Of the various skills for which Aberdeen assistant Allan Russell was head-hunted, his creativity at fashioning set pieces was among the loudest trumpeted.
So he will have been pressing his case to be named man of the match when the Dons broke the deadlock within two minutes thanks to a sneaky corner straight from the training ground, settling the inevitable European butterflies with them barely out of the cocoon.
🔴 @AberdeenFC waste no time in taking the lead in Iceland!
Christian Ramírez finishes off a well-worked corner routine in style 👏 pic.twitter.com/hDRarApbVi
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) August 5, 2021
Perversely, however, Russell might have been cursing his strategy less than ten minutes later, when Aberdeen doubled their advantage from the most standard, old-school corner imaginable.
So unhindered did the ball float from Calvin Ramsay’s boot to Lewis Ferguson’s head and onwards into the Breidablik net, the Dons may have reflected that they needn’t have opened their box of tricks so early in the campaign, and could have been better served holding that one back for another day.
In the end, though, Aberdeen were glad of the breathing space opened whilst their hosts looked ill at ease.
Denied use of a home ground on whose synthetic surface they have won eight straight – five by 4-0 scores – the turf looked more alien to Breidablik than their visitors in a one-sided start.
The Icelanders have just cause to ask why a stadium fit for Austria Vienna last week was deemed beneath Aberdeen and of a fixture of such magnitude as a Europa Conference League third qualifier, particularly given the tournament’s sell as an access-widener for lesser nations.
For were it true that it exists to provide small clubs with the chance to reach phases previously beyond their ambitions, they should at least be afforded the opportunity to get there without penalty for their stature.
That, though, isn’t how UEFA works, as Aberdeen are acutely aware. Perhaps they are due to be on the right end of it for once.