Aberdeen got their league campaign back on track with a comfortable win over an off colour St Johnstone.

Peter Pawlett opened the scoring with a low drive from the edge of the box as the visitors dominated.

Saints were reduced in numbers in the second half when substitute Rory Fallon was sent off for a challenge with Dons' Michael Hector, just one minute after coming on.

Niall McGinn's solo run and wonderful finish made sure of the points.

So it was Aberdeen, then, who got the upper hand in what could be seen as a dress rehearsal for the sides' League Cup semi-final in February.

Watching proceedings was the former St Johnstone striker and Aberdeen boss Sir Alex Ferguson who was invited back by the Perth club, 50 years on from his famous Saints hat-trick against Rangers.

Another with connections to both clubs is current Pittodrie manager Derek McInnes, who returned to McDiarmid Park competitively for the first time since leaving for Bristol City.

Sir Alex Ferguson (left) with St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown at McDiarmid Park

Sir Alex Ferguson (left) with St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown at McDiarmid Park

Saints started brighter but it was Aberdeen who forced the first chance as Pawlett worked a one-two with Scott Vernon before his shot across goalkeeper Alan Mannus crept just wide.

But the former St Johnstone loanee Pawlett did not have to wait long to get on the scoresheet as he put the Dons ahead on 17 minutes with a fine strike.

Chris Millar was robbed by Barry Robson before Vernon back heeled to Pawlett, who rifled home a low shot into the bottom right corner past the sprawling Mannus.

Vernon then curled over after he was played in by McGinn.

Both teams were guilty of surrendering possession throughout and it was a poor Reynolds clearance that handed Saints their only clear-cut chance of the first half as Stevie May brought out a stunning save from Jamie Langfield.

In the second half, Pawlett was denied another goal after Hayes played him in on the right of the box, but his powerful effort was beaten away by Mannus.

Saints brought on Gwion Edwards for Millar and he quickly found himself with space in box after beating Andrew Considine but he shot tamely at Langfield.

Wright then sent on former Don Fallon, but he needn't have bothered as the big Kiwi was shown a straight red card after a clash with Hector just over a minute after coming on.

Hector then tested Mannus from distance as the Dons looked for the killer blow which duly arrived five minutes from time, and it was a sight to behold.

McGinn picked it up on the left, cut inside and bent a superb shot into the top corner for his eighth of the season, while at the other end Langfield collected his 11th clean sheet in 17 appearances this season.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

St Johnstone

  • 01 Mannus
  • 02 Mackay
  • 03 Scobbie
  • 18 Davidson
  • 25 Jahic
  • 05 Wright
  • 07 Millar (Edwards - 55' )
  • 08 McDonald (Caddis - 88' )
  • 11 Hasselbaink (Fallon - 70' Dismissed )
  • 17 May
  • 10 Wotherspoon

Substitutes

  • 04 Cregg
  • 14 Edwards
  • 15 Banks
  • 16 Caddis
  • 19 Miller
  • 20 Brown
  • 27 Fallon

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield
  • 27 Hector
  • 06 Reynolds
  • 22 Jack
  • 04 Anderson
  • 05 Considine
  • 10 McGinn
  • 16 Pawlett
  • 09 Vernon (Magennis - 88' )
  • 15 Robson Booked (Low - 89' )
  • 11 Hayes (Flood - 77' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Shaughnessy
  • 07 Zola
  • 08 Flood
  • 17 Wylde
  • 18 Low
  • 20 Weaver
  • 21 Magennis
Ref: William Collum
Att: 4,741

Match Stats

Shots

3 10

On target

2 5

Corners

2 7

Fouls

6 15

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, St Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 2.

90:00 +2:57 Full time

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

90:00 +2:11

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Thomas Scobbie.

90:00 +0:15

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +0:15

Foul by Michael Hector (Aberdeen).

88:47 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Nicky Low replaces Barry Robson.

88:31

Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

88:31

Michael Hector (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:29 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Liam Caddis replaces Gary McDonald.

87:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Josh Magennis replaces Scott Vernon.

84:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 2. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top left corner.

83:50

Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:50

Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).

82:06

Attempt missed. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

77:51

Attempt saved. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

76:34 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Willo Flood replaces Jonathan Hayes.

73:56

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

71:47

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Murray Davidson.

70:52 Dismissal

Dismissal Rory Fallon (St Johnstone) is shown the red card for fighting.

70:39

Dangerous play by Rory Fallon (St Johnstone).

70:39

Michael Hector (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Rory Fallon replaces Nigel Hasselbaink.

68:18

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

68:18

Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

62:28

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone).

62:28

Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

59:30

Attempt missed. Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

58:54

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by David Mackay.

57:33

Attempt saved. Gwion Edwards (St Johnstone) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

56:27 Booking

Booking Barry Robson (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

56:18

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

56:18

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

54:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Johnstone. Gwion Edwards replaces Chris Millar.

49:36

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Alan Mannus.

49:13

Attempt saved. Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner.

47:38

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by David Mackay.

46:46

Attempt missed. Steve May (St Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

45:00

Second Half begins St Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 1.

45:00 +2:03 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, St Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 1.

44:48

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

44:48

Foul by Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen).

42:14

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

42:14

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

40:04

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Frazer Wright.

39:21

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Murray Davidson.

38:26

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Jamie Langfield.

38:01

Attempt saved. Steve May (St Johnstone) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

37:15

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

37:15

Foul by Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen).

35:42

Attempt missed. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

33:28

Foul by Niall McGinn (Aberdeen).

33:28

Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

29:26

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

29:26

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:17

Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

28:17

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

27:37

Foul by Scott Vernon (Aberdeen).

27:37

Frazer Wright (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

25:52

Attempt missed. Scott Vernon (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

24:16

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

24:16

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

23:10

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

23:10

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

22:23

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

22:22

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

21:34

Delay in match Gary McDonald (St Johnstone) because of an injury.

18:37

Corner, St Johnstone. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

17:00 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! St Johnstone 0, Aberdeen 1. Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Scott Vernon.

15:02

Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

15:02

Foul by Murray Davidson (St Johnstone).

9:54

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

9:54

David Wotherspoon (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:40

Attempt missed. Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

3:57

Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

3:57

Chris Millar (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

2:02

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

2:02

Steve May (St Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:03

Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:03

Foul by Steve May (St Johnstone).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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