Aberdeen reached the Europa League third qualifying round by thumping Chikhura Sachkhere 5-0 at Pittodrie.
After a 1-1 draw in the first leg in the Georgian capital Tbilisi a week ago the Reds dismantled Sachkhere with a display of fast flowing football that delighted the crowd of 15,167 inside Pittodrie.
Sam Cosgrove bagged a hat-trick – to take his tally for the season to six in four games and become the first Aberdeen player since Adam Rooney against Daugava Riga five years ago to hit a European hat-trick.
Greg Leigh and Scott Wright were also on target to send the Dons through to the third qualifying round where they will meet old foes Rijeka of Croatia, who were beaten 5-2 on aggregate by Aberdeen in the second qualifying round in 2015.
Boss Derek McInnes made one change to the side which drew 1-1 in Tbilisi last week. Leigh came in for his competitive debut at left-back with Ash Taylor out due to injury.
Leigh, on-loan from Dutch side NAC Breda for the season, had missed the first three Europa League games due to an ankle injury sustained in a friendly against Inverness Caley Thistle at Elgin on July 6.
The first effort came inside 40 seconds with Besik Dekanoidze’s dipping long range shot easy for Reds keeper Joe Lewis to gather.
After that Aberdeen were on the front foot and penning Sachkhere in and it took only nine minutes for the hosts to make the breakthrough and it came from a lovely move.
Lewis Ferguson freed Ryan Hedges in space down the right, the Welshman slipped the ball onto Niall McGinn.
The Dons had an overload in the box with McGinn shifting the ball to Jon Gallagher, who in turn found Cosgrove on the left side of the area and the Englishmen cut inside onto his right foot and his shot took a deflection to loop beyond keeper Dino Hamzic and into the top right corner.
Aberdeen kept pressing and soon after the goal Gallagher fizzed in a fine cross from the left, which was cleared just before it reached Cosgrove at the back post.
In the opening quarter the Reds moved the ball at speed and the Georgian visitors struggled to cope.
That was demonstrated when the second goal arrived in the 20th minute. Shay Logan popped up in the middle of the park and nonchalantly clipped a pass out to Ferguson on the right touchline.
The midfielder fired in a first time cross on the volley which Cosgrove anticipated as he ghosted beyond Chikhura’s centre-backs to score with a diving header from six yards.
After that the Dons kept looking for a third before half-time, although as the interval neared they weren’t quite so dominant and Sachkhere did enjoy some spells of possession.
The Dons came roaring out of the traps in the second period and in the 49th minute Hamzdic made a brilliant smothering save at close quarters as Gallagher looked to knock home McGinn’s cross from the left from six yards.
At the other end Chikhura had a rare half chance when sub Giorgi Pantsulaia hit the left bye-line and cut the ball back for Mikheili Ergemlidze, but the striker’s flick was weak and straight at Lewis.
But any unlikely hopes of a comeback from Sachkhere were quashed by Aberdeen’s third in the 58th minute.
A corner broke to Ferguson on the left side of the area. Despite being confronted by two Georgian defenders he stood up a cross to the back post for left-back Leigh to powerfully head into the top left corner.
On 64 minutes the Reds made it four when Gallagher rolled through sub Wright – who had only been on the pitch two minutes – and the winger curled a low shot beyond the advancing Hamzic from the centre of the box.
With 10 minutes left Cosgrove put the icing on Aberdeen’s cake by turning a defender, driving into the box and firing into the bottom left corner with his right foot for his hat-trick and a fabulous fifth for the Dons.
Aberdeen: Joe Lewis, Shay Logan, Andy Considine, Scott McKenna, Greg Leigh (Dean Campbell 67), Lewis Ferguson, Funso Ojo, Jon Gallagher, Ryan Hedges, Niall McGinn (Scott Wright 62), Sam Cosgrove (Bruce Anderson 82).
Subs not used: Tomas Cerny, Craig Bryson, James Wilson, Stevie May.
Chikhura Sachkhere: Dino Hamzic, Revaz Chiteishvili (Teimuraz Markozashvili 52), Oleg Mamasakhlisi, Davit Maisashvili, Irakli Lekvtadze, Mikheil Ergemlidze (Demuri Chikhladze 72), Giorgi Koripadze, Besik Dekanoidze (Giorgi Pantsulaia 52), Mishiko Sardanlishvili, Lasha Chikvaidze, Shota Kashia.
Subs not used: Zurab Mtskerashvili, Irakli Kamladze, Dato Megrelishvili, Rati Ardazishvili.