Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen3Kilmarnock1

Aberdeen 3-1 Kilmarnock

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Highlights: Aberdeen 3-1 Kilmarnock

A fine second-half performance from Aberdeen saw them return to winning ways against Kilmarnock at Pittodrie.

Kris Boyd scored on his 300th Kilmarnock appearance when Greg Taylor's shot deflected off him and in.

However, Aberdeen turned it around after half-time; Adam Rooney knocking in from close range before Scott McKenna's thumping shot from distance.

Niall McGinn added a sublime third - his first since returning to the Dons - after winning the ball in his own half.

For Kilmarnock this was their first defeat on the road since Steve Clarke took the helm.

Aberdeen were looking for a reaction after their 2-0 midweek defeat at Rangers, and they dominated early proceedings.

Shay Logan hooked a shot on target, which Killie goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald did well to claw round the post.

But Logan then almost put the ball into his own net. Jordan Jones drove in a low cross which Logan - under pressure - bundled towards goal, and Danny Rogers made the save. Kilmarnock claims for a handball from Logan were waved away by referee Craig Thomson.

Kris Boyd (left) celebrates after scoring
Kris Boyd (left) gave Kilmarnock a first-half lead

MacDonald did well to tip another McGinn effort over, but Kilmarnock were beginning to grow into the game. Boyd nodded a header over the bar, before almost inevitably making the breakthrough.

The initial shot came from left-back Greg Taylor, but on the way towards goal the ball took a deflection off Boyd's back side; the touch just enough to deceive Rogers.

Jones forced Rogers into a save as the away side looked to increase their lead. At the other end McGinn volleyed a shot on target but MacDonald saved again.

In the second half Aberdeen defender McKenna would turn this match around, in spectacular fashion.

The equaliser was fairly orthodox. From a corner McKenna rose powerfully to drive home a header. MacDonald got a hand to it and Rooney bundled it home just to be on the safe side, with Aberdeen confirming later that the referee had awarded the Irishman the goal.

But the best was yet to come. There appeared to be little in the way of threat as McKenna strode forward, 40 yards from goal. But a second later the Pittodrie faithful were on their feet as the centre-back unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot which flew past MacDonald, high into the net.

It was as sublime as it was unexpected and suddenly Aberdeen were in the lead with a contender for goal of the season.

Aberdeen's Niall McGinn (right)
Niall McGinn (right) watches as his strike hits the net to make it 3-1 to Aberdeen

Boyd powered in a free-kick which Rogers spilled, but the 'keeper responded well and denied Youssouf Mulumbu from close range.

Aberdeen would make the game safe with another goal of real quality. The Dons broke out of defence with McGinn taking the ball from deep inside his own half to the edge of the Kilmarnock box before unleashing an unstoppable shot past MacDonald. It was a fantastic strike.

Kilmarnock almost got a goal back, but Rogers saved well from Stephen O'Donnell, tipping over from inside the box.

McGinn would go close again with a shot tipped wide of the post. Kenny McLean would also force MacDonald into another save, but by now Aberdeen were in total control.

Post-match reaction

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "I've worked with these players for a long time so I know how disappointed we are when we lose. We don't lose too many but the motivation to get back to winning ways quickly is always there and I think that was evident today.

"There might have been a few people looking at that result at half-time and doubting us - I never doubted the players for a minute. I thought they were magnificent for the majority of the game but especially the second half.

"You need moments of quality and Niall McGinn lit the game up for the whole of the second half and I thought Scott McKenna's second was absolutely top drawer. It's all of 40 yards and it's still gathering speed as it hits the back of the net.

"We spoke to Hull again yesterday and reinforced the message that he (McKenna) won't be sold, certainly not in this window. The phone is off the hook regarding him for the next few days. But he's doing himself no harm, he's in a good place, his overall game is magnificent."

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke: "We started a little bit slowly. Aberdeen had a little bit of pressure on us early on, but then we got into the game and got ourselves probably a fortunate goal. But we got ourselves in front, and I thought we were quite comfortable after that.

"And then we had a crazy little spell in the second half. A little bit unfortunate, we lost a goal off a deflection off a header from a corner. We were disappointed to lose that and then it was compounded very quickly by a wonder strike from the lad McKenna, top corner."

"After that I thought we reacted quite well. We tried to play good football. We had them under a little bit of pressure and we were starting to look as if we could be a little bit of a threat to them. Unfortunately Gary Dicker made a mistake in the middle of the park and on the counter attack they got the third goal which made it a long way back."

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 20Rogers
  • 2Logan
  • 5O'Connor
  • 19McKenna
  • 4Considine
  • 3Shinnie
  • 18BallSubstituted forArnasonat 63'minutes
  • 17McGinnSubstituted forNwakaliat 85'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 7McLean
  • 11Mackay-StevenSubstituted forWrightat 86'minutes
  • 9Rooney

Substitutes

  • 8Stewart
  • 10Maynard
  • 14Arnason
  • 15Wright
  • 21Harvie
  • 23Nwakali
  • 40Craddock

Kilmarnock

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 16Boyd
  • 5Broadfoot
  • 12Taylor
  • 8DickerBooked at 43mins
  • 24Mulumbu
  • 6PowerSubstituted forErwinat 45'minutes
  • 7McKenzieSubstituted forKiltieat 78'minutes
  • 9BoydSubstituted forBrophyat 77'minutes
  • 11JonesBooked at 50mins

Substitutes

  • 10Kiltie
  • 17Findlay
  • 18Waters
  • 21Frizzell
  • 22Erwin
  • 25Brophy
  • 34Lyle
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
13,723

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home12
Away9
Shots on Target
Home8
Away5
Corners
Home8
Away7
Fouls
Home11
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 3, Kilmarnock 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 3, Kilmarnock 1.

Attempt saved. Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Booking

Chidiebere Nwakali (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Chidiebere Nwakali (Aberdeen).

Stephen O'Donnell (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Scott McKenna (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock).

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Wright replaces Gary Mackay-Steven.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Chidiebere Nwakali replaces Niall McGinn.

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

Foul by Lee Erwin (Kilmarnock).

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Danny Rogers.

Attempt saved. Stephen O'Donnell (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Greg Kiltie replaces Rory McKenzie.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Eamonn Brophy replaces Kris Boyd.

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Anthony O'Connor.

Attempt missed. Lee Erwin (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 3, Kilmarnock 1. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Shaleum Logan.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Graeme Shinnie.

Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Scott McKenna.

Attempt saved. Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Kári Arnason (Aberdeen).

Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

(Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Kári Arnason replaces Dominic Ball.

Dominic Ball (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock).

Dominic Ball (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Youssouf Mulumbu (Kilmarnock).

Attempt saved. Lee Erwin (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Foul by Dominic Ball (Aberdeen).

Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Gary Mackay-Steven (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic24176151163557
2Aberdeen2414463627946
3Rangers23134643251843
4Hibernian2410863228438
5Hearts2481062520534
6Motherwell2384112933-428
7Kilmarnock226882631-526
8St Johnstone2275102233-1126
9Dundee2474132534-925
10Hamilton2365123139-823
11Partick Thistle2465132340-1723
12Ross County2345142138-1717
View full Scottish Premiership table

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