Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen2MotherwellMotherwell1

Aberdeen 2-1 Motherwell

By Andy BurkeBBC Scotland
  • Aberdeen move within three points of Celtic
  • McDonald gives Well deserved half-time lead
  • Two defensive errors put Reds in charge
  • Well could be bottom by Saturday night

Two errors from Motherwell goalkeeper George Long allowed Aberdeen to recover from a goal down to secure a hard-earned Premiership victory.

The Steelmen took a first-half lead at Pittodrie when Scott McDonald diverted home a Lee Erwin shot.

Long fumbled into his own net having saved an Ash Taylor header before a mix-up with Louis Laing allowed Adam Rooney in to score the winner.

The Dons are now three points behind Celtic at the top of the Premiership.

The leaders, though, have a game in hand as they play Dundee United in the League Cup final on Sunday.

Motherwell remain deep in relegation trouble, sitting just a point above bottom club St Mirren and two adrift of 10th-placed Ross County.

Ryan Jack was the first to train his sights on goal for the home side, but his strike sailed comfortably over Long's crossbar.

McDonald had a couple of lovely early touches, demonstrating why the Motherwell fans have such hope that the talismanic striker can lead them away from relegation danger.

Erwin was presented with a great chance to give the visitors the lead on the half-hour. The ball broke favourably to allow the former Arbroath man a clear run on Jamie Langfield's goal, but the Dons keeper stood up well to make the block.

McDonald's goal gave Motherwell a first-half lead
McDonald's goal gave Motherwell a first-half lead

Erwin played a major part in the opening goal on 37 minutes. He picked the ball up midway inside the Aberdeen half and, with the defence standing off him, fired a shot from the edge of the box, with McDonald applying a crucial touch to divert the ball past Langfield and into the net.

Kenny McLean had gone close for Aberdeen with a strike from the edge of the box just before the goal, and the January signing from St Mirren almost equalised when he headed Niall McGinn's cross goalwards, but Long dived to his right to make the save.

The Motherwell keeper was culpable five minutes into the second half, however, as the Dons drew level.

Some desperately poor marking at a corner allowed Taylor a free header from just six yards out. Long made a wonderful reaction save, only to turn the loose ball into his own net.

The Well stopper's evening continued on a downward trajectory just two minutes later.

A hopeful punt downfield looked to be a straightforward matter for defender Laing to deal with, but Long charged from his goal to try to take charge of the situation. Seemingly unaware of his keeper's position, Laing nodded the ball back towards the unguarded goal, allowing Rooney to steal in for his 24th - and probably easiest - goal of the season.

McGinn looked to put the game beyond Motherwell 15 minutes from time, but after a driving run he pulled his shot from 20 yards just wide of the target.

The Dons could not apply the killer third goal, but in the end it wasn't required as they sealed the three points that keeps them hot on the heels of their Parkhead rivals.

McInnes' side have suffered just one defeat in their last 14 Premiership matches
Derek McInnes' Aberdeen have suffered just one defeat in their last 14 Premiership matches

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Langfield
  • 5Taylor
  • 28DanielsSubstituted forPawlettat 35'minutesSubstituted forRobertsonat 90'minutes
  • 6Reynolds
  • 10McGinn
  • 2Logan
  • 22Jack
  • 7McLean
  • 3Considine
  • 9Rooney
  • 17GoodwillieSubstituted forRobsonat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 16Pawlett
  • 19Robertson
  • 20Brown
  • 25Shankland
  • 29Driver

Motherwell

  • 1Long
  • 18Law
  • 45Laing
  • 6McManus
  • 44Straker
  • 47GrantSubstituted forAinsworthat 65'minutes
  • 14LasleyBooked at 62mins
  • 48Pearson
  • 24JohnsonSubstituted forSuttonat 77'minutes
  • 77McDonaldBooked at 84mins
  • 19ErwinBooked at 79minsSubstituted forThomasat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Ramsden
  • 7Ainsworth
  • 9Sutton
  • 12Twardzik
  • 15O'Brien
  • 22Moore
  • 26Thomas
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
13,267

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home14
Away7
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away2
Fouls
Home5
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 2, Motherwell 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 2, Motherwell 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Josh Law.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Josh Law.

  5. Post update

    Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Stephen Pearson (Motherwell).

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Clark Robertson replaces Peter Pawlett because of an injury.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right.

  9. Post update

    Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by John Sutton (Motherwell).

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Dom Thomas replaces Lee Erwin.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Josh Law.

  14. Booking

    Scott McDonald (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

  17. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Anthony Straker.

  18. Post update

    Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

  20. Booking

    Lee Erwin (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic27203456144263
2Aberdeen28193649262360
3Inverness CT28165742291353
4Dundee Utd27144949381146
5Hamilton29125123940-141
6St Johnstone28125112527-241
7Dundee2810993939039
8Kilmarnock2898113036-635
9Partick Thistle2877143536-128
10Ross County2866162952-2324
11Motherwell2964192254-3222
12St Mirren2863192246-2421
View full Scottish Premiership table

Top Stories