Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen0St Johnstone2

Aberdeen 0-2 St Johnstone

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.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 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

Substitutes

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

St Johnstone

  • 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

Substitutes

  • 3Scobbie
  • 4Alston
  • 12Clark
  • 15Smith
  • 17Coulson
  • 18Paton
  • 27Thomson
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
10,606

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home13
Away8
Shots on Target
Home1
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home18
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 0, St. Johnstone 2.

Full Time

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

Foul by Scott Wright (Aberdeen).

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

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

Foul by Paul Paton (St. Johnstone).

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Scott Wright.

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

Booking

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

Booking

Jayden Stockley (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

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

Foul by Paul Paton (St. Johnstone).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Wright replaces Jonny Hayes.

Substitution

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

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

Hand ball by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

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

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

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 0, St. Johnstone 2. Craig Thomson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Danny Swanson.

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Liam Craig (St. Johnstone).

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 0, St. Johnstone 1. Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Liam Craig following a set piece situation.

Attempt saved. Craig Thomson (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Richard Foster (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Craig Thomson replaces David Wotherspoon.

Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jayden Stockley (Aberdeen).

Brian Easton (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Foul by Jayden Stockley (Aberdeen).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Peter Pawlett replaces Ryan Christie.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Jayden Stockley replaces Adam Rooney.

Hand ball by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

Attempt missed. Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic34304092236994
2Aberdeen34214963303367
3Rangers341610849391058
4St Johnstone34157124640652
5Hearts341210125345846
6Partick Thistle341012123740-342
7Kilmarnock34814123249-1738
8Ross County34812144154-1336
9Dundee3496193655-1933
10Hamilton34614143050-2032
11Motherwell3488184064-2432
12Inverness CT34413173666-3025
View full Scottish Premiership table

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