Jackie McNamara hailed an "outstanding" Dundee United performance as they defeated Aberdeen 3-0 at Pittodrie.
First-half goals from Ryan Dow and Gary Mackay-Steven gave the visitors a commanding half-time lead.
The Dons pressed but United soaked up the pressure and added a late third through Chris Erskine.
"Defensively our work ethic - as a unit from the back four onwards - we were outstanding," McNamara told BBC Scotland.
"If I was going to be critical it would be our possession at times.
"To be fair Aberdeen put us under a lot of pressure especially in the second half, but I thought we dealt with everything.
"They had one or two chances where maybe we rode our luck a little bit, but we still had a threat going forward and we could have made it three earlier.
"To a man we were very good today."
Dundee United managed only one point in four games against Derek McInnes's men last season, but McNamara insisted his side are on a par with last season's League Cup winners.
He said: "I was reading Derek's programme notes before the game where he said they had the upper hand on us last year.
"There wasn't a lot in it and I don't think there is in terms of quality.
"Today was our day, there's another three times we'll play them, but for me to come up here and keep a clean sheet against a dangerous side in Aberdeen and score three at the other side of it, I'm absolutely delighted."
The result was also a statement of intent after they lost Ryan Gauld and Andrew Robertson during the close season.
"They're a loss," admitted McNamara. "I've said all along since I've come in here that's part of my job if we lose somebody.
"In the first season we lost Willo Flood, Jon Daly, Johnny Russell and Barry Douglas. It doesn't change and it'll be the same next year."