Duk at the double as resurgent Aberdeen brush aside Kilmarnock
Aberdeen’s fantastic recent revival continued as a Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes double sealed a 2-0 win over Kilmarnock which lifted them up to third place in the cinch Premiership.
The Cape Verde international opened the scoring after less than 20 seconds and added a second just before the hour mark as Barry Robson’s Dons dominated former boss Derek McInnes’ Kilmarnock side.
The opener could not have been easier for the home side as they sliced through the visitors straight from kick-off.
Bojan Miovski played the final ball through to Duk, who steadied himself before firing low past Sam Walker from just inside the area.
The flying start gave the Dons a platform from which to dominate the first half, although it was beyond the half-hour mark before Liam Scales’ back-post header from a Leighton Clarkson free-kick next threatened the Killie goal.
The visitors came into the game in the last 10 minutes of the first half, with Christian Doidge heading wide and seeing Kelle Roos save well from a smart volley just before the break.
Aberdeen threatened in between, with Walker saving smartly from Miovski before a penalty claim was turned down when Jonny Hayes went flying in a tussle with Daniel Armstrong.
Between the challenge and the subsequent VAR check there was a flashpoint as Killie youngster David Watson challenged Duk out wide before kicking the ball off the Dons man.
That sparked a melee as players from both sides waded in, but eventually only Watson saw a yellow card.
The visitors were first to threaten after the break as Lewis Mayo struck wide, but the home side were soon back in their rhythm and Clarkson was let down by his first touch when Duk’s pass looked to have sent him clear of the defence.
The pair were involved again as Aberdeen doubled their advantage.
Clarkson’s superb pass found Miovski and, while his effort was mis-hit across the face of goal, Duk raced in to tap home at the back post for his 17th goal of the season.
With the points secure, Aberdeen brought on 16-year-old Alfie Bavidge for a taste of first-team football and the striker was keen to make an impact, flashing a shot wide of target from the edge of the box just moments after coming on.
Scott Robinson touched home for Kilmarnock at the back post following an injury-time corner, but after a lengthy VAR check the effort was ruled offside.