Aberdeen were crushed 5-0 by Rangers in Glasgow to fall seven points behind the second placed Ibrox side.
Only the heroics of keeper and captain Joe Lewis kept the scoreline down.
Lewis prevented a painful humbling from being an embarrassing slaughtering.
It was horrific viewing for the travelling Red Army as the injury ravaged Dons, with eight out, offered virtually nothing in attack.
Aberdeen beat Rangers three times in Glasgow last season but there was never any chance of recreating those heroics in Govan this time.
This was as brutal a defeat the Dons have ever suffered in McInnes six and a half years as Aberdeen manager.
Aberdeen’s injury woes deepened when Andy Considine was ruled out through illness.
Zak Vyner came in as his replacement in one of two enforced changes to the starting XI that crashed out of the League Cup with a penalty shoot-out quarter final loss at Hearts.
James Wilson was also ruled out with a knee injury suffered in the cup exit at Tynecastle and Niall McGinn came in.
They added to an injury list that included Craig Bryson, Funso Ojo, Scott Wright, Stephen Gleeson, Scott Mckenna and Ash Taylor.
Rangers created the first opportunity in the second minute when Alfredo Morelos latched onto a corner kick but his 15 yard header across goal went wide.
It was an ominous early sign of what was to come.
Aberdeen fans – look away.
Again Morelos threatened in the eighth minute when he snapped in a low shot from the edge of the penalty area that flashed inches wide of Joe Lewis’ post.
Moments later Greg Stewart, on loan at Aberdeen for the second half of last season, shot just wide from 22 yards.
Aberdeen were struggling to retain any possession early on.
Next, on the quarter hour mark, Morelos broke down the right and fired a shot wide from 15 yards.
An inevitable opener came in the 19th minute when Zak Vyner, in at left sided centre-back, brought down the onrushing Morelos in the box.
Referee Bobby Madden awarded a penalty which James TAVERNIER lashed beyond keeper Lewis.
It could have been 2-0 moments later when Morelos rounded keeper Lewis in a congested penalty area and shot at goal from 12 yards.
Defender Mikey Devlin cleared the effort off the line.
In the 25th minute keeper Lewis got down quickly to save a close range drive from Sheyi Ojo. It was becoming like shootie-in for Rangers.
At times the Dons had six across the back, trying to hold back the flood.
In the 38th minute Scott Arfield unleashed a powerful 25 yard drive that was saved by Lewis.
On the rare occasions Aberdeen pushed up front and forced a corner or free kick in Rangers’half the delivery was poor and possession went straight back to the Ibrox club and the pattern of wave after wave of Rangers attacks continued.
It was 2-0 in the 40th minute.
Tavernier flighted in a cross that found Stewart but his header was brilliantly tipped onto the post by keeper Lewis.
STEWART reacted quickly to the rebound to roll into the empty net from three yards.
The second half began as the first 45 ended, with Rangers on the attack.
In the 47th minute Tavernier fired a 22 yard volley over the bar.
Moments later Lewis yet again saved well to push a vicious 20 yard drive from Stewart behind for a corner.
It was 3-0 in the 50th minute when Borna Barisic crossed from the left to the back post and MORELOS beat Lewis from six yards with an angled downward header.
In the 67th minute Aberdeen finally mustered an effort at goal when Mikey Devlin headed wide from a free–kick.
Moments later Lewis again produced a superb save when pushing a powerful drive from Stewart over the bar.
In the 70th minute it was 4-0 as Tavernier crossed into the box towards Stewart who was bundled over by Greg Leigh.
TAVERNIER converted the spot kick.
In the 79th minute Stewart, relishing playing his former team, curled a 25 yard shot inches wide of Lewis’ far post.
Rangers went 5-0 up when substitute Jermain DEFOE capitalized on slack defending to nip in and lift a 15 yard shot over Lewis.
ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan, Leigh, Devlin, McGinn, Hedges, Cosgrove, McLennan, Ferguson, Campbell, Vyner.
Subs:Gallagher (for McLennan 71), Ross (for McGinn 83), Main (for Cosgrove 87).
Subs not used: Cerny, Ross, Anderson, Barron.
RANGERS: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Jack, Davis, Ojo, Katic, Morelos, Stewart, Barisic, Arfield.
Subs: Defoe (for Ojo 59), Barker (for Morelos 68), Edmundson (for Davis 77),
Subs not used: Foderingham, Halliday, Kamara, King