Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen4Motherwell1

Aberdeen 4-1 Motherwell

Adam Rooney scored on his return from injury
Rooney scored his 20th goal of the season on his 100th Aberdeen appearance

Adam Rooney scored on his return from injury as Aberdeen comfortably wrapped up second place in the Premiership.

Kenny McLean converted an early penalty and Niall McGinn steered in a clever volley from a Shay Logan cross.

Rooney, on as a substitute after 10 weeks out, slammed in his 20th goal of the season from close range.

Ash Taylor's own goal reduced the deficit before Jonny Hayes scored from a great solo, while Motherwell lost Keith Lasley to a late red card.

With a visit to Celtic Park to come next weekend, the Dons are nine points behind the defending champions with three matches remaining but they trail by a colossal 35 on goal difference.

Aberdeen can delay the Celtic party further if they win in Glasgow and they can travel in confidence after an assured display.

The home fans were subdued after Celtic's lunchtime win at Hearts but the Dons began brightly and took the lead after just six minutes.

A determined burst from Hayes was halted when defender Louis Laing clipped the winger's heels and McLean sent goalkeeper Connor Ripley the wrong way from the spot.

Motherwell had plenty of possession in midfield but struggled to make any impact in the final third.

Aberdeen doubled their advantage on 26 minutes when the lively Hayes thrust through the middle to thread a pass to galloping full-back Logan. His cross was met by McGinn and the Northern Ireland international was able to angle a side-foot volley into the corner of the net.

Rooney was introduced in the last few minutes of the first half, with Simon Church limping off.

It was the striker's first appearance since mid-February and the club's top scorer was inches away from making an immediate impact as a McGinn cross flashed past his outstretched leg.

Within 10 minutes of the re-start, Rooney had found the back of the net.

An Andrew Considine header from a McGinn free-kick was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Ripley but Rooney was first to react and hammered the ball home.

Adam Rooney congratulates Jonny Hayes
Hayes (right) capped a fine afternoon with a wonderful solo goal

Motherwell had rarely threatened in attack but pulled one back after 64 minutes.

Substitute Chris Cadden fired in a shot that looked destined to be gathered by debutant goalkeeper Adam Collin but Taylor attempted to clear with a diving header and deflected the ball into the net.

Louis Moult then shot wide from a great position and that miss was punished when Hayes restored the hosts' three-goal cushion in style as he sprinted clear of the Motherwell defence on the left and his shot from a tight angle squeezed under Ripley.

Motherwell skipper Lasley was shown a red card for the second time this season for an ugly challenge on McLean and assistant Steve Robinson sent to the stand for his protests as the visitors slipped back to fifth place in the table.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 19Collin
  • 2LoganBooked at 66mins
  • 5Taylor
  • 4Considine
  • 3ShinnieBooked at 21mins
  • 11Hayes
  • 8Flood
  • 22Jack
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forWrightat 84'minutes
  • 7McLeanBooked at 77mins
  • 18ChurchSubstituted forRooneyat 44'minutesSubstituted forRobsonat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Reynolds
  • 9Rooney
  • 14Smith
  • 15Robson
  • 27Wright
  • 30Lennox
  • 37McLennan

Motherwell

  • 1Ripley
  • 16Kennedy
  • 5LaingBooked at 45minsSubstituted forHallat 45'minutes
  • 6McManus
  • 3Hammell
  • 11Johnson
  • 14LasleyBooked at 88mins
  • 7AinsworthSubstituted forCaddenat 62'minutes
  • 8Pearson
  • 77McDonald
  • 20MoultBooked at 65mins

Substitutes

  • 13Samson
  • 15Chalmers
  • 17Gomis
  • 21Leitch
  • 26Cadden
  • 32Hall
  • 35Campbell
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
10,259

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home9
Away6
Shots on Target
Home6
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home14
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 4, Motherwell 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 4, Motherwell 1.

Attempt missed. Barry Robson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

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

Foul by Steven Hammell (Motherwell).

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Ben Hall.

Dismissal

Keith Lasley (Motherwell) is shown the red card.

Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Ash Taylor.

Hand ball by Marvin Johnson (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Wright replaces Niall McGinn.

Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Scott McDonald (Motherwell).

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

Foul by Kieran Kennedy (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Barry Robson replaces Adam Rooney because of an injury.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Ash Taylor.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 4, Motherwell 1. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the centre of the goal.

Booking

Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Kenny McLean (Aberdeen).

Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen).

Foul by Louis Moult (Motherwell).

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Keith Lasley (Motherwell).

Foul by Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen).

Chris Cadden (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Louis Moult (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Kieran Kennedy (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Kenny McLean (Aberdeen).

Booking

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Louis Moult (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 3, Motherwell 1. Chris Cadden (Motherwell) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Chris Cadden replaces Lionel Ainsworth.

Foul by Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen).

Marvin Johnson (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic35248382275580
2Aberdeen35225860402071
3Hearts35179955371860
4St Johnstone35147145251149
5Motherwell35145164353-1047
6Ross County35135174957-844
7Inverness CT351210134745246
8Dundee341014105050044
9Partick Thistle35118163445-1141
10Hamilton35109163960-2139
11Kilmarnock3598183857-1935
12Dundee Utd3466223461-2724
View full Scottish Premiership table

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