Stephen Robinson’s side had three goals inside 22 unbelievable minutes. Mark O’Hara scored from the spot after a few minutes before Joe Lewis had a nightmare, the Dons goalkeeper making a mess of his clearance, handing Chris Long an easy ninth minute finish.
Just when Aberdeen thought it couldn’t get any worse, Bevis Mugabi headered past Lewis to seal all three points for the visiting side and bring the home team back down to earth.
Both sides headed into this one off great results in Europa League second round qualifying. Aberdeen got their sixth win on the bounce away to Viking in a 2-0 success whilst Motherwell won a penalty shootout 3-0 over in Northern Ireland against Coleraine.
In league competition both sides have had different starts. Whilst Aberdeen had won four of their five games heading into this one, the Steelmen had won once in seven. Looking at the league table, nobody could have predicted the start to this one.
O’Hara had the Well in front after four minutes. Marley Watkins was judged to have handled the ball inside the penalty area, O’Hara making no mistake from the spot. Then came a moment Lewis will want to forget.
His clearance was a mess, landing straight at the feet of Long, who had a simple finish to score his first league goal of the season. Robinson must have been in dreamland but it would get better on the 22nd minute mark.
A Liam Polworth corner met the head of Mugabi, who’s header wasn’t dealt with by Lewis and it made its way into the net. After just over 20 minutes, this game looked very different to what anyone could have predicted at that stage.
Aberdeen were stunned and only had one chance to get a goal back, albeit a big one. Andy Considine put a great ball into the box, Watkins’ header clattering off the post as the first half came to a close.
It was a tall order for Derek McInnes’ men to get back in this. He made three changes, Shay Logan, Tommie Hoban and Ryan Edmondson, coming on to try and change this one.
Robinson’s side looked content to counter in this half with their sizeable advantage. Aberdeen had to commit men to attack but as the time trickled down, it looked less and less likely that a positive result was attainable.
The game petered out, the away team in no need to commit bodies forward whilst McInnes seemed to make changes with Thursday’s Europa League qualifier in mind. A massive result for Motherwell lifts them up to eighth whilst the Dons’ winning run is over. Here are three things we learned.
There was a noticeable absence for Aberdeen before this one. Scott McKenna was left out of the squad for this one after the Dons confirmed talks had begun with an unnamed club over a potential transfer for the Scotland international.
He was a big miss, the Pittodrie side looking disjointed at the back in spells. Not only that, but it pulled influential midfielder Ross McCrorie into centre-back, meaning McInnes also lost much of the midfield battle.
You’ll find it hard to find anyone who thought Motherwell would be 3-0 up inside 25 minutes. The Well were clinical when presented their chances as the Dons had an opening they will want to erase from memory.
It was such a contrast from how impressive they’ve been defensively in recent times, conceding once in six prior to this. That said, Robinson’s team did good to take advantage and a platform for victory was gifted to them.
Big moment for Motherwell
This felt like a big game for the Fir Park club. Motherwell have had good performances and results this season, but perhaps haven’t combined the two for 90 minutes. They did that at Pittodrie.
When they needed to be a clinical side was shown, and defensively they were solid, Allan Campbell, Bevis Mugabi, Tony Watt and Liam Polworth standout performers. Ahead of a trip to Israel this week against Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Europa League qualifying, this will be a massive positive for Robinson.