Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes described an unlikely Andrew Considine hat-trick amid the 7-0 thrashing of Dundee as a “perfect night.”
The defender, who is 30 on Saturday, scored the first treble of his career as the Ladbrokes Premiership’s second-placed team ran riot at Dens Park.
A first-half double by Considine and goals from striker Adam Rooney and midfielder Kenny McLean had the points on their way to Pittodrie by the interval.
Skipper Ryan Jack drove in number five in the 51st minute and Niall McGinn celebrated the Dons’ sixth before Considine completed his hat-trick with a close-range finish.
Aberdeen moved 11 points ahead of chasing Rangers, whose new manager Pedro Caixinha sat watching from the stand and must have been impressed by the Pittodrie men’s performance.
McInnes said: “I never thought I’d see him score a hat-trick but he should have scored four as he missed an early chance.
“It was a perfect night for him and us with the fans shouting for a hat-trick and him getting it.
“We came here hoping to carry on where we left off (before the international break) but we didn’t expect that.
“We scored seven against Motherwell in February and to replicate that is great.
“We said at half-time the second half didn’t need to be as eventful as the first but the second half played out the same way, which is encouraging as well.”
A delighted Considine told BT Sport: “I’ve never scored a hat-trick before, I’ve scored two before but never three.
“It’s a fantastic early birthday present, I thought the team was fantastic.
“We got in about them early, got in their faces and took it from there.
“The quality we have in this team is incredible, the intensity from the start was really good.
“We started that way and managed to keep it going right through the second half.
“The run we’re on gives you confidence, hopefully we can keep it going now.”