Aberdeen 0-2 Motherwell extras: Flying Dutchman, so much for a recovery, Scott Brown's stramash

The key points to take from Motherwell’s 2-0 win at Pittodrie over Aberdeen ...

Aberdeen's Scott Brown (left) speaks to referee Don Robertson during the defeat by Motherwell.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH

Kevin van Veen. How could such an award go to anyone else? The Dutchman scored two quality strikers’ goals at the start of the second half to leave Aberdeen chasing the game. He trod a fine line for much of his time on the pitch after picking up a soft first-half booking. But he was in the right place at the right time to give his side the lead and then double it just before the hour mark. He was later subbed off and enjoyed milking his departure after what had proved a productive afternoon by walking around the perimeter of the pitch in front of the Aberdeen fans.

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LETDOWN

Aberdeen. What was all this about the Aberdeen recovery? We had been led to believe that a renaissance in the Pittodrie side’s fortunes was occurring after recent wins against Hearts and Hibs and a creditable draw against Rangers at Ibrox. Sadly for the fans, this mini-revival came to an abrupt halt at the hands of Motherwell. There were glimpses of the side Stephen Glass is striving for Aberdeen to be in the first half but some familiar brittleness in the backline, where Scott Brown has been deployed as an auxiliary centre-half, torpedoed the hosts’ hopes of making it four games unbeaten. It’s now just two wins in 14.

TURNING POINT

There was no doubt about the deflating properties of Kevin van Veen’s opener as far as Aberdeen were concerned. The home side had looked by far the better team before it. But another, later turning point was Liam Kelly’s brilliant save from Lewis Ferguson’s header after 77 minutes. He tipped the midfielder’s header onto the post from point- blank range and then jumped up to block a second effort from the same player. An Aberdeen goal then would have made for a fraught finale, with referee Don Robertson adding another five minutes on at the end.

REF WATCH

It was a tousy game at times, with the tackles crackling like Autumn bracken. Don Robertson had his work cut out and issued eight yellow cards. Indeed, it was somewhat of a surprise to see both sides finish with eleven players on the pitch. But Robertson did get something wrong: a ridiculous first-half booking for match winner Kevin van Veen for a tackle on Dylan McGeouch that didn’t even warrant a foul being given against him. He's now suspended for Motherwell's next game v Hearts.

GAVE US A GIGGLE

There was a classic Scottish stramash in the Motherwell goalmouth following a corner that was finally halted when Liam Kelly managed to grab the ball on the deck amid a thicket of legs. Scott Brown was in the midst of it as would be expected as bodies tangled in this frenzied fight for a football that could only be glimpsed now and again, like the rugby ball in a maul. The Pittodrie crowd of 9,666 was still chuckling when the referee blew his half-time whistle shortly afterwards.

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