Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen3KilmarnockKilmarnock0

Aberdeen 3-0 Kilmarnock: Hosts ease to victory over makeshift visitors

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport Scotland

Sam Cosgrove's 16th goal of the season helped Aberdeen take full advantage of a makeshift Kilmarnock defence to ease to a Scottish Premiership victory.

Aberdeen end a run of three home games without a win but remain in fourth place, a point behind Motherwell.

Kilmarnock's stand-in centre-backs were posted missing as Curtis Main dived to head his first Aberdeen goal.

Cosgrove headed in a Niall McGinn cross and Scott McKenna put the visitors out of their misery.

Kilmarnock had not lost in their three previous visits to Pittodrie but slip four points behind the victorious hosts.

Aberdeen continue feel-good factor

Thursday's opening of Aberdeen's new £12m training complex had given the whole club a lift and they will have received a further boost the moment they were handed the opposition team lines.

On-loan Wolverhampton Wanders defender Connor Johnson joined first-choice centre-half pairing Stuart Findlay and Dario Del Fabro, and the suspended Alex Bruce, in missing out, leaving Angelo Alessio to play a makeshift pairing of midfielders Gary Dicker and Iain Wilson.

It was hardly surprising that Kilmarnock started full of uncertainty and they were given no chance to bed in as they were so easily undone within 10 minutes. Lewis Ferguson swung in a cross that was missed by the head of Dicker and Main was left unmarked to dive low to send the ball low into the corner.

A dose of confidence pumped into his chest by his first Aberdeen goal since signing from Motherwell, Main was also involved in his side's second.

His neat back-heel set up Cosgrove for a shot that was deflected over, but the big striker's 16th goal of the season was only delayed by seconds as he rose to head powerfully through the arms of goalkeeper Laurentiu Branescu from McGinn's cross after a short corner.

With Eamonn Brophy, Liam Millar and Chris Burke back in the side, Kilmarnock had plenty of forward threat on the park, but their problem was working the ball anywhere near the home penalty box.

Goalkeeper Joe Lewis was tested by a long-range Alan Power shot and got his nose painfully in the way of a close-range Dicker header when the stand-in centre-half ought to have reduced the arrears from a Burke free-kick.

However, having only scored 10 goals in their previous 11 Premiership games, it was always going to be a tall order for Alessio's side to recover - especially so considering they had to draft three academy players on to the bench.

They could have suffered a heavier defeat as Aberdeen finished with a flourish.

Cosgrove fired off a post, was unfortunate not to win penalties from unwise challenges by Stephen Hendrie and Wilson, Branescu saved well from Connor McLennan, while Wilson headed a Ferguson shot off the line - all before McKenna fired in the third from close range.

BBC graphic

Man of the match - Curtis Main

BBC Scotland's Tyrone Smith at Pittodrie

It is fair to say Main has not made the impact Derek McInnes would have wanted so far at Pittodrie, but the Englishman certainly did against Kilmarnock. The goal - the striker's first for the club - was top drawer in terms of the finish but also in terms of the awareness he showed to lose his marker in the first place.

However, his performance was about more than just getting his name on the scoresheet - a lot more. There was the trademark robustness, but that was allied to a fair amount of quality too, McInnes will be hoping for more of the same over the coming weeks.

'We tried to take full advantage' - reaction

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "I was delighted we capped our good performance with three goals and it should have been more, but we'll take that against a side that don't ordinarily concede many.

"We went with a front two. You've got to look at the opposition and they were up against it with injuries and suspension at centre-back and we tried to take full advantage of that."

Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio: "We knew it was going to be a very difficult game as we came here without several players in the centre-back position.

"We just have to forget this game. We have built our season on the defensive line, but we were without four centre-backs and we tried Dicker and Wilson, but they are out of position."

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 6DevlinBooked at 55mins
  • 5McKenna
  • 3Leigh
  • 33VynerBooked at 60mins
  • 19Ferguson
  • 11HedgesSubstituted forGallagherat 58'minutes
  • 9Main
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forConsidineat 79'minutes
  • 16CosgroveSubstituted forMcLennanat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Considine
  • 18McLennan
  • 20Cerny
  • 21Gallagher
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Anderson
  • 28Wilson

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 12Branescu
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 20Wilson
  • 8DickerBooked at 76mins
  • 14Hämäläinen
  • 29BurkeSubstituted forSt. Clairat 70'minutes
  • 6Power
  • 7McKenzieBooked at 90mins
  • 11MillarSubstituted forJacksonat 80'minutes
  • 23ThomasSubstituted forHendrieat 53'minutes
  • 9Brophy

Substitutes

  • 3Hendrie
  • 16Jackson
  • 24Koprivec
  • 25St. Clair
  • 32Brindley
  • 48Barlow
  • 49Lynch
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
13,131

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home16
Away11
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 3, Kilmarnock 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 3, Kilmarnock 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Rory McKenzie.

  4. Booking

    Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Alan Power (Kilmarnock).

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Foul by Scott McKenna (Aberdeen).

  9. Post update

    Foul by Alan Power (Kilmarnock).

  10. Post update

    Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Simeon Jackson (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Stephen O'Donnell with a headed pass.

  12. Post update

    Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Scott McKenna (Aberdeen).

  14. Goal!

    Goal! Aberdeen 3, Kilmarnock 0. Scott McKenna (Aberdeen) left footed shot from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by Greg Leigh following a corner.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Iain Wilson.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Kilmarnock. Simeon Jackson replaces Liam Millar.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Liam Millar (Kilmarnock).

  18. Post update

    Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Andrew Considine replaces Niall McGinn.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Iain Wilson.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic119113472728
2Rangers119113372628
3Motherwell127142017322
4Aberdeen126331714321
5Kilmarnock125251013-317
6Ross County123541425-1114
7Livingston123451617-113
8Hamilton122461222-1010
9St Johnstone112451124-1310
10Hibernian111641222-109
11Hearts111551015-58
12St Mirren11227511-68
View full Scottish Premiership table

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