Scottish Premiership
Dundee Utd0Motherwell3

Scottish Premiership: Dundee United 0-3 Motherwell

Scott McDonald scored twice as Motherwell delivered a severe blow to Dundee United's hopes of escaping relegation in the Scottish Premiership.

It took until stoppage time in the first half for Stephen McManus to separate the two sides who started the night in the bottom two places.

McDonald struck following a corner before netting again from 25 yards to lift Well into eighth in the table.

Defeat leaves United 13 points adrift of nearest rivals Kilmarnock.

The opening 45 minutes were torrid, with very few chances for either side before McManus found the net.

James McFadden floated in a free-kick to the near post and the former Scotland international glanced it into the far corner

Until this point, United had the best of the few chances made.

Guy Demel attempted an extravagant overhead kick, but the ball was deflected wide of the target.

James McFadden and Stephen McManus celebrate for Motherwell
James McFadden set up Stephen McManus for Motherwell's goal

And Blair Spittal forced goalkeeper Connor Ripley to dive low to his left after waltzing past two Well defenders.

Both teams were playing a 3-5-2 formation, which meant space in the middle of the park was at a premium with neither side able to create clear-cut chances.

The home side started the second half well - and John Rankin had a net-bound header blocked on the line by team-mate Billy Mckay.

Then Ripley flapped at a Rankin cross and, from the rebound, Spittal had a header that clipped the top of the crossbar.

But Motherwell's second came from another set-piece.

Josh Law floated in a corner that was flicked on to the back post, where McDonald was allowed time to turn before firing the ball into the roof of the net.

All three points were secured when McDonald thundered home a shot from 25 yards low to the left-hand side of goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

  • 1Kawashima
  • 28Donaldson
  • 19Gunning
  • 2DillonBooked at 84mins
  • 20Spittal
  • 6Paton
  • 55DemelBooked at 64minsSubstituted forRiskiat 81'minutes
  • 8Rankin
  • 3DixonSubstituted forFraserat 57'minutes
  • 15Murray
  • 7MckaySubstituted forOfereat 57'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Ofere
  • 12Knoyle
  • 17Durnan
  • 22Fraser
  • 25Riski
  • 51Zwick
  • 54Sinama-Pongolle

Motherwell

  • 1Ripley
  • 5Laing
  • 32Hall
  • 6McManus
  • 26Cadden
  • 14Lasley
  • 24McFaddenSubstituted forLawat 65'minutes
  • 17Gomis
  • 11JohnsonSubstituted forHammellat 89'minutes
  • 77McDonaldBooked at 77minsSubstituted forFletcherat 89'minutes
  • 20Moult

Substitutes

  • 3Hammell
  • 7Ainsworth
  • 9Fletcher
  • 13Samson
  • 18Law
  • 21Leitch
  • 23Thomas
Referee:
Greg Aitken
Attendance:
6,251

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home8
Away8
Shots on Target
Home2
Away5
Corners
Home7
Away5
Fouls
Home18
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Dundee United 0, Motherwell 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Dundee United 0, Motherwell 3.

Foul by Coll Donaldson (Dundee United).

Chris Cadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Coll Donaldson (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Foul by Gavin Gunning (Dundee United).

Wes Fletcher (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Wes Fletcher (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Wes Fletcher replaces Scott McDonald.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Steven Hammell replaces Marvin Johnson.

Attempt missed. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by Scott Fraser (Dundee United).

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

Chris Cadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Scott Fraser (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Booking

Sean Dillon (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Ben Hall.

Coll Donaldson (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Riku Riski replaces Guy Demel.

Goal!

Goal! Dundee United 0, Motherwell 3. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Connor Ripley.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Eiji Kawashima.

Attempt saved. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Eiji Kawashima.

Attempt saved. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Booking

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Scott Fraser (Dundee United).

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Ben Hall (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Edward Ofere (Dundee United).

Goal!

Goal! Dundee United 0, Motherwell 2. Scott McDonald (Motherwell) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the top right corner. Assisted by Josh Law with a cross.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Paul Paton.

Foul by Edward Ofere (Dundee United).

Louis Laing (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Blair Spittal (Dundee United) hits the bar with a header from the right side of the six yard box.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic25184366214558
2Aberdeen26174545291655
3Hearts24128445242144
4Ross County26103134042-233
5Dundee258983941-233
6Inverness CT248883333032
7St Johnstone2495103940-132
8Motherwell2685132941-1229
9Hamilton2678113045-1529
10Partick Thistle237792228-628
11Kilmarnock2676132948-1927
12Dundee Utd2535172449-2514
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories