Impressive Aberdeen made it back-to-back wins in the cinch Scottish Premiership for just the second time this season as they outgunned St Mirren 4-1 to move ahead of Hibernian and into the top six.
Marley Watkins and Christian Ramirez both scored a brace for the Dons, with Scott Tanser’s effort just before half-time the only consolation for the visitors.
Aberdeen were unchanged from their midweek win over Livingston, while St Mirren – who could have leapfrogged the Dons with a win – made three changes, including the return of captain Joe Shaughnessy in the centre of defence.
With rain teeming down on the Pittodrie surface, an open game was always likely, and David Bates made a crucial block to deny Eamonn Brophy after just three minutes.
Aberdeen opened the scoring four minutes later as Watkins followed up to fire home from close range after Jak Alnwick had saved his initial header.
It was 2-0 two minutes later as Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ deflected shot fell to Ramirez, who twisted to send a low right-footed effort across Alnwick and into the net from the corner of the six-yard box.
The game opened up after that with Matt Millar looking lively on the right for the visitors. Bates was well-placed to clear his header from a Jamie McGrath cross and soon after, the same player stung the palms of Joe Lewis.
The resultant corner saw Millar again denied by Lewis as the ball somehow stayed out amid a melee at the near post.
But Millar got his reward when he provided the assist for Tanser, setting up the left-back for a drilled 15-yard finish.
Any fears of an Aberdeen collapse were immediately dispelled though as the Welsh pair of Ryan Hedges and Watkins combined for the latter to fire home a similar finish from closer range.
Ramirez came close with a diving header early in the second half but his side were lucky to avoid giving away a penalty with Scott Brown taking out Alan Power. Referee Willie Collum saw no foul, however.
The introduction of Teddy Jenks for Emmanuel-Thomas on the hour mark sparked a fresh momentum for Aberdeen, with Jenks denied by Alnwick shortly after coming on. The goalkeeper would then produce a fine double-save from Funso Ojo.
The goalkeeper was left helpless when Ramirez made it 4-1 with a close-range finish at the far post from Jenks’ low ball across the face of goal 19 minutes from time.