Scottish Premiership
Motherwell4Hearts1

Motherwell 4-1 Heart of Midlothian

James McFadden scored one and created three as Motherwell convincingly beat Hearts to boost their Europa League hopes.

Iain Vigurs squeezed between three defenders to divert the former Scotland man's pass into the net, before Lionel Ainsworth volleyed in the second.

John Sutton added a third after half-time, but Hearts responded instantly through a Callum Paterson header.

However, McFadden cemented the three points with a header into the corner.

With Inverness losing at Celtic Park, the win extends the Steelmen's lead in third place to six points, and is also the third time in four home games Stuart McCall's men have hit four goals.

Gary Locke's side started the better of the two teams but it was Motherwell who forced the first save of the game.

Ainsworth's volley looked harmless until it ricocheted off Scott Robinson, almost catching out Jamie MacDonald before the keeper managed to readjust and tip over.

The Hearts defence were throwing themselves in the way of shots, but it was making things tricky for MacDonald and he had to be alert again to divert Sutton's deflected effort.

Motherwell's pressure eventually paid dividends. Vigurs and McFadden exchanged passes and the former Ross County man was able to stroll through the middle and roll the ball into the net.

Hearts knew they had to score next. Ryan Stevenson's free-kick whistled just wide, then on-loan West Ham striker Paul McCallum headed onto the roof of the net.

However, they could do little to stop Motherwell grabbing a second. McFadden managed to keep the ball in play and hook a high ball over to Ainsworth, who cracked an unsaveable volley flying past MacDonald.

As the heads went down for the visitors Motherwell could have had a third, McFadden putting a free header at the back post over the bar.

The hosts continued their dominance into the second-half, with Vigurs, Keith Lasley and Jack Leitch all firing in early efforts.

But Hearts were inches away from pulling one back when Dale Carrick raced up the left wing, cut inside, and rattled the crossbar with a fine strike.

Sutton was unlucky when Keith Lasley's cross was headed into his path yards from goal, the ball hitting the striker's thigh and bouncing over.

However, it was not long before Sutton did grab his 14th goal of the season.

McFadden again was the instigator and when he was bundled over at the edge of the box, Sutton latched on to the loose ball and poked it over the line.

Hearts' response was instant. Kevin McHattie's corner found Paterson, who rose highest in the box to head beyond Hollis.

Any hopes of a dramatic comeback though were extinguished when McFadden got his own name on the score-sheet, nodding a cross from Vigurs into the far corner.

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 1Hollis
  • 2Reid
  • 17Francis-AngolSubstituted forMurrayat 34'minutes
  • 14LasleySubstituted forCarswellat 80'minutes
  • 5HutchinsonBooked at 58mins
  • 6McManus
  • 25AinsworthSubstituted forCaddenat 83'minutes
  • 26Leitch
  • 7McFadden
  • 9Sutton
  • 11Vigurs

Substitutes

  • 12Nielsen
  • 18Carswell
  • 23Murray
  • 29Shirkie
  • 30Thomas
  • 34Cadden

Hearts

  • 1MacDonald
  • 5McGowanBooked at 79mins
  • 3McHattie
  • 8RobinsonSubstituted forKingat 65'minutes
  • 16McKaySubstituted forCarrickat 45'minutes
  • 4WilsonBooked at 39mins
  • 7Stevenson
  • 2Hamill
  • 12PatersonBooked at 76mins
  • 9McCallumSubstituted forHoltat 66'minutes
  • 28Nicholson

Substitutes

  • 13Ridgers
  • 15Holt
  • 18Carrick
  • 19King
  • 29Oliver
  • 30McGhee
  • 31Beith
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
4,914

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home21
Away8
Shots on Target
Home9
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home17
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Motherwell 4, Hearts 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Motherwell 4, Hearts 1.

Delay in match Callum Paterson (Hearts) because of an injury.

Foul by Stephen McManus (Motherwell).

Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

James McFadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Danny Wilson (Hearts).

Attempt missed. Callum Paterson (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Foul by Stuart Carswell (Motherwell).

Jason Holt (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Christopher Cadden replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

Foul by Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell).

Ryan Stevenson (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Stuart Carswell replaces Keith Lasley.

Booking

Dylan McGowan (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dylan McGowan (Hearts).

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

Jason Holt (Hearts) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Stephen McManus (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Stevenson (Hearts).

Attempt missed. Jack Leitch (Motherwell) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

Booking

Callum Paterson (Hearts) is shown the yellow card.

Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Callum Paterson (Hearts).

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

Jamie Hamill (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 4, Hearts 1. James McFadden (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Iain Vigurs with a cross.

John Sutton (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Danny Wilson (Hearts).

Craig Reid (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Dale Carrick (Hearts).

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Shaun Hutchinson.

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Craig Reid.

Attempt blocked. Jamie Hamill (Hearts) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Iain Vigurs (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! Motherwell 3, Hearts 1. Callum Paterson (Hearts) header from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin McHattie with a cross.

Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Euan Murray.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic28243168145475
2Aberdeen28173840261454
3Motherwell2716294340350
4Dundee Utd27128749321744
5Inverness CT2613583326744
6St Johnstone27105123431335
7Hibernian2788112532-732
8Kilmarnock2876153347-1427
9St Mirren2876152744-1727
10Partick Thistle28511122945-1626
11Ross County2875163350-1726
12Hearts2856172350-276
View full Scottish Premiership table

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