It was St Johnstone’s most complete league performance of the season and their biggest margin of victory at McDiarmid Park since Callum Davidson became manager.
Courier Sport explores the Opta statistics to see what can be learned from the 3-1 triumph against local rivals Dundee.
The Michael O’Halloran myth
Assumptions were made by some that, with Saints so dominant on the ball, Michael O’Halloran the right wing-back was effectively Michael O’Halloran the right winger in all but name, an auxiliary forward without serious defensive responsibilities.
A look at O’Halloran’s touch map shows that to be untrue.
He actually had more touches in the Saints half than in Dundee’s (28 to 26).
Compare O’Halloran’s touch map with Shaun Rooney’s against Ross County on day one of the league season, another game in which Saints were able to pin their opposition back, and puts into perspective the balance O’Halloran struck.
Rooney was camped up-field. The touch ratio that afternoon was 11 in his own half and 50 in County’s.
If managers believe that when O’Halloran plays at wing-back in future they can target him as a defensive weak-link who neglects his back-tracking duties, they will need to think again.
Two centre-forwards does not make it an old-fashioned partnership
Nobody can challenge the effectiveness of Chris Kane and Stevie May on Saturday.
Both had their best Premiership games of season and wrote their names all over the contest with the quality of their link-up play and finishes.
The duo’s decisive near-post runs, in particular, augur well for the months ahead.
It was a modern-day partnership that wasn’t a partnership.
This wasn’t a case of one benefitting from the other’s flick-ons or balls round the corner.
The average position map shows the different roles May and Kane fulfilled – and the distance they were apart.
For Kane – it was the deepest he has dropped all season.
He was only the fourth highest up the pitch Saints player.
And when it came to who he was looking to combine with, O’Halloran, Liam Craig and Ali Crawford were all above May.
Cammy MacPherson’s all-round game
It would be dangerous to read too much into half-an-hour of football from a substitute on debut.
But the evidence to the naked eye – and the Opta statistics – paint a picture of a proper box-to-box midfielder.
Not a direct replacement for Ali McCann but the nearest thing in the Saints squad to it.
His is a well-balanced touch map.
To say MacPherson got straight to the pace of the game wouldn’t do his 30-minute cameo justice.
The on-loan St Mirren man’s total of 30 touches was eight greater than the player he came on for (Crawford) accumulated in half the time.
He also managed four more passes.
It was a taster that has left Saints fans – and probably the Saints manager – excited about what more is to come after the international break.