Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen2Livingston1

Aberdeen 2-1 Livingston: Derek McInnes' side stay fourth

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Highlights: Aberdeen 2-1 Livingston

Aberdeen stayed fourth in the Scottish Premiership after inflicting a first defeat in six games for Livingston.

Connor McLennan's first goal of the season opened the scoring, the winger bundling home following a counter-attack in the first half.

Bruce Anderson then confirmed the points with a second-half finish.

Gary Holt's side grabbed a late consolation goal through Lyndon Dykes' 10th of the season, as they stayed in seventh place.

Aberdeen win festive skirmish

Holt brought Livingston to Aberdeen on Christmas Day to ensure they were properly prepared, but in the early stages it seemed as though both sides had enjoyed the festivities a little too much.

Players huffed and puffed across the park, with the only moment of genuine ingenuity the passage of play that put the hosts in front after 13 uneventful minutes.

Niall McGinn played Lewis Ferguson through into yards of space in the middle of the pitch then, as Livingston's defence amassed around him, he laid the ball off for McLennan to tap home.

Livingston had by no means looked devoid of ideas but they - like Aberdeen for much of the half - lacked the sharpness in the final third to turn a lot of running and tackling into genuine chances.

Holt's side could have levelled just before the break when Scott Pittman was played through, but the on-rushing Joe Lewis managed to get enough on the midfielder's right-footed shot to turn it away.

Livingston hadn't looked like a side who were undefeated in their last five games. Aberdeen, without suspended star striker Sam Cosgrove, were perhaps doing as well as could be expected.

McInnes' side had lost just one of their nine home league games prior to this and, as the second half marched on, it became clear that the hosts were settling into a comfortable routine.

They soaked up pressure then continued to break on the counter through the pace and skill of McLennan and McGinn.

Indeed, McGinn came close to doubling the lead just after the hour when McLennan poked the ball through to him, but the winger couldn't bend the ball in.

Six minutes later, the duo again linked up to cause more havoc. This time McGinn fired a shot from the right, only to then watch it deflect into the air where McLennan headed towards goal. A lunging save from Matija Sarkic stopped it.

McInnes brought on Anderson and, as the game stuttered to a conclusion, the 21-year-old striker alleviated any nervousness among the home fans when he latched on to the end of a through ball and curled into the far corner of the net.

Livingston would eventually get their goal - a front-post glancing header from Dykes following an inch-perfect Steven Lawless cross - but Holt's side had left it too late.

McKenna

Man of the match - Lewis Ferguson

BBC Scotland's Tyrone Smith at Pittodrie

It was difficult to pick a man of the match in what was a pretty disappointing game. But not for the first time during his Pittodrie career, Lewis Ferguson caught the eye.

It was another tireless performance from Ferguson, who carried plenty of threat at the top end of the park. But he also did the ugly stuff well too, breaking things up in midfield, and helping shield the Aberdeen rearguard from any potential threat.

'I thought we dominated the game' - reaction

Aberdeen assistant manager Tony Docherty: "I thought it was a tough game. They've scored 10 in their last three games so we knew it was going to be difficult. I think moments of quality won the game.

"I'm slightly disappointed we never kept a clean sheet but considering the level of opponent we were playing, another home win means three points that allows us to go in to the next game with confidence."

Livingston manager Gary Holt: "I'm really frustrated. I think the game panned out as we had executed it. We were good at times, especially in the second half. I thought we dominated the game.

"But if you give two poor goals away - two that Aberdeen didn't have to work for - you're fighting an uphill battle. I don't think my keeper had a save to make and we're on the end of a 2-1 defeat again."

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'Moments of quality' won Aberdeen game - Docherty

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 33Vyner
  • 14TaylorBooked at 85mins
  • 5McKenna
  • 2Logan
  • 19Ferguson
  • 22OjoSubstituted forCampbellat 78'minutes
  • 18McLennanSubstituted forAndersonat 67'minutes
  • 11HedgesSubstituted forGallagherat 58'minutes
  • 10McGinn
  • 9Main

Substitutes

  • 6Devlin
  • 20Cerny
  • 21Gallagher
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Anderson
  • 27Ross
  • 28Wilson

Livingston

  • 30Sarkic
  • 33Lawson
  • 27Guthrie
  • 5Lamie
  • 29Taylor-Sinclair
  • 10SibbaldSubstituted forErskineat 80'minutes
  • 6Bartley
  • 11Lawless
  • 8Pittman
  • 20SoudaSubstituted forRobinsonat 74'minutes
  • 9Dykes

Substitutes

  • 1Stewart
  • 7Jacobs
  • 14Odoffin
  • 16Crawford
  • 17Robinson
  • 19Erskine
  • 21McMillan
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
14,518

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamLivingston
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home11
Away5
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home12
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 2, Livingston 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 2, Livingston 1.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Scott Pittman.

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

Foul by Chris Erskine (Livingston).

Foul by Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

Steve Tevi Lawson (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Curtis Main (Aberdeen).

Ricki Lamie (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 2, Livingston 1. Lyndon Dykes (Livingston) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Steven Lawless with a cross.

Booking

Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ash Taylor (Aberdeen).

Scott Pittman (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

Scott Pittman (Livingston) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 2, Livingston 0. Bruce Anderson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Attempt missed. Chris Erskine (Livingston) header from the centre of the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Chris Erskine replaces Craig Sibbald.

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Curtis Main (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jon Guthrie (Livingston).

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Dean Campbell replaces Funso Ojo because of an injury.

Scott McKenna (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lyndon Dykes (Livingston).

Attempt blocked. Marvin Bartley (Livingston) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Funso Ojo (Aberdeen).

Lyndon Dykes (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Scott Robinson replaces Aymen Souda.

Attempt missed. Curtis Main (Aberdeen) header from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jon Guthrie.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Lewis Ferguson.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Bruce Anderson replaces Connor McLennan.

Attempt saved. Connor McLennan (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Scott Pittman (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Foul by Curtis Main (Aberdeen).

Jon Guthrie (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

Marvin Bartley (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic19171154114352
2Rangers18152151104147
3Motherwell2012173225737
4Aberdeen2010552925435
5Hibernian206772934-525
6Kilmarnock206591723-623
7Livingston205782829-122
8Ross County195592141-2020
9St Johnstone184771533-1819
10St Mirren2044121629-1316
11Hamilton2036111833-1515
12Hearts2026121734-1712
View full Scottish Premiership table

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