Motherwell 1-3 Aberdeen

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland at Fir Park

Two Niall McGinn penalties helped Aberdeen come back from behind to beat Motherwell in a pulsating Premiership contest at Fir Park.

Striker Henri Anier ran clean through to give the hosts a 39-second lead.

A dynamic Aberdeen side struck the crossbar twice before McGinn levelled from the spot and Mark Reynolds headed them in front.

McGinn netted from a strangely awarded penalty again to ensure the Dons got six league points out of six.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes had played down the comment that this contest was an early meeting of the two sides most likely to battle it out for second place in the Premiership.

But it looked a fair assumption on today's evidence as his men got their first league win at Fir Park in 14 attempts.

Even without the injured Barry Robson, his side looked energetic and creative, with Willo Flood, Peter Pawlett and McGinn excelling.

The departure of Estonian Henrik Ojamaa from Motherwell has been softened by the arrival of another one in the shape of Anier.

His first 'Well goal against Hibernian last weekend was a matchwinner and his next here will have endeared him to fans even more.

Motherwell returnee John Sutton showed great class, with his back to goal and 30 yards out, to play a beautiful reverse pass which released Anier, who sprinted into the box and clinically shot past Dons goalkeeper Jamie Langfield.

Far from feeling sorry for themselves, Aberdeen responded brilliantly as Peter Pawlett cracked the cross bar after using a surge of pace to get by defender Shaun Hutchinson.

Josh Magennis and Niall McGinn
Aberdeen's top scorer from last season McGinn (right) opened his account for the new term

It would not be the last time the 22-year-old's combination of direct running and trickery troubled the hosts.

Motherwell had not dropped out the game but anything of real menace was coming in the white of Aberdeen's away strip.

The frame of the goal was again struck by the visitors when forward Calvin Zola cut in from the right and curled a 20-yard effort off the angle of post and bar.

Former Burton Albion striker Zola had another chance to show why he had been brought to Pittodrie immediately after the restart, but he fresh-air swiped from close range.

Langfield was quick on his feet to thwart Anier who looked to benefit from a misjudgement by the Dons' on-loan Reading defender Michael Hector.

Aberdeen got the equaliser they deserved from the penalty spot.

A drop of the shoulder by Jonny Hayes drew a clear foul from McManus and McGinn despatched the kick high into the top right corner in front of a delighted away support.

Those supporters were thrilled again when former Motherwell centre-back met Hayes' free-kick to send a bullet header past Motherwell goalkeeper Lee Hollis.

Hollis then made an fantastic save with his toe from Josh Magennis and at the resulting corner referee Beaton awarded Aberdeen another successfully converted McGinn penalty for a foul he spotted on Joe Shaughnessy in the box.