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Scott McDonald magic can't save Motherwell

Press Association logoPress Association 23/12/2016 Gavin McCafferty

A moment of Scott McDonald brilliance couldn't stop Aberdeen from scoring a controversial 3-1 win over Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership.

After a Kenny McLean cross in the 16th minute, the Australian, with his back to goal on the penalty spot, produced a miraculous piece of skill to hook the ball over his shoulder and in off the crossbar.

McDonald's goal cancelled out an early opener from Aberdeen's Graeme Shinnie.

But the key moment proved to be Bobby Madden's decision to award a penalty when Adam Rooney went down theatrically after beating Motherwell goalkeeper Craig Samson to the ball.

It was then left to Rooney hit the crucial strike to send Aberdeen on their way to victory at Fir Park.

Rooney converted from the rebound in the 25th minute and Dons goalkeeper Joe Lewis also proved a match-winner by saving Louis Moult's spot-kick 15 minutes later.

The Dons restricted Motherwell to few second-half chances and Niall McGinn netted in the last minute to cut the gap on second-placed Rangers to four points in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Ian Cathro is still looking for his first win as Hearts head coach after the Jambos blew a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to Dundee at a blustery Dens Park.

In other games, St Johnstone defeated Kilmarnock 1-0 and Partick Thistle beat Ross County 3-1.

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