St Johnstone stretched their unbeaten run to eight games as they outfought and out-thought Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Saints, set up cleverly once again by boss Tommy Wright, held the Dons at bay and then struck out like a cornered animal – twice – to triumph 2-0.
It was the perfect way to celebrate Wright’s manager of the month award and new contract. No wonder the club want him to hang around until 2022.
His team scored first through Joe Shaughnessy on 71 minutes to wound the home side and then substitute Blair Alston finished them off three minutes later with a beauty of a second goal.
Aberdeen had hoped to overtake the visitors in the table but they now find themselves trailing them by four points.
The game was only three minutes old when Ross Callachan missed the target with a header from point-blank range after being found by Scott Tanser’s cross.
It was a wonderful chance for Saints but Callachan just couldn’t get enough strength behind the ball.
The Dons had an opportunity of their own on 10 minutes when the visitors’ defence was caught square but ex-McDiarmid man Stevie May’s shot flew wide of the far post.
Matty Kennedy nearly had the 325 away fans cheering on 25 minutes when he took possession wide on the right. With the angle so tight you expected him to cross but instead he lashed in a half-volley that goalie Joe Lewis had to push over the bar.
The Dons then almost grabbed the lead on 37 minutes when Max Lowe went on a mazy run up the left before crossing deep into the danger area but there were no takers.
The Perth men had keeper Zander Clark to thank just seconds before the interval when he clawed out a header by Scott McKenna.
Saints should have had a penalty on 50 minutes when Shay Logan brought down Callachan inside the box.
It was of the stonewall variety but referee Don Robertson had Wright and his bench raging when he waved play on.
David Wotherspoon fired over a wayward cross from the left on the hour mark and it almost sneaked into the net with Lewis scrambling to cover.
Up at the other end, keeper Clark got down well to parry a strike from Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson on 63 minutes.
Blair Alston came on for Callachan on 69 minutes as Saints searched for the breakthrough.
The goal duly arrived on 71 minutes and skipper Shaughnessy was the scorer.
Wotherspoon had done well to play in sub Alston and his shot was pushed away by Lewis for a corner. Wotherspoon took the kick and up leapt Shaughnessy to bullet a header past Lewis to give the visitors the lead.
Just three minutes later, it was 2-0 to Saints.
This time it was all about Alston, who picked the ball up near the halfway line, drove towards the Dons goal unchallenged then placed a classy, curling lovely shot past the stunned Lewis from 20 yards.
With the Saints fans asking for a wave from Wright and the boss obliging, Clark flew into the air to save a freekick from Aberdeen sub Niall McGinn with 10 minutes left.
The visitors then saw the game out to wrap up what was a tactical master-class from Wright.