Celtic may have all-but sealed the title earlier in the day, but Aberdeen showed their ruthless side as they destroyed Motherwell 4-1 in the Premiership.
Kenny McLean set them on their way with a fifth-minute penalty, with further strikes from Niall McGinn, Adam Rooney, and Jonny Hayes. A bizarre own-goal from Ash Taylor served as Motherwell’s only reply.
The Dons were quick out of the traps, and the influential Hayes twisted and turned his way past Louis Laing before the defender bundled the Irishman over.
Referee Bobby Madden had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and McLean was equally ruthless, rolling the ball low to Connor Ripley’s right.
For their part, Motherwell enjoyed a good chunk of possession in the early stages of the match, but failed to seriously test debutant Aberdeen keeper Adam Collin.
And slowly but surely, the home side began to take control, and they were rewarded with a second goal after 26 minutes.
Shay Logan, who signed a two-year contract extension during the week, was the provider, with his low cross from the right steered home from 10 yards by McGinn.
At times, the game resembled a training match for the Dons, but there was something of a blow for them, as Welsh international striker Simon Church was forced from the field shortly before the interval through injury.
That was tempered, though, as top scorer Rooney rose from the bench to make his return from a thigh injury.
The former Birmingham striker was quickly in the thick of the action, and his angled header from a Logan cross flashed across the face of goal after 52 minutes.
He didn’t have to long to wait before marking his return with a goal, though. Just two minutes later, he rifled the ball home from close range after McGinn’s free-kick had been headed off the crossbar by Andrew Considine.
However, Motherwell pulled a goal back in the most bizarre of fashions. Taylor cleared a cross only as far as Chris Cadden, whose shot looked to be heading safely into the arms of Collin, only for Taylor to head past the goalkeeper from point-blank range.
Boosted by their goal, Motherwell pressed on and Louis Moult came close to further reducing the deficit, only to see his angled shot drift wide of Collin’s left-hand upright.
But Hayes put the seal on things with a stunning solo strike with 12 minutes remaining. He outstripped two ‘Well defenders as he burst into the penalty area, and lifted the ball over Ripley.
There was further drama, though as Keith Lasley’s challenge on McLean sparked a furious bust-up, resulting in the Steelmen’s captain being shown the red card.