Scottish Premiership
Motherwell1Aberdeen3

Motherwell 1-3 Aberdeen

Graeme Shinnie (second left) gave Aberdeen an early lead
Graeme Shinnie (second left) gave Aberdeen an early lead

Aberdeen narrowed the gap to the top two in the Premiership by beating Motherwell in a Fir Park cracker.

Graeme Shinnie finished Jonny Hayes' cut-back, but Scott McDonald levelled for Motherwell with an overhead kick.

Adam Rooney and Louis Moult both saw penalties saved, but Rooney was able to score the rebound from his to put the Dons back in front.

Moult and Aberdeen's Andrew Considine both headed onto the bar before Niall McGinn sealed the points late on.

Attackers on top

The good news for the hardy fans who braved the elements was the plethora of chances they got to enjoy. This was due to a mix of lively forward play and - at times - less than impressive defending.

First up, Craig Samson and Ben Heneghan got into bother in their own final third, allowing Aberdeen to seize possession. Hayes drove into the box before setting up Shinnie, who calmly finished into the bottom corner to give the visitors a dream start.

But Motherwell looked dangerous throughout - especially from set-pieces - while the Aberdeen defence at times looked ill at ease.

There is an incisiveness and inventive quality to the forward play of Moult and McDonald and it would be a moment of magic from the latter that conjured the equaliser.

The former Australia international had his back to goal but somehow hooked a volley over his shoulder and in off the underside of the bar to make it 1-1.

At the other end, Ash Taylor failed to finish two headers within a minute of each other.

Motherwell's Scott McDonald (third left) watches as his overhead kick hits the net
Motherwell's Scott McDonald (third left) watches as his overhead kick hits the net

Spot-kick controversy

Rooney has never been a player you would accuse of diving - but did he 'anticipate contact' to earn his side a penalty?

Samson spilled a long shot and as he scrambled for the ball he dived at the feet of Rooney, who went down, and referee Bobby Madden pointed to the spot.

Rooney took it himself, Samson saved and spilled again, but the forward was there to fire the rebound into the roof of the net.

Keith Lasley then went down under challenge from Mark Reynolds - another penalty, and this one looked more convincing.

Up stepped Moult but Joe Lewis pulled off a superb save. There then followed a melee in the box with ricochets aplenty. At one point the ball even hit the post, but eventually the Aberdeen defenders were able to clear the danger.

Dons take control

With the lead at the interval, Aberdeen came out in the second half looking much the better side.

On numerous occasions they got into the Motherwell box, Shinnie in particular with a couple of chances which fell to his less favoured right foot.

Hayes also looked in the mood, cutting like a laser at times through the Motherwell defence.

At the other end Moult crashed a header off the bar as Motherwell rallied, before Considine rattled the crossbar for Aberdeen with another header from a corner as the entertainment level continued to hit the heights.

Hayes again then cut into the box but his goal bound effort was touched around the post by Samson.

Hayes proved to be the difference as Aberdeen made it 3-1. His searing pace on the break left the Motherwell defenders in his wake. He cut the ball back for McGinn who produced a finish of real class, finding the far corner of the net as the Dons left Fir Park with all three points.

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Highlights: Motherwell 1-3 Aberdeen

Reaction

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee: "The two goals we conceded in the first half were ludicrous. It was a joke really, a total joke and it's cost us the game in the end.

"We weren't out-played, we weren't out-fought, we weren't out-run. We just made ridiculous mistakes in the first half that put us in a difficult position that we couldn't get back.

"I'm hugely disappointed with the result, I'm hugely disappointed with those two goals but I'm not at all disappointed with the performance."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "The performance was very mature, a very experienced performance littered with lots of good play.

"We controlled the second half but while it's only 2-1 you never think you're there, especially at Motherwell.

"Brilliant finish from wee Niall to get the third goal and seal the three points. A strong performance from us."

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 1Samson
  • 2Tait
  • 4Heneghan
  • 6McManusSubstituted forBowmanat 86'minutes
  • 3Hammell
  • 12CaddenSubstituted forAinsworthat 79'minutes
  • 14LasleySubstituted forThomasat 45'minutes
  • 20ClayBooked at 63mins
  • 18Lucas
  • 77McDonaldBooked at 77mins
  • 9Moult

Substitutes

  • 7Ainsworth
  • 11Bowman
  • 13Brill
  • 23Thomas
  • 25Ferguson
  • 29Mackin
  • 30McMillan

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 5Taylor
  • 6ReynoldsBooked at 70mins
  • 4Considine
  • 22JackBooked at 73mins
  • 3Shinnie
  • 10McGinn
  • 7McLean
  • 11HayesSubstituted forO'Connorat 90+2'minutes
  • 9Rooney

Substitutes

  • 8Burns
  • 15O'Connor
  • 16Pawlett
  • 17Stockley
  • 23Maddison
  • 25Alexander
  • 39Storey
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
3,428

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamAberdeen
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home12
Away24
Shots on Target
Home4
Away9
Corners
Home5
Away5
Fouls
Home11
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Motherwell 1, Aberdeen 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Motherwell 1, Aberdeen 3.

Attempt missed. Ryan Bowman (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Anthony O'Connor replaces Jonny Hayes.

Foul by Dom Thomas (Motherwell).

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 1, Aberdeen 3. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Jonny Hayes.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Ryan Bowman replaces Stephen McManus.

Craig Clay (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kenny McLean (Aberdeen).

Stephen McManus (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

Attempt missed. Stephen McManus (Motherwell) header from the right side of the six yard box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Ash Taylor.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Ryan Jack.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Craig Samson.

Attempt saved. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Lionel Ainsworth replaces Chris Cadden.

Attempt missed. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Booking

Scott McDonald (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) right footed shot from long range on the left is just a bit too high.

Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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

Booking

Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

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

Booking

Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen).

Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) hits the bar with a header from the left side of the six yard box.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Richard Tait.

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

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

Louis Moult (Motherwell) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic17161047133449
2Rangers1810532518735
3Aberdeen1894532181431
4Hearts197753425928
5St Johnstone187652420427
6Ross County194872032-1220
7Dundee1954101826-819
8Kilmarnock194781631-1519
9Partick Thistle194692229-718
10Motherwell184592231-917
11Hamilton1821061925-616
12Inverness CT183782334-1116
View full Scottish Premiership table

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