Dundee United spoiled Motherwell's Champions League party, with Johnny Russell and Jon Daly on target.

Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph did well to deny Stuart Armstrong on two occasions before Russell bundled the ball in after eight minutes.

John Rankin and Paul Dixon clipped the woodwork for United before Well striker Michael Higdon flashed a header wide.

Daly settled the match in the visitors' favour with a close-range finish with eight minutes remaining.

Motherwell captain Stephen Craigan announced his retirement earlier in the week and, although he could not end on a high, he was given a great send-off.

The defender was presented with an award prior to kick-off and after five minutes the Fir Park crowd rose to their feet to applaud the Northern Irishman.

United broke the deadlock when Russell netted from close range, following a good double save from Randolph.

The home side were dealt a further blow after 12 minutes when Steven Hammell was stretchered off and replaced by Tim Clancy following a collision with Danny Swanson.

United came close to doubling their lead when Russell broke down the left flank and his cut-back found Rankin, who struck the outside of the post from a tight angle.

Dixon then clipped the top of Randolph's crossbar with an excellent free-kick five minutes before the interval.

Motherwell skipper Stephen Craigan

Motherwell skipper Stephen Craigan said his Fir Park farewells

The first half came to close after Higdon powered a header just wide of the target following a pinpoint delivery from Tom Hateley.

Swanson picked up a yellow card after a careless challenge on Keith Lasley and he was fortunate to escape a further caution a minute later following a mistimed tackle on Clancy.

Manager Peter Houston reacted by replacing Swanson with Ryan Dow and the midfielder almost made an immediate impact, when he struck just over after collecting Scott Robertson's pass.

Randolph made a great save to keep out Daly's curling effort and Dow again went close after connecting with Dixon's cross on 63 minutes.

Craigan saw his shot from the edge of the box drift just wide, having earlier threatened with a first-half header.

Gary Mackay-Steven came on for Armstrong in the 67th minute and the winger blasted inches wide within a minute of his introduction.

Robertson passed up a glorious opportunity to extend the visitors' lead after being released by Russell just inside the penalty area, however, the midfielder struck well over the top.

Craigan took his final bow after 78 minutes when he made way for Ross Forbes, who will also leave Fir Park at the end of the season.

United doubled their advantage when Russell set up top-scorer Daly, who was playing in central defence due to an injury crisis, for a simple tap-in.

Mackay-Steven saw his shot deflected wide by Shaun Hutchinson and Rankin's long-range strike could not find the target.

Higdon's disappointing day continued when he fired well wide in the closing minute but both sets of fans went home happy, knowing they will be playing in Europe next season.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Motherwell

  • 01 Randolph
  • 03 Hammell (Clancy - 13' Booked )
  • 05 Craigan (Forbes - 79' )
  • 15 Hutchinson
  • 04 Law (Ojamaa - 66' )
  • 06 Hateley Booked
  • 07 Humphrey
  • 08 Jennings Booked
  • 14 Lasley
  • 09 Higdon
  • 11 Murphy

Substitutes

  • 12 Hollis
  • 20 Page
  • 22 Clancy
  • 17 Daley
  • 26 Carswell
  • 18 Forbes
  • 24 Ojamaa

Dundee United

  • 01 Pernis
  • 02 Dillon
  • 03 Dixon
  • 12 Watson
  • 07 Ryan
  • 08 Robertson
  • 10 Swanson Booked (Dow - 55' )
  • 11 Rankin
  • 16 Armstrong (Mackay-Steven - 68' )
  • 09 Daly Booked
  • 15 Russell (Gauld - 87' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Banks
  • 14 Douglas
  • 42 Barrett
  • 06 Flood
  • 17 Mackay-Steven
  • 46 Gauld
  • 22 Dow
Ref: Norris
Att: 7,456

Match Stats

Shots

10 16

On target

2 7

Corners

6 4

Fouls

8 11

Live Text Commentary

92:08 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

89:30

Michael Higdon has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.

88:27

Shaun Hutchinson is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Dusan Pernis.

88:02

Henrik Ojamaa fouled by Sean Dillon, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Tom Hateley.

87:16

Shot by John Rankin from a long way out goes over the target.

86:35

Inswinging corner taken by Gary Mackay-Steven from the right by-line played to the near post, Shaun Hutchinson manages to make a clearance.

86:15 Substitution

Substitution Ryan Gauld replaces Johnny Russell.

81:54

Assist on the goal came from Johnny Russell.

81:54 Goal scored

Goal! - Jon Daly - Motherwell 0 - 2 Dundee U Jon Daly fires in a goal from close range to the top left corner of the goal. Motherwell 0-2 Dundee Utd.

81:31

The ball is crossed by Tom Hateley, Shaun Hutchinson takes a shot.

80:40

Free kick taken by Paul Dixon.

80:40 Booking

Booking Tom Hateley is booked.

80:32

Tom Hateley gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Mackay-Steven.

79:57

Unfair challenge on Ross Forbes by Jon Daly results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Ross Forbes, clearance made by Scott Robertson.

