Goals from Scott McDonald and Louis Moult proved to be just what the doctor ordered as previously flu riddled Motherwell did significant damage to the health of Aberdeen’s title challenge.
The result marked the Steelmen’s fifth victory in six matches, lifting them into fifth position in the Scottish Premiership going into the international break.
The Dons dominated the opening 20 minutes as they continually probed at Motherwell’s back line. Ryan Jack forced a good save from Connor Ripley while Kenny McLean failed to convert with a free header.
A minute’s applause rang out through Fir Park on the 16th minute as both sets of supporters paid tribute to 16 year old Aberdeen fan, James Stewart, who lost his fight with cancer this past week.
The hosts’ eventually managed to grab a foothold in the match and create some chance of their own.
They came closest when Louis Moult’s drive from the edge of the box cracked off the right hand post.
Aberdeen broke the deadlock when they were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time. Marvin Johnson appeared to be fouled in front of the home dug out but no free-kick was awarded.
Johnny Hayes then found space but was chopped down in the box by Kieran Kennedy and Don Robertson pointed to the spot. McLean duly converted from 12 yards.
The visitors almost immediately doubled their lead as Ripley made a crucial close range save from Niall McGinn’s effort going into the interval.
Both sides appeared to cancel each other out in the second half with no goal-scoring opportunities presenting themselves until after the hour mark.
Aberdeen then came close twice with Ripley making a full stretch save from McLean’s 20 yard drive. Simon Church clipped the crossbar with an overhead effort from the resulting corner.
Well delivered a one-two punch to come from behind with Scott McDonald winning a game of head tennis in the box to loop the ball over Scott Brown in the 73rd minute to level the scores.
Reinvigorated, the hosts went ahead two minutes later when Moult left Brown standing helplessly watching his deftly lobbed effort nestle into the net.
Aberdeen’s misery was consolidated when Barry Robson was sent off less than two minutes after coming on as a sub for throwing an elbow at the face of McDonald in the 79th minute.