31 Mar Seventh heaven for Dons
Celtic’s Ladbrokes Premiership title celebrations were put on ice after second-placed Aberdeen demolished Dundee 7-0 at Dens Park.
The Hoops would have celebrated their sixth successive championship win had the Dons lost but first-half goals from defender Andrew Considine (2), 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 got the Dons’ sixth before Considine completed his hat-trick and the night’s scoring with a close-range finish.
Celtic are still 22 points of the Granite City men and will clinch the title with a win against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.
However, Derek McInnes’ side moved 11 points ahead of chasing Rangers, whose new manager Pedro Caixinha sat watching from the stand and must have been impressed by the visitors’ performance.
Aberdeen looked sharp from the first whistle and came close to opening the scoring in the eighth minute when Considine headed a Jonny Hayes corner just over the bar.
The big defender was much more accurate in the 16th minute when the Dons forced their fifth corner, rising highest in a packed six-yard box to knock Hayes’ cross in with what looked like his shoulder.
It was the simplest of goals and must have infuriated Dens Park boss Paul Hartley.
Moments later, Dundee goalkeeper Scott Bain stretched to push away a flick from Rooney after the Dons striker had latched on to a McGinn cross.
In the 25th minute Rooney, like Considine, made more of his second opportunity – which came when right-back Shay Logan floated in a cross to the near post, this time guiding a header from eight yards past Bain.
It quickly got worse for the toiling Taysiders.
When Graeme Shinnie set up McLean in the 34th minute the midfielder took the ball on to his right foot and fired in an angled drive from 16 yards past Bain and in at the far post to make it 3-0.
And when Considine got on the end of a Shinnie cross at the back post to head in his second, the game was effectively over with some home fans heading for the exits.
Dundee brought on Henrik Ojamaa and Craig Wighton for the start of the second half at the expense of Tom Hateley and Nick Ross.
However, Aberdeen’s fifth goal was only minutes away.
The ever-busy Hayes went past Dundee defender Cameron Kerr and into the box with impressive ease and simply squared for Jack to drive the ball in off the post.
The Dons players, bursting with confidence, began shooting from distance as demoralised Dundee had no answers, looking mostly to prevent further punishment.
McGinn was credited with the sixth goal, turning in a cross from substitute Ryan Christie, although defender Kevin Gomis appeared to get the final touch.
And to complete a memorable night, Considine earned himself the match ball just hours before his 30th birthday when he forced it over the line from a searching 83rd-minute Christie free-kick.