Ryan Christie inspired Aberdeen to a stunning 7-2 demolition of Motherwell at Pittodrie as the Dons moved three points clear in the race for second place in the Scottish Premiership.
Adam Rooney scored a hat-trick for the rampant Reds as they put Well to the sword in stunning fashion to move clear of managerless Rangers.
Graeme Shinnie missed out due to suspension for the Dons as Derek McInnes made his first change to the starting line-up in nine matches. On-loan Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie was given his first start in midfield.
Well arrived at Pittodrie following a free weekend due to their Scottish Cup exit but manager Mark McGhee made three changes to the side which lost 3-0 at Hearts on February 4 with Stephen Pearson, Lee Lucas and Elliott Frear coming in for the suspended Carl McHugh while Lionel Ainsworth and Zak Jules dropped to the bench.
Aberdeen were in front inside two minutes with Adam Rooney’s shot blocked by Stephen McManus but only as far as Jonny Hayes who fired home the loose ball.
It took the Dons until the 32nd minute to add to their tally but the deservedly doubled their lead when Andy Considine celebrated signing his new two-year deal by heading Niall McGinn’s corner past Samson.
The home side were rampant and they added another two before the interval to end the game as a contest.
Hayes took advantage of some shocking defending from the home side to set-up Rooney for the third before a quick corner ended with Christie scoring a cracker, with a deft chip over the Motherwell goalkeeper.
Former Dons manager McGhee was sent to the stand on the hour mark for comments to the fourth official and the goals continued to flow for the Dons as Rooney added a fifth from the penalty spot after Shay Logan had been tripped by Stevie Hammell before completing his hat-trick with a glancing header from a McGinn corner.
Ryan Bowman’s header and a Stephen Pearson goal brought some respectability for Well but the Dons added a seventh through substitute Peter Pawlett on a night to remember for the home support.