Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell2Dundee UtdDundee United1

Motherwell 2-1 Dundee United

By Chick YoungBBC Scotland

Motherwell broke into the top six of the Premiership with victory over Dundee United at Fir Park.

A fabulous opening strike from Henri Anier - a former Motherwell player - ignited United hopes.

They were doused, however, on the stroke of half time by an equaliser from Marvin Johnson.

The same player set up Louis Moult to tap home a second-half winner, his 17th goal of the season.

It leaves United isolated at the bottom of the Premiership with Kilmarnock still eight points ahead of them with nine games remaining.

United had yet more goalkeeping bad luck inflicted upon them. After the loss of Eiji Kawashima, his replacement Lius Zwick failed to recover from an injury sustained in training and Mixu Paatelainen had to turn to Michal Szromnik.

And just to make things interesting the manager made two changes in his back three.

Szromnik produced what was a remarkable save with just four minutes gone. Cadden crossed and Scott McDonald should really have scored from just three yards out, but somehow the replacement goalie stopped the ball on the line.

Henri Anier
Henri Anier scored a stunning opener for United against his former club

Add Dixon's sizzling shot at the other end, a great run and shot from Marvin Johnson which rattled the post and it was clear that the wet surface was adding to the zip of the game.

The early game was peppered with chances and a goal had to come. And so it did after 21 minutes.

It was a sensational strike from Henri Anier, found by a John Rankin pass. The former Motherwell hero took a fine first touch and a thunderous second to drive the ball beyond Ripley. It really was a top class finish from the Estonian, dismaying the fans who once roared him on.

It was a thrilling opening half and seconds before it ended Motherwell produced an equaliser.

Josh Law floated a free kick into the box and Johnson met it with a looping header which seemed to take an age to beat the desperate, out-stretched fingers of Szromnick. It triggered an outbreak of tangible relief from the home support.

And what they did see was an outstanding display from Johnson featuring dazzling footwork and electric pace which lit up the night. He even hit the bar in the second-half.

With 65 minutes gone he tormented United again with a run to the line and a cut back for the easiest of tap ins for Moult.

Again the old curse of slack defending let the Tannadice club down. Gavin Gunning was the culprit this time.

It was a bad defeat for United who started so well. They are not lost souls yet. But hopes are fading.

Line-ups

Motherwell

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Ripley
  • 18LawSubstituted forKennedyat 87'minutes
  • 32Hall
  • 6McManus
  • 3Hammell
  • 26Cadden
  • 14LasleyBooked at 54minsSubstituted forThomasat 63'minutes
  • 8PearsonSubstituted forGomisat 34'minutes
  • 11Johnson
  • 77McDonald
  • 20Moult

Substitutes

  • 7Ainsworth
  • 9Fletcher
  • 13Samson
  • 16Kennedy
  • 17Gomis
  • 23Thomas
  • 24McFadden

Dundee Utd

Formation 3-5-2

  • 21Szromnik
  • 28DonaldsonBooked at 42mins
  • 5MorrisBooked at 74mins
  • 19Gunning
  • 20Spittal
  • 8Rankin
  • 14DowSubstituted forFraserat 76'minutes
  • 6PatonBooked at 90mins
  • 3DixonBooked at 72mins
  • 26Anier
  • 7MckaySubstituted forOfereat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Dillon
  • 9Ofere
  • 12Knoyle
  • 15Murray
  • 17Durnan
  • 22Fraser
  • 31McGovern
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
4,210

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home12
Away7
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home9
Away7
Fouls
Home8
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 2, Dundee United 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 2, Dundee United 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by John Rankin.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Paul Dixon.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Kieran Kennedy.

  7. Booking

    Paul Paton (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Morgaro Gomis (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

  10. Post update

    Louis Moult (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

  12. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Kieran Kennedy.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Kieran Kennedy replaces Josh Law.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Josh Law.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Louis Moult (Motherwell) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Henri Anier (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Dom Thomas.

  18. Post update

    Josh Law (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Henri Anier (Dundee United).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Scott Fraser replaces Ryan Dow.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic28196370224863
2Aberdeen29195549311862
3Hearts28158550262453
4Ross County29123144446-239
5St Johnstone29116124446-239
6Motherwell30115143645-938
7Dundee2881284042-236
8Partick Thistle2897122835-734
9Inverness CT2889113440-633
10Hamilton2979133249-1730
11Kilmarnock2977152951-2228
12Dundee Utd2955193053-2320
View full Scottish Premiership table

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