Louis Moult’s double at Pittodrie means Motherwell are the only team to have beaten Aberdeen twice this season and that was enough to have their manager Stephen Robinson believing they can prove Celtic are not invincible after all when they meet up at Hampden next Sunday.
It seems strange to say it when only four league places separate the sides in next week’s League Cup final but a win for the Fir Park side would be right up there with the biggest shocks in Scottish football history.
Even if they do fail to end the league leaders unbeaten domestic run at 65 games they also face the prospect of halting at either 66 or 67 as home and away Premiership matches follow against Brendan Rodgers’ side.
The important thing is they approach that task in the best possible form given the way they coped with an Aberdeen side whose performance was even worse than the League Cup quarter final defeat at Fir Park in September.
That’s taking nothing away from the visitors who lived up to their prematch promise about not treating the game lightly ahead of next week’s showpiece occasion, a suitable sentiment given a run of five straight defeats at Pittodrie prior to this match.
Not that it was a sequence of misery that ever looked like being extended and of course it just had to be Moult who delivered the telling moments against the side who tried in vain to sign the striker in the summer.
He scorer twice against them in the knockout competition last September and repeated the trick here with a first half header that must have left Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes wondering how someone with such a track record was left unmarked in the box to execute it.
After all, Richard Tait’s delivery from a free kick was allowed to travel nearly half the length of the field to reach the striker just three minutes from the interval but the second goal, and Moult’s 50th in just 96 appearances, was a thing of real craft.
Scotland u21 international Chris Cadden left Scott McKenna for dead down the right flank before delivering a sumptuous near post cross that Moult lashed into the roof of the net on the half volley.
That strengthens their place in the top five while leaving Aberdeen six points adrift of Celtic at the top of the table but Robinson is adamant that his team are not going to Hampden Park just to make up the numbers next week.
“Obviously you have to enjoy the occasion but we are going there to win the football match,” said Robinson.
Aberdeen certainly didn’t enjoy losing only their second league game of the season, something reflected in McInnes sending Tony Docherty out to do the post mortem but the assistant manager didn’t hold back. “It was a very uncharacteristic Aberdeen performance, it was a bad day,” said Docherty. “We have no excuses.”.