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Motherwell 0 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Motherwell 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Arnason 65, McLean 67.

03/04/2018 | KO: 19:45

Quick fire double sends Dons up to second

Derek McInnes made one change to the side that defeated St Johnstone 4-1 the previous weekend with Kari Arnason replacing Gary Mackay-Steven in the starting XI.

The Dons lined up in a 4-5-1 formation with Lewis in goal; Logan, Arnason, McKenna and Considine at the back; a midfield of O'Connor, McLean and Shinnie with Stewart and Christie supporting Stevie May up front.

In horrible conditions following over 24 hours worth of torrential rain and sleet, The Dons got the game underway. Despite the adverse weather the surface was looking very good.

There were no clear cut chances in the opening five minutes and the play was fairly even.

On six minutes, Stevie May did well to collect the ball and sent in a cross towards Kenny McLean but his ball over had a touch too much on it and Carson gathered at the back post.

The visitors began to produce some nice free flowing football and on nine minutes, May found McLean and after a neat exchange Kenny tried a shot but it went wide of the target and didn't trouble Carson. Four minutes later, Christie tried to thread the ball through to Shinnie who had made a good run through the 'Well defence but Aldred did well to cut it out.

After 15 minutes a swift move up field allowed Shinnie to try a shot but the captain's right footed effort flew over the bar. A short time later, The Dons won a free kick- it was played quickly to Greg Stewart who did superbly well to race in off the right hand side, beating Hendrie then Aldred but unfortunately he lifted his effort just over the bar.

The first ten minutes were quite even but the next ten minute period saw Aberdeen start to take control of proceedings.

The Dons won the first corner of the match on the 22nd minute as they began to dominate the match. A poor clearance from Hendrie bounced off McLean but his shot was deflected behind. Then a few minutes later, Stewart lifted a neat ball to the back post but McLean's header was well blocked by Kipre for a second corner.

On the 29th minute the home side won a dubious looking free kick about 30 yards from goal- Arnason adjudged to be the offender. Campbell took the free-kick but a Motherwell head knocked the ball harmlessly behind for a goal kick.

A nice exchange down the left between May and Considine sent The Dons full back away down the left, he got the better of Kipre and delivered a low cross but Frear managed to clear. Another fine move from the Dons.

When in possession they were passing the ball about well and without the ball their pressing was knocking Motherwell off their stride. The blue jerseys were hunting in packs and snapping into tackles.

The 38th minute saw Aberdeen win another corner, more good attacking play eventually saw the ball fall for Ryan Christie but his deflected effort went wide and out for a corner which was taken by McLean but held comfortably by Carson.

Despite having little to do for most of the half Joe Lewis was called into action on 39 minutes when Motherwell arguably had the best chance so far. Tait dinked a ball into the back-post area where Frear headed the ball back across goal but Lewis got a strong arm on it and The Dons defence cleared.

With five minutes remaining of the half, McLean tried another effort which was again held comfortably by Carson. A couple of minutes later, the Dons won a free kick when Kipre barged into the back of Shinnie. Stevie May took the set piece but it was straight at Carson again as the first half ended goalless.

Aberdeen had plenty of good possession but they could not get the break of the ball inside the area.

HT Motherwell 0-0 Aberdeen

There was a substitution at half time with Campbell being replaced by Bigirimana.

A short time into the second half Motherwell won their first corner of the evening. Cadden curled in the set piece, Aldred got his head on it and the ball just went wide of the post. Had the effort been on target Aberdeen had enough players on the line, one of them would surely have cleared.

The home side though had started the second period well and then Curtis Main tried a driven effort after an Arnason slip Lewis held at the second attempt on an increasingly greasy surface.
Motherwell were certainly offering more now and had the better of the opening 15 minutes of the second period. Main was causing problems but Arnason and McKenna were standing up well to the physical battle.

After 57 minutes, the home side broke upfield with purpose and Frear won a corner. A couple of minutes later, a long ball out of the defence looked to be under the control of Kipre but May did well to put him off and won the ball off him inside the box but a deflection took it into the path of Carson - possibly via the aid of a hand.

On the hour mark the home side won a free kick in a dangerous area, only 25 yards from goal. Main's effort canned off the wall and went behind for a corner. Aberdeen cleared but a short time after 'Well won another corner. Some sustained pressure and this was by far Motherwell's best spell.

On 63 minutes a second Motherwell change, MacLean came on for Frear.

A minute later, after more good link play from Greg Stewart, McLean whipped in a great ball which Aldred did really well to head behind as there were a lot of blue shirts bursting into the area.

The ball was swung in by McLean from the corner and headed powerfully into the back of the net by Kari Arnason! The Dons had the all-important first goal. A really strong header from Kari.
As the Aberdeen fans celebrated, they did not have long to wait for the second.

Two minutes later a Logan throw in at the corner flag saw more intricate play from Greg Stewart and Kenny McLean on the right. Shay found McLean who produced a smart reverse pass for Stewart. Greg played the ball back into the path of Kenny who drove into the box and unleashed a fine low effort which beat Carson and landed in the far corner of the net. A quality finish from the midfielder.

McLean and Stewart had linked up really well all evening.

The quick fire two goals had stunned the home side.

The visitors continued to press the home side intensively. Christie won a throw in off Tait on the far side, he took it quickly to Shinnie who drove forward and found May but his effort went over the bar. Stevie again put in a power of work during the 90 minutes and unsettled the Motherwell back three.

The Dons then won a free kick wide on the left as Tait picked up a yellow card for hauling back McLean. A few minutes later, some neat skill from McKenna down by the corner flag drew some loud applause from the 962 members of the Red Army in the stand behind the goal!

Aberdeen were by now in complete control and were picking up all the second balls.

With five minutes remaining, Kari Arnason and Shinnie appeared to run into one another and the Icelander came off worse and had to be replaced By Dominic Ball. In the closing stages Greg Stewart, who had an outstanding game, was replaced by Rooney and Christie came off for Wright.

The game was over as a contest as it petered out and Aberdeen were able to see out the four minutes of injury time comfortably. A very good win against an inform Motherwell side. Also a really encouraging performance.

FT Motherwell 0-2 Aberdeen

Motherwell Teamsheet
01.Trevor Carson, 02.Richard Tait, 03.Stephen Hendrie, 19.Tom Aldred, 21.Cedric Kipre, 07.Chris Cadden, 08.Carl McHugh (24.George Newell 78), 11.Elliott Frear (26.Ross MacLean 63), 22.Allan Campbell (05.Gael Bigirimana 45), 09.Curtis Main, 12.Ryan Bowman. Unused Subs: 04.Liam Grimshaw, 13.Russell Griffiths, 34.Barry Maguire, 38.James Scott.

Bookings:  02.Richard Tait (80).
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Logan, Considine, Arnason (Ball 88), McKenna, Shinnie, O'Connor, McLean, Stewart (Rooney 90), Christie (Wright 90), May.

Unused Subs: Reynolds, Mackay-Steven, Cosgrove, Woodman.
Attendance: 4,127
Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell
Referee: Don Robertson
Next Match
27 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen