Match ends, Motherwell 0, Aberdeen 2.
Motherwell 0-2 Aberdeen
Two goals in three minutes helped Aberdeen move clear in second place in the Premiership after a dominant display against Motherwell at Fir Park.
The visitors had the better of the first half, with Greg Stewart going close to an opener.
Motherwell showed much more at the start of the second half but Kari Arnason headed Aberdeen in front.
Then Kenny McLean played a delightful one-two with Greg Stewart and coolly slotted into the far corner.
The result put Aberdeen three points clear of third-placed Rangers and ended Motherwell hopes of reaching the top six.
Defending champions Celtic are nine points above Aberdeen with a game in hand.
On Monday assistant manager Tony Docherty urged Aberdeen to "grab the opportunity", and, despite a sticky 10-minute period after the break, that is exactly what the Dons did.
The first half was an entertaining watch despite the lack of goals.
Stewart showed signs of the enterprise and skill down the right-hand side that helped his stock rise so much at Dundee. On one occasion he dribbled past a couple of challenges before cutting inside and shooting over.
Stephen Hendrie - the former Hamilton defender on loan at Motherwell from League One Southend United - had the job of shackling Stewart and it was not an easy assignment. But the left-back did react well to block a McLean header after the midfielder had been set up well by Stewart.
McLean would see another deflected effort go wide and Stevie May had a shot that sailed over the crossbar.
A reminder of the Steelmen's threat, though, was offered by Elliott Frear just before the break. The Englishman leaped to connect with a deep Richard Tait cross and forced Joe Lewis into a one-handed save that, luckily for the visitors, did not drop to the feet of Ryan Bowman or Curtis Main.
Main came to prominence after half-time. The former Middlesbrough and Portsmouth man has determination in bucket-loads and serious strength to match.
Tom Aldred had already watched a diving header go past the post before Main outmuscled Arnason and took a pot-shot at goal from 20 yards. The wet conditions meant Lewis could not gather at the first attempt but he recovered in time.
Main then combined wonderfully with Frear down the left and the latter's cross was desperately headed clear, another sign of the home side starting to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
Ivory Coast call-up Cedric Kipre halted the hosts' increasing momentum when he was dispossessed by May on the edge of the box, again the wet conditions not helping the Motherwell defender.
May's shot was blocked on that occasion, but two quick Aberdeen hammer blows were coming.
The Dons' first goal was all about the timing of Arnason's leap as he rose to head in McLean's corner for his third of the season. The Icelandic defender's goal was in front of the busy away end and no sooner had those travelling fans sat down, than they were up cheering again.
This time a clever pass by Stewart near the bye-line teed up McLean for a lovely, low, left-footed curler into the far corner.
It was a massive three minutes for Aberdeen, who had looked under real pressure in the opening period of the second half, yet stayed resolute to make it six games unbeaten.
- 2TaitBooked at 80mins
- 8McHughSubstituted forNewellat 78'minutes
- 22CampbellSubstituted forBigirimanaat 45'minutes
- 11FrearSubstituted forMacLeanat 63'minutes
- 14ArnasonSubstituted forBallat 88'minutes
- 8StewartSubstituted forRooneyat 90+2'minutes
- 22ChristieSubstituted forWrightat 90+2'minutes
- Don Robertson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Motherwell 0, Aberdeen 2.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Wright replaces Ryan Christie.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Adam Rooney replaces Greg Stewart.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Dominic Ball replaces Kári Arnason because of an injury.
Delay in match Kári Arnason (Aberdeen) because of an injury.
Attempt blocked. George Newell (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Attempt saved. Greg Stewart (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) right footed shot from long range on the right is blocked.
Richard Tait (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Richard Tait (Motherwell).
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Richard Tait.
Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell).
Substitution, Motherwell. George Newell replaces Carl McHugh.
Foul by Ryan Christie (Aberdeen).
Curtis Main (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Cedric Kipre.
Attempt missed. Stevie May (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.