Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen3St Johnstone0

Aberdeen 3-0 St Johnstone

Adam Rooney nods in his second goal from close range
Rooney nods in his second goal from close range

Adam Rooney scored a hat-trick as Aberdeen maintained their unbeaten Premiership start with a comfortable win at home to St Johnstone.

The striker glanced in an early opener and added another header from close range on 18 minutes.

His third goal came from a second-half penalty after Ryan Christie was upended.

Frank Ross hit the post late on as the hosts dominated and the win takes them level on points with leaders Celtic.

This was only Rooney's third start of the season but that's no excuse for the St Johnstone seemingly forgetting just how dangerous the most prolific Aberdeen striker of recent times is.

They twice went to sleep defending set-pieces and Rooney ruthlessly exploited that negligence to quickly move into what even at that early stage looked a decisive lead.

To add insult to injury it was former Saints' star Stevie May who provided the telling cross for the opening goal after seven minutes leaving his forward partner to steer in a header from six yards.

That stemmed from a well worked free kick on the left and the second came from an equally well executed corner on the right involving May's lay-off to Ryan Christie.

The on-loan Celtic midfielder's cross was nodded on by Anthony O'Connor to Rooney, who once again found enough space inside the six yard box for his third goal of the season.

In fact he might well have had his hat-trick by then as only a desperate blocking challenge prevented the Irishman adding to his tally just prior to that as St Johnstone's normally reliable defence buckled under pressure.

That was exactly the start Dons manager Derek McInnes was looking for in terms of intensity but also the ruthless streak to go with it after being held to a draw in their previous home game against Kilmarnock for not converting initial dominance into sufficient goals.

Adam Rooney celebrates his hat-trick at full-time
Rooney made a strong claim for a regular starting place with a strong performance and three goals

The visitors struggled to make any impact going forward in the continued absence of Michael O'Halloran, with the only bit of good news being that the player on loan from Rangers should be back after the international break.

By contrast Aberdeen's pace and variety of attack was a constant threat and only an impressive save from Alan Mannus two minutes from the interval denied Christie the chance to add to the tally from 20 yards.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright took action at the break to try and change things, sending on Chris Millar and David Wotherspoon for Scott Tanser and Paul Paton and the second period was much more equal.

The problem for the Perth club was that although they limited Aberdeen's chances to score they also failed to create any clear cut opportunities of their own, so Joe Lewis in the home goal had a quiet afternoon.

To round off a miserable afternoon for St Johnstone, substitute Danny Johnstone tripped Christie deep inside the box and Rooney completed the scoring from the resulting penalty kick with 10 minutes remaining.

Having joined Celtic on the 20 point mark, Aberdeen also pulled six points clear of Saints and Rangers below them.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 14Arnason
  • 19McKenna
  • 7McLean
  • 5O'ConnorBooked at 84mins
  • 3ShinnieBooked at 58mins
  • 8StewartSubstituted forWrightat 82'minutes
  • 22ChristieSubstituted forRossat 88'minutes
  • 9Rooney
  • 83MaySubstituted forMaynardat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Reynolds
  • 10Maynard
  • 11Mackay-Steven
  • 15Wright
  • 18Ball
  • 20Rogers
  • 25Ross

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 14Comrie
  • 5Shaughnessy
  • 6Anderson
  • 24Easton
  • 21Scougall
  • 8Davidson
  • 18PatonSubstituted forMillarat 48'minutesBooked at 62mins
  • 3TanserSubstituted forWotherspoonat 45'minutes
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forJohnstoneat 75'minutes
  • 29Cummins

Substitutes

  • 7Millar
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 12Clark
  • 17Johnstone
  • 26Craig
  • 27Thomson
  • 28Gilchrist
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
14,879

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home13
Away4
Shots on Target
Home7
Away0
Corners
Home8
Away1
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 3, St. Johnstone 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 3, St. Johnstone 0.

Attempt saved. Nicky Maynard (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Aaron Comrie.

Attempt blocked. Frank Ross (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Greg Stewart (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Brian Easton (St. Johnstone).

Frank Ross (Aberdeen) hits the left post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Frank Ross replaces Ryan Christie.

Attempt missed. David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Nicky Maynard replaces Stevie May.

Attempt blocked. Stefan Scougall (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Kári Arnason (Aberdeen).

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

Booking

Anthony O'Connor (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Scott McKenna (Aberdeen).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Wright replaces Greg Stewart.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 3, St. Johnstone 0. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Penalty Aberdeen. Ryan Christie draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Steven Anderson (St. Johnstone) after a foul in the penalty area.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Denny Johnstone.

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

Foul by Stefan Scougall (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen).

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

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Denny Johnstone replaces Steven MacLean.

Ryan Christie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Anthony O'Connor.

Foul by Kenny McLean (Aberdeen).

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

Attempt missed. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Booking

Chris Millar (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Foul by Chris Millar (St. Johnstone).

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

Foul by Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone).

Booking

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic86202051520
2Aberdeen8620156920
3Rangers84221711614
4St Johnstone84221311214
5Motherwell84131310313
6Hibernian83411412213
7Hearts8233710-39
8Dundee82241016-68
9Hamilton82151217-57
10Ross County8215714-77
11Partick Thistle8035816-83
12Kilmarnock8035513-83
View full Scottish Premiership table

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