After making a great start to this match Aberdeen ended up with ten men and no points in an ill tempered and controversial affair. It all started so well when in the third minute Aluko started the move took the return and showed quick feet and sublime skill before drilling the ball beyond the keeper. Instead of pressing home the advantage Motherwell rolled up their sleeves and after Langfield had made a couple of fine saves Jeffers levelled with an unchallenged header that left the Aberdeen keeper with no chance. The game erupted in the 55th minute when Hartley took an elbow in the face from Lasley and stupidly retaliated. When the dust settled, Hartley was shown red, but Lasley only saw yellow. The Dons play improved in the second half, but the ten men eventually succumbed when Murphy latched on to a Diamond back header and drilled the ball beyond Langfield. There was a lot of effort from Aberdeen to level, but they got few breaks as Motherwell head south with all three points.
Aberdeen kicked off, but it was a nervous opening from both teams as they looked to adjust to the conditions. Aberdeen were first to settle and Aluko was involved in the early stages and he opened the scoring in the 3rd minute when he started the move, showed quick feet and sublime skill before drilling the ball beyond the keeper. Two minutes later Vernon and Blackman combined well as the Dons looked to press home their advantage. Aberdeen had to thank Langfield for keeping their lead after Forbes hit a tremendous free kick that had the keeper at full stretch to tip the effort over the bar.
Aberdeen won their first corner in the 8th minute, but it came to nothing and a minute later Langfield was in action again as he beat away a fierce shot from Murphy This was settling into a decent encounter and in the 12th minute Aluko played a lovely ball into the box that just evaded Vernon. A minute later the Nigerian was weaving his magic again on the right, but couldn't deliver the final ball. The visitors levelled in the 14th minute when a glanced header from Jeffers beat Langfield as he rose unchallenged. Forbes was lucky to escape a booking two minutes later when he took a petulant kick at Maguire then raised his hands to the youngster.
Motherwell went close again in the 18th minute when Diamond was forced to block a Forbes effort and a minute later a ball into the box was met by Vernon and he shaved the post. This match was flowing from end to end as both sides played attractive attacking football. The visitor's were given far too much room again in the 24th minute and Jeffers forced another fine save out of Langfield. Aberdeen were looking good going forward, but not looking to clever when Motherwell had the ball.
Mistakes were starting to appear in the Aberdeen play causing frustration on the terraces, but a long range effort from Hartley went inches wide and gave the fans something to cheer. Another shot in the 36th minute scraped the Dons bar although Langfield looked to have it covered. Three minutes later Jeffers ghosted past three Aberdeen defenders and looked as though he might walk the ball into net before producing a weak finish that allowed Langfield to gather.
Vernon almost made it 2-1 in the 40th minute as he showed good footwork then hit a fierce shot that was fumbled by Randolph before the ball slithered past the post. At the other end the Aberdeen defence were in trouble again as they failed to deal with another attack. After such a good start the Dons ended the half on the back foot with Motherwell looking the more likely to add to the scoring. Brown and Knox will have had plenty to say at the break as they attempt to get Aberdeen back to the early form.
Aberdeen were hoping that a change of boots for Maguire, Blackman and Aluko might do the trick as the second half got underway. A Maguire shot was blocked by Vernon in the 48th minute before Aberdeen won the first corner of the half, but they failed to take advantage. Good free kicks from both sides caused panic at both ends, but no one could bury the ball. Aluko and Maguire were getting little protection as some meaty challenges started to go in then the match erupted in the 55th minute and the whole incident ended in controversy.
Hartley was elbowed in the face by Lasley and in the heat of the moment he retaliated - probably regretting his action as soon as it was committed. When the dust settled Hartley was shown a straight red, but Laslet escaped with only a yellow. The official then showed Langfield a yellow card for kicking the ball away when the yellow was shown to Lasley. Aberdeen had been struggling to control midfield prior to the red card, but the players certainly felt a sense of grievance as they went at 'well like terriers.
In the 63rd minute Blackman was through on goal under severe pressure, but he kept to his feet when others may well have taken a tumble. Unfortunately his effort was well off target. In the 68th minute Diamond saved the day with a telling challenge to concede a corner. From the set play Langfield stayed on his line, but was able to block the header as Motherwell started to take advantage of the extra man. The breakthrough came in the 72nd minute when a loose back header from Diamond found Murphy and he fired the ball beyond Langfield.
Either side of the goal Paton replaced Aluko and Magennis replaced Blackman. Vernon then had a great chance from the edge of the box, but couldn't control the shot. The game erupted again in the 75th minute when Maguire was kicked not once, but three times by Hateley. The referee on the third kick decided to book Hately, award a throw in and then he cautioned Maguire. The home crowd were not amused. Five minutes later a blatant hand ball was ignored as was a visiting player throwing the ball away.
A free kick was awarded in the 85th minute that again went unpunished, but Maguire was wide with his effort. Aberdeen continued to press forward, but failed to find the net. There were loud appeals for a spot kick in the 89th minute as a corner was delivered. There was little chance of that being awarded and Motherwell quickly broke and Smith had to clear off the line. Aberdeen ended the match pressing forward, but they paid for being a man short as Motherwell collected all three points in an ill tempered and controversial match.