Grant Russell at Pittodrie
Louis Moult scored his 50th goal for Motherwell as the team won all three points in a excellent performance at Aberdeen.
The striker scored a double within minutes either side of the half-time break to send the Steelmen into next week’s Betfred Cup final on a high.
Manager Stephen Robinson tweaked his formation to switch to a back four, with a midfield diamond seeing Chris Cadden moving to slot in behind the strike partnership of Louis Moult and Ryan Bowman.
After a good start from Motherwell, it was the hosts who carved out the first real goalscoring opportunity. Ryan Christie burst clear on the left byline and crossed to the near post, but Adam Rooney’s flick dropped wide.
The visitors then immediately responded with a great chance of their own with only five minutes on the clock. Bowman held the ball up well to feed Liam Grimshaw on the edge of the box, with Joe Lewis having to stretch far to his right to turn the ball away.
Lewis again came to the Dons’ rescue straight after. Andy Rose found space 10 yards out to the left of the goal, but the ‘keeper stood tall to block his shot.
The Steelmen continued to cause problems. Next Rose had another shot from just inside the box which Lewis tipped back across the six-yard box, but Peter Hartley just couldn’t connect at the back post.
The game calmed down for the majority of the first half afterwards, with neither side able to carve out another real opportunity before ‘Well made the breakthrough with three minutes left in the half.
Tait’s free kick from wide on the right was perfectly placed to meet the head of Moult at the back post, and his header looped over Lewis to give the visitors a deserved lead at the break.
Early in the second half, Motherwell doubled their advantage and it was that man Moult again.
Cadden beat McKenna for pace down the right and his brilliant low cross to the front post was met perfectly by the striker’s run, giving Moult his 50th goal in Motherwell colours.
Motherwell immediately looked to tighten up defensively, withdrawing Bowman for Elliot Frear, who dropped in to the left of midfield, with Cadden moving to the right.
From then on in it was consistent pressure from the Dons, with Robinson’s men looking to capitalise on the counter. Trevor Carson had to be smart to parry May’s near post shot from close range with 20 minutes to spare, but the backline defended expertly to keep Derek McInnes’ side at bay.
Motherwell: Carson; Tait, Kipre, Hartley, Dunne; Rose, McHugh, Grimshaw (Campbell 71), Cadden; Moult (Fisher 87), Bowman (Frear).
Subs not used: Griffiths, Tanner, Plummer, Petravicius.
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Arnason, McKenna, Considine; Tansey (May 45), O’Connor, McLean; Christie, Rooney (Stewart 82), Mackay-Steven (Wright 70).
Subs not used: Rogers, Reynolds, Maynard, Ball.
[tab:As it happened]
Alastair Reilly at Pittodrie
FT: Aberdeen 0 – 2 Motherwell
A comfortable afternoon’s work for the Steelmen. Moult on the double! COYW!!!!
90′ | 0-2
Three minutes added on.
89′ | 0-2
Motherwell sub, Moult off for Fisher
86′ | 0-2
Christie booked for a rash foul.
82′ | 0-2
Aberdeen sub, Stewart on for Rooney
81′ | 0-2
Moult sizing up a free-kick some 28 yards out……unlucky. Lands on the roof of the net.
73′ | 0-2
Chance for May as he gets in behind down the left but from a tight angle Carson tips his shot by the post.
72′ | 0-2
Motherwell sub, Campbell on for Grimshaw
70′ | 0-2
Aberdeen sub, Wright on for Mackay-Steven
56′ | 0-2
Motherwell sub, Bowman off for Frear
55′ | 0-2
Great play by Cadden as he bursts pas McKenna and fires a great ball across goal to MOULT who fires in his 50th Motherwell goal!!!
A change for the Dons at half-time, May on for Tansey
Aberdeen get the second 45 underway. COYW!!
HT: Aberdeen 0 – 1 Motherwell
A deserved first-half lead for the Steelmen
43′ | 0-1
Tait fires in a deep free-kick to MOULT who evades his marker and heads home!! COYW!!!
40′ | 0-0
Bowman booked. Not a lot in that really.
17′ | 0-0
Grimshaw’s cross can only be headed out for a Motherwell corner….Cadden swings it in but Rose heads wide of the post.
10′ | 0-0
Close again! Rose again calls Lewis into action with a great effort but again the ‘keeper is up to the challenge, palming the ball away from the onrushing Bowman.
9′ | 0-0
McHugh’s shot from inside the box is deflected over the bar for a corner….Cadden’s inswinging corner asks questions of Lewis who has to punch it to safety.
5′ | 0-0
Close again! Rose gets the break of the ball inside the box but Lewis manages to palm away his powerful shot.
5′ | 0-0
Chance! Bowman works the ball to Grimshaw who tries his luck from the edge of the box with a good low effort but its beaten away by Lewis
4′ | 0-0
Christie battles well down the left and gets a low cross in at the front post which Rooney flicks wide of the post.
1′ | 0-0
Early sniff of goal as Dunne gets in behind the Aberdeen defence and gets a good cross in but it’s nodded behind for a corner.
The Steelmen get the action underway. COYW!!!
Out come the two sides here at Pittodrie, with ‘Well in their black away kit. It’s a cold one!
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: “It was a terrific performance today. We had the performance against Ross County but we had the end product today.
“From start to finish we implemented a new system today, we worked on it all week and the boys really bought in to it, really applied themselves well and we probably could have won by more goals today.
“Tactically, I can do what I want but if the players don’t buy in to it or take it on board then they’re the ones who have to go out there on the pitch and deliver it, and they did.”