Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone1Aberdeen1

St Johnstone 1-1 Aberdeen

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: St Johnstone 1-1 Aberdeen

Aberdeen rescued a point against St Johnstone after Niall McGinn swept a free-kick into the top corner.

The well-executed set-piece was reward for Aberdeen's impressive second-half display.

Derek McInnes' side needed to regroup at the interval, after being outplayed in the opening period.

St Johnstone took a deserved lead through David McMillan's header, but the Perth side could not hold on to the advantage.

Both sides had opportunities to win, with Andrew Considine heading wide for the visitors, and Blair Alston seeing his effort blocked by the face of Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis.

Aberdeen claimed loudly for a penalty in the closing stages, when Gary Mackay-Steven went down just inside the area, but referee Willie Collum was unmoved.

The draw leaves St Johnstone in the top half of the Premiership on eight points, with Aberdeen two points behind.

Saints resistance eventually overcome

St Johnstone are a different proposition after a disappointing campaign last season by their own high standards and a summer of transition.

They now have great pace on the flanks through Drey Wright and Matty Kennedy and a goal threat in the shape of Tony Watt and McMillan.

The Irishman made it two goals in two games as he timed his run perfectly to head Liam Craig's whipped corner past Lewis.

They pose a greater menace, particularly on the counter-attack, but look defensively sound, and they needed to be as Aberdeen pushed hard for an equaliser.

Saints were resolute in the face of a second-half maelstrom - Jason Kerr heading a Mackay-Steven thunderbolt off the line and Zander Clark providing a defiant last line of defence as he produced brilliant saves from Mackay-Steven, McGinn and Sam Cosgrove.

But even he could do nothing to keep out McGinn's beautifully executed free-kick, which curled away from the keeper and into the top corner for a deserved equaliser.

Aberdeen's Niall McGinn scores against St Johnstone
Aberdeen's Niall McGinn equalised with a well-executed free kick

Point apiece a fair result - analysis

BBC Scotland's Alasdair Lamont at McDiarmid Park

This was a match both managers might feel they should have won.

St Johnstone had the better of the first half, but a much-improved Aberdeen were on top after the break and created enough opportunities to turn the game round.

Oddly, though, there were few clear chances after the equaliser went in.

At a time when referees are in the spotlight, Collum's every decision was greeted with fury from the stands.

Both sides had claims for penalties. Saints felt Ross Callachan was brought down by Lewis - Collum disagreed. And he judged David Wotherspoon had played the ball and not Mackay-Steven as the winger burst into the box in injury time.

Ultimately this was a fiercely-contested match, which could have gone either way and a point apiece was probably just about right.

Managers accept share of the spoils - reaction

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "Disappointed at how we played at times, we gave the ball away and were countered on too easily. They had more possession and more shots, but it was a fair enough result.

"We sat off a bit and we've got to try to be braver. There are aspects of the game that we need to improve on.

"We want to be hard to beat. We will be more open when we play with two wingers and that brings its problems defensively, but we'll deal with that. We've added pace, mobility and quality at the top end of the pitch."

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright and Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
Wright and McInnes felt a point apiece was a fair result

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "The reaction from the players in the second half was terrific.

"We lost a poor goal at a set play and St Johnstone were the better team in the first half, they were a bit more aggressive in the final third. We brought on Sam [Cosgrove], who was very effective for us, and the draw was no more than we deserved.

"It's always a better point when you come from behind but if the game lasts a bit longer we maybe just find enough to get that second goal.

"Gary Mackay-Steven had a really good run at the end. It's debatable whether it's a penalty or not, at the time I thought that it was. Scott McKenna got better as the game went on and in the second half he was very influential for us at the back."

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Clark
  • 19Foster
  • 15Kerr
  • 5Shaughnessy
  • 3Tanser
  • 7Wright
  • 4AlstonBooked at 66mins
  • 26CraigBooked at 18minsSubstituted forCallachanat 45'minutes
  • 33KennedySubstituted forWotherspoonat 78'minutes
  • 16McMillanSubstituted forSwansonat 78'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 32Watt

Substitutes

  • 6Anderson
  • 9Kane
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 11Swanson
  • 12Mitchell
  • 17Nydam
  • 28Callachan

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 5McKenna
  • 4ConsidineBooked at 47mins
  • 29LoweBooked at 70mins
  • 3Shinnie
  • 8GleesonSubstituted forBallat 67'minutes
  • 10McGinn
  • 7ForresterSubstituted forCosgroveat 45'minutes
  • 11Mackay-Steven
  • 17MaySubstituted forAndersonat 66'minutes

Substitutes

  • 16Cosgrove
  • 20Cerny
  • 21Ball
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Anderson
  • 27McLennan
  • 31Dangana
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
4,880

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home4
Away17
Shots on Target
Home3
Away7
Corners
Home4
Away8
Fouls
Home11
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Aberdeen 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, Aberdeen 1.

Scott McKenna (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tony Watt (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Niall McGinn (Aberdeen).

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Gary Mackay-Steven (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone).

Booking

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

Attempt missed. Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Bruce Anderson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone).

Attempt missed. Max Lowe (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

Foul by Bruce Anderson (Aberdeen).

Blair Alston (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen).

Richard Foster (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Scott McKenna (Aberdeen).

Tony Watt (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen).

Tony Watt (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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

Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

Attempt missed. Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) header from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. David Wotherspoon replaces Matthew Kennedy.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Danny Swanson replaces David McMillan.

Attempt saved. Matthew Kennedy (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right.

Foul by Bruce Anderson (Aberdeen).

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

Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Aberdeen).

Ross Callachan (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Blair Alston (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Booking

Max Lowe (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Max Lowe (Aberdeen).

Matthew Kennedy (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Aberdeen 1. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

Gary Mackay-Steven (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts5500112915
2Celtic531152310
3Livingston531164210
4Rangers522110558
5Hibernian52219638
6St Johnstone52215508
7Kilmarnock52126427
8Aberdeen513145-16
9Motherwell511369-34
10St Mirren511339-64
11Hamilton510438-53
12Dundee5005211-90
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories