Dundee United 5 - 1 Motherwell

Match info: Scottish Premier at Tannadice Park

Date: 26/04/2014 KO: 15:00 Ref: Att: 6,383

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Dundee U

Nadir Ciftci 8,41
Stuart Armstrong 61
Brian Graham 81
Ryan Dow 72



Lionel Ainsworth 88

FT (ht: 2-0)

  • Last Updated: April 26 2014, 18:45 BST

Post-match reaction to Dundee United's 5-1 victory over Motherwell.

Stuart Armstrong turns in United's third goal
Stuart Armstrong turns in United's third goal

Dundee United assistant manager Simon Donnelly hailed his players for bouncing back in style as they thrashed Motherwell 5-1 at Tannadice.

United recovered from last weekend's 2-0 defeat to William Hill Scottish Cup final opponents St Johnstone to cut the gap on Motherwell to four points and maintain their hopes of a top-three finish in the Scottish Premiership.

United dominated throughout and were two ahead at the break thanks to Nadir Ciftci's well-taken double before Stuart Armstrong killed the game off in the 61st minute. Ryan Dow and Brian Graham took United's goal tally for the season against Motherwell to 14 before Lionel Ainsworth reduced the arrears late on.

Donnelly, who was the main man in the dugout as manager Jackie McNamara serves a touchline ban, said: "That's the most pleasing thing for us as coaches, we look for a response. We were really disappointed last week and I think the boys felt it as well.

"The gaffer had a collective meeting with them on Monday and we have worked really hard this week, and it has culminated in a great response today.

"We were all hurting after last week, it wasn't acceptable, but the response was brilliant."

Armstrong set up both of Ciftci's goals to earn the man-of-the-match award.

"He was very good," Donnelly said. "His form in training over the last three or four weeks has been first class and he has taken it into the game today. When he is in full flight like that nobody can keep up with them."

United players wore T-shirts in support of 20-year-old team-mate Jordan Moore, who is battling skin cancer.

"It was a great gesture to support the lad in difficult times for him," Donnelly said. He's a great kid and he's close to a few (of) the lads, some of the younger boys in particular.

"We will respect the boy's privacy but it was a great gesture from the boys."

The defeat put a major dent in Motherwell's hopes of finishing second as they slipped four points behind Aberdeen, who have a vastly superior goal difference.

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall said: "I will sum it up as briefly as I can - they were very, very good and we were very, very poor.

"They have had the measure of us this season and their strengths have been on the counter-attack. If you look at the first three goals, one was from a corner from us and the other two, we had the ball on the edge of their 18-yard box, and they break with such pace and desire.

"We were second best in every department."

The occasion proved to be a day to forget for left-back Steven Hammell, who captained Motherwell on his 500th appearance for the club.

"The worst thing as well is that he was one booking away from missing the Aberdeen game," McCall said. "And when you are getting beat like that you want to go and put tackles in.

"I could see the frustration boiling up in him, in fact at one stage I was going to bring him off because it would have been cruel on him to get booked today and miss the last game.

"It's disappointing for the lad and disappointing for us all but it's not over for us and we have to come out fighting. Next Saturday at three o'clock, we will be ready."

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