituted forPatonat 35'minutes
  • 8Davidson
  • 26CraigBooked at 90mins
  • 10WotherspoonSubstituted forThomsonat 72'minutes
  • 11SwansonSubstituted forAlstonat 88'minutes
  • 29Cummins


  • 3Scobbie
  • 4Alston
  • 12Clark
  • 15Smith
  • 17Coulson
  • 18Paton
  • 27Thomson
Alan Muir

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamSt Johnstone
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 0, St. Johnstone 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 0, St. Johnstone 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Scott Wright (Aberdeen).

  4. Post update

    Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Paul Paton (St. Johnstone).

  7. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Scott Wright.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Craig Thomson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  9. Booking

    Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Booking

    Jayden Stockley (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Paul Paton (St. Johnstone).

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Wright replaces Jonny Hayes.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Johnstone. Blair Alston replaces Danny Swanson.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left.

  17. Post update

    Hand ball by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

  18. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

  19. Post update

    Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

As It Stood

4St Johnstone34157124640652
6Partick Thistle341012123740-342
8Ross County34812144154-1336
12Inverness CT34413173666-3025
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