Aberdeen moved level with leaders Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership in dramatic fashion after surviving a late St Johnstone comeback to edge a seven goal thriller at McDiarmid Park.
The Dons led 4-1 with 11 minutes to go but two late goals ensured a nervous finale for the Dons, who just held out to claim the three points they craved.
Dons manager Derek McInnes made three changes to the side which beat Celtic in midweek with Mark Reynolds, Craig Storie and Niall McGinn all dropping to the bench. Their replacements were Andy Considine, Cammy Smith and Peter Pawlett although Reynolds was restored to the starting line-up when Considine suffered an injury in the warm-up.
Saints manager Tommy Wright also freshened up his squad, making five changes to the side which lost 2-1 to Hibernian in the League Cup semi-final with Danny Swanson coming in for his debut following his return to Perth from Hearts earlier this week.
The pressure was on the Dons to take all three points to draw level with leaders Celtic and they settled into the task quickly by taking an early lead.
Smith was the creator, gathering a loose ball on the edge of the box before playing it out wide to Shay Logan and his driven cross was knocked over the line by Adam Rooney.
It was a perfect start for Aberdeen but Saints almost drew level when Steven Anderson struck the post from 10 yards after the Dons defence had failed to clear a corner.
But the Dons were not to be denied and they doubled their lead in the 20th minute when Peter Pawlett’s deflected 20 yard free kick beat Saints goalkeeper Alan Mannus.
Graham Cummins came closest to pulling a goal back for the home side before the break when he ran clear of goal but he failed to find the direct after being forced wide by Dons goalkeeper Scott Brown.
But Saints did haul themselves back into the game early in the second half when midfielder David Wotherspoon fired past Scott Brown following good work on the edge of the box by former Don Steven MacLean.
Aberdeen were not to be denied though and Niall McGinn came off the bench to make it 3-1 following fine work from Simon Church in robbing Joe Shaughnessy of possession before setting up the easiest goal the Northern Irishman will score all season.
Rooney made it 4-1 with low drive to seemingly secure the points but Saints did not give up and Steven Anderson headed home to make it 4-2 before a fizzing Tam Scobbie drive in the final minute gave the Perth side hope of snatching something from the game.
But the Dons held on to secure a vital three points.