Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen3Ross County0

Aberdeen 3-0 Ross County

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Highlights: Aberdeen 3-0 Ross County

Aberdeen posted their biggest Scottish Premiership win since January in a dominant 90 minutes against Ross County.

After two league games without a goal, and no successes since the opening day of the season, the Pittodrie side rediscovered their scoring touch.

Greg Leigh, Sam Cosgrove and Ryan Hedges scored before County's Billy Mckay rattled his penalty off a post.

And Aberdeen missed chances to further increase the deficit.

Manager Derek McInnes had called for his side to be more of an attacking threat, and he got the response he wanted from his side.

However for County, it is now an alarming 10 goals conceded in three games, with two heavy defeats coming after a League Cup defeat by Partick Thistle.

County's woes continue

The number of changes made to both line-ups signified the struggles both have endured in recent weeks. Aberdeen's lack of goals and inability to keep a clean sheet had them already looking at this game as a must-win. County had conceded seven in two games before the trip.

Cosgrove and Niall McGinn spurned early chances as Aberdeen started with a purpose. Their best football was coming when they were patient, knocking the ball about and getting McGinn and Hedges on the ball in advanced areas.

But all too often they fell back into what they knew best - dropping deep and sending with long balls towards Cosgrove, who struggled to hold possession as County's back-line, including the returning Richard Foster, looked comfortable.

The visitors frustrated Aberdeen early on, but two decisions went against them within three minutes and their game-plan was dismantled.

Ross Stewart looked to be harshly penalised for a high foot and McGinn passed the free-kick short to Hedges, who picked out Leigh to head in the opener.

Then goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw bundled over Lewis Ferguson in the box, and Cosgrove made it 10 goals in 10 games from the penalty spot.

There are few players in Scotland with the ability to pick out a man as well as McGinn and he created the third when he flicked the ball on to his right foot and picked out Hedges at the back post to finish.

Referee Nick Walsh equalled the penalty count when he penalised Funso Ojo for handball but Mckay's attempt struck a post. Ross Stewart would later curl an effort off the woodwork as luck deserted County.

Aberdeen saw an opportunity for more goals. McGinn inexplicably put a Hedges pass the wrong side of a post, and Laidlaw pushed a fierce Cosgrove effort over.

Hedges also hit a weak shot straight at the goalkeeper as Aberdeen opened up County and played with a freedom seldom seen at Pittodrie in the past few months.

But the points were safe. Not since a 3-0 win over Hamilton had Aberdeen won a Premiership game by a three-goal margin.

Sam Cosgrove celebrates scoring his penalty

Man of the match - Ryan Hedges

BBC Scotland's Tyrone Smith at Pittodrie

Hedges got a standing ovation from the Aberdeen fans, and no wonder. His direct play, trickery, and pin point crossing helped unlock County.

His goal was the icing on the cake, in what was a cultured display, which saw him pull the County defenders all over the place, all afternoon.

The Welsh international interchanged brilliantly with McGinn and, if that continues, Aberdeen would appear to have plenty to look forward to after the international break.

'County not getting the rub of the green' - reaction

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "I'm really pleased with the approach. We were very positive with our work. We were bright, willing, kept asking questions of their back four.

"That's us [in the transfer window]. We won't be losing anyone, and I think the budget is spent. If we've got a fully fit squad the bodies are here and the team is here to meet the challenge ahead."

Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson: "We felt we defended better than last week and that sounds funny when you lose three goals.

"We were done by a couple of set-plays where we felt the decisions went against us slightly. We're not using that as a excuse, but we also feel we're not getting the rub of the green."

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 33Vyner
  • 6Devlin
  • 4ConsidineBooked at 73mins
  • 3Leigh
  • 22OjoBooked at 51mins
  • 19Ferguson
  • 11HedgesSubstituted forGallagherat 83'minutes
  • 7BrysonSubstituted forWrightat 62'minutes
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forAndersonat 83'minutes
  • 16Cosgrove

Substitutes

  • 9Main
  • 15Wright
  • 18McLennan
  • 20Cerny
  • 21Gallagher
  • 25Anderson
  • 28Wilson

Ross County

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 2Fraser
  • 15Watson
  • 5Morris
  • 18Foster
  • 14MullinSubstituted forSpittalat 60'minutes
  • 11Vigurs
  • 12Grivosti
  • 7Gardyne
  • 9MckaySubstituted forGrahamat 67'minutes
  • 27StewartBooked at 27minsSubstituted forPowerat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 19Graham
  • 20Spittal
  • 22Power
  • 23Chalmers
  • 24Paton
  • 25Ruddy
  • 43Reid
Referee:
Nick Walsh
Attendance:
13,006

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamRoss County
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home11
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home17
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 3, Ross County 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 3, Ross County 0.

Greg Leigh (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Marcus Fraser (Ross County).

Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Callum Morris (Ross County).

Foul by Bruce Anderson (Aberdeen).

Iain Vigurs (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

Simon Power (Ross County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Funso Ojo (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Iain Vigurs (Ross County).

Foul by Scott Wright (Aberdeen).

Simon Power (Ross County) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Bruce Anderson replaces Niall McGinn.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Jon Gallagher replaces Ryan Hedges.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Simon Power replaces Ross Stewart.

Foul by Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

Tom Grivosti (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Ross County) left footed shot from very close range is too high from a direct free kick.

Booking

Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

Michael Gardyne (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

Ross Stewart (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Ross Stewart (Ross County) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the left side of the box.

Attempt blocked. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Ross County. Brian Graham replaces Billy Mckay.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Ross Laidlaw.

Attempt saved. Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

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

Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Callum Morris (Ross County).

Foul by Funso Ojo (Aberdeen).

Blair Spittal (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Wright replaces Craig Bryson.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Keith Watson.

Attempt blocked. Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic3300153129
2Rangers33009279
3Livingston42208448
4Aberdeen42116337
5Motherwell42118627
6Kilmarnock411224-24
7Hamilton411258-34
8Ross County411247-34
9Hibernian4112411-74
10St Mirren410324-23
11Hearts402258-32
12St Johnstone4022412-82
View full Scottish Premiership table

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