78:28 Substitution

Substitution Stephen Craigan goes off and Ross Forbes comes on.

77:30

Shot comes in from Paul Dixon from the free kick, Darren Randolph makes a comfortable save.

77:30 Booking

Booking Booking for Tim Clancy.

77:24 Booking

Booking Jon Daly is shown a yellow card.

76:28

Free kick awarded for a foul by Tim Clancy on Gary Mackay-Steven.

73:01

Scott Robertson takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.

69:07

Shot from just outside the box by John Rankin misses to the right of the goal.

67:33 Substitution

Substitution Gary Mackay-Steven on for Stuart Armstrong.

67:22

Shot from outside the box by Stephen Craigan misses to the left of the goal.

66:44

Outswinging corner taken by Tom Hateley from the right by-line played to the near post, Jon Daly makes a clearance.

66:03

Inswinging corner taken by Tom Hateley from the left by-line, Paul Dixon manages to make a clearance.

65:13 Substitution

Substitution Henrik Ojamaa joins the action as a substitute, replacing Nicky Law.

64:06

Ryan Dow produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

62:44

Shot from 25 yards from Johnny Russell. Save by Darren Randolph.

60:15

Unfair challenge on Stephen Craigan by Johnny Russell results in a free kick. Steve Jennings takes the direct free kick.

59:25

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ryan Dow.

59:10

Jon Daly takes a shot. Brilliant save by Darren Randolph.

58:35

Corner taken by Ryan Dow.

56:18

Ryan Dow takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.

54:53 Substitution

Substitution Ryan Dow joins the action as a substitute, replacing Danny Swanson.

53:02

Danny Swanson concedes a free kick for a foul on Keith Lasley. Tom Hateley has an effort direct from the free kick.

51:58

Nicky Law takes the direct free kick.

51:58 Booking

Booking Booking for Danny Swanson for unsporting behaviour.

51:39

Danny Swanson challenges Keith Lasley unfairly and gives away a free kick.

49:48

Shaun Hutchinson fouled by Keith Watson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

46:52

Corner taken by Danny Swanson from the left by-line, save made by Darren Randolph.

46:37

Keith Lasley challenges Scott Robertson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Scott Robertson restarts play with the free kick.

45:58

Effort from just outside the area by Steve Jennings goes over the bar.

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:00 +2:03 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

44:15

Strike on goal comes in from Richie Ryan from the free kick.

44:15 Booking

Booking Booking for Steve Jennings.

44:07

Keith Lasley concedes a free kick for a foul on Danny Swanson.

41:41

The ball is crossed by Tom Hateley, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Michael Higdon misses to the right of the target.

40:56

Free kick awarded for a foul by Danny Swanson on Tim Clancy. Tim Clancy takes the direct free kick.

38:28

Stuart Armstrong fouled by Stephen Craigan, the ref awards a free kick. Shot on goal comes in from Paul Dixon from the free kick,

37:20

Free kick awarded for a foul by Stuart Armstrong on Shaun Hutchinson. Direct free kick taken by Tom Hateley.

36:41

Effort on goal by Michael Higdon from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.

31:57

The assistant referee flags for offside against Michael Higdon. Dusan Pernis takes the indirect free kick.

30:25

Tom Hateley takes a corner.

28:35

Stuart Armstrong is penalised for a handball. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.

27:27

Steve Jennings challenges Richie Ryan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Dusan Pernis.

26:41

Johnny Russell concedes a free kick for a foul on Tim Clancy. Darren Randolph restarts play with the free kick.

25:00

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Tom Hateley, Effort on goal by Michael Higdon from 12 yards. Blocked by Keith Watson.

23:10

Chris Humphrey fouled by Richie Ryan, the ref awards a free kick. Tom Hateley delivers the ball, Stephen Craigan produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.

22:24

Corner taken by Tom Hateley from the right by-line, clearance by Jon Daly.

22:15

Shot from 20 yards from Nicky Law. Brilliant save by Dusan Pernis.

21:36

Corner taken by Tom Hateley from the right by-line, clearance by Jon Daly.

20:36

Keith Watson challenges Nicky Law unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.

19:09

John Rankin has an effort at goal from the just inside the penalty area hitting the post.

18:24

Paul Dixon has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.

16:58

Foul by Keith Lasley on Danny Swanson, free kick awarded. Richie Ryan restarts play with the free kick.

10:19

Free kick taken by Sean Dillon.

10:19 Substitution

Substitution Tim Clancy is brought on as a substitute for Stevie Hammell.

10:19

Stevie Hammell challenges Danny Swanson unfairly and gives away a free kick.

7:23 Goal scored

Goal! - Johnny Russell - Motherwell 0 - 1 Dundee U Johnny Russell finds the net with a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Motherwell 0-1 Dundee Utd.

6:43

Shot by Stuart Armstrong. Save by Darren Randolph. Johnny Russell takes a shot. Save made by Darren Randolph.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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