skip to content
Stewart Carswell concedes a free kick for a foul on Willo Flood. Willo Flood restarts play with the free kick.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Lauri Dalla Valle. Darren Randolph restarts play with the free kick.
Omar Daley joins the action as a substitute, replacing Chris Humphrey.
Stewart Carswell joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jamie Murphy.
Handball by Gavin Gunning. Direct free kick taken by Keith Lasley.
A goal is scored by Jon Daly from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Dundee Utd 1-3 Motherwell.Assist on the goal came from Keith Watson.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Steve Jennings on John Rankin. Gavin Gunning takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Willo Flood on Tom Hateley. Tom Hateley takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jon Daly on Stevie Hammell. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.
Corner from the left by-line taken by Tom Hateley, save made by Dusan Pernis.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tim Clancy by Jon Daly. Darren Randolph takes the direct free kick.
Gary Mackay-Steven takes the inswinging corner, save by Darren Randolph.
Steve Jennings gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Mackay-Steven. Gavin Gunning has an effort direct from the free kick, save by Darren Randolph.
The ball is crossed by Paul Dixon.
Johnny Russell is brought on as a substitute for Scott Robertson. Gary Mackay-Steven comes on in place of Daniel Swanson.
Garry Kenneth challenges Nicky Law unfairly and gives away a Penalty. Placed penalty scored by Michael Higdon. Dundee Utd 0-3 Motherwell.Assist on the goal came from Nicky Law.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Daniel Swanson from the right by-line.
Lauri Dalla Valle gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen Craigan. Tim Clancy takes the direct free kick.
Corner from the right by-line taken by Daniel Swanson, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Scott Robertson misses to the right of the target.
Keith Lasley has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide left of the goal.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Tom Hateley from the left by-line, save by Dusan Pernis.
Tom Hateley fouled by Jon Daly, the ref awards a free kick. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.
Daniel Swanson fouled by Nicky Law, the ref awards a free kick. Garry Kenneth restarts play with the free kick.
Michael Higdon scores a goal from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Dundee Utd 0-2 Motherwell.
Lauri Dalla Valle challenges Tim Clancy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.
Jon Daly takes a shot.
Tim Clancy challenges Jon Daly unfairly and gives away a free kick. Dusan Pernis takes the direct free kick.
Corner from the right by-line taken by Stevie Hammell, clearance made by Garry Kenneth.
Gavin Gunning fouled by Michael Higdon, the ref awards a free kick. Gavin Gunning restarts play with the free kick.
Stephen Craigan is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Garry Kenneth takes the indirect free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jon Daly by Steve Jennings. Dusan Pernis takes the free kick.
Lauri Dalla Valle replaces Ryan Dow.
Corner from left by-line taken by Tom Hateley.
Right-footed shot by Nicky Law missed to the left of the net.
John Rankin fouled by Keith Lasley, the ref awards a free kick. Dusan Pernis takes the free kick.
Unfair challenge on Stephen Craigan by Scott Robertson results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.
Keith Lasley finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the box to the top left corner of the goal. Dundee Utd 0-1 Motherwell.Assist by Tom Hateley.
Keith Lasley concedes a free kick for a foul on Keith Watson. Dusan Pernis takes the free kick.
Jon Daly takes a shot. Save made by Darren Randolph.
Header from deep inside the penalty area by Jon Daly goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
Dillon absent for Tangerines
Dundee United are without defender Sean Dillon for the visit of Motherwell.
The Irishman was on the way back from a calf injury but suffered a setback in training on Tuesday. He will join leg-break victim Scott Severin, who will be on the sidelines for the rest of the season, in the stand.
Apart from those two boss Peter Houston has a full squad to choose from.
Houston believes midfield will be the key battleground when his team take on Motherwell.
United are looking to build on their first home win of the season against Inverness two weeks ago by beating Stuart McCall's side.
The Steelmen have been flying high in the SPL and Houston is an admirer of the players they have in the middle of the park.
But with Scotland squad man Danny Swanson, John Rankin, Willo Flood and youngster Stuart Armstrong all in good form for United the Tannadice boss knows getting a grip of midfield will be crucial.
He said: "The midfield will be important because both teams have strength in the middle of the park.
"That will have a big say on the outcome of the match because whoever gets a grip on that and takes the opportunities when they come along will give themselves a big chance.
"Motherwell have always made it tough for us.
"I have a lot of respect for them for what they have done over the last few seasons.
"They are a similar club to us here at Dundee United and they have been consistently up there in the top half of the league.
"They have been in Europe a few times recently and have some real quality players in their squad.
"One thing Motherwell have had is continuity because I could probably name seven or eight players who will play against us who have been there for a long time.
"That has been great for Stuart McCall because he's been able to go in there and keep them up at the top end of the table.
"He has been doing a great job and has made a real impact on the SPL since he came back to Scotland."
Motherwell have no fresh injuries and Shaun Hutchinson is on course to return from an ankle problem immediately after the international break.
Long-term injury victim Steven Saunders (Achilles) is the only other absentee.
Higdon on a high
Michael Higdon went from being the subject of the Motherwell fans' frustration to their adoration after his double at Tannadice sent the Lanarkshire side above Celtic in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League with a 3-1 win.
Higdon was the target of abuse from a section of the Fir Park fans as Motherwell laboured to a 1-0 win over Aberdeen last weekend but he bounced back to net in each half as Motherwell cruised to victory.
The former St Mirren striker punished a poor clearance from Dundee United goalkeeper Dusan Pernis in first-half injury-time before taking his tally for the season to six with a 64th-minute penalty.
Stuart McCall's side never looked back after the impressive Keith Lasley applied a superb first-time finish to a cutting 13th-minute move and they held on comfortably after Jon Daly's consolation. Motherwell won the midfield battle with Lasley's energy and enthusiasm smothering the home side alongside the composed Steve Jennings, with Nicky Law breaking to good effect.
United's creative players failed to shine with Danny Swanson struggling to produce anything of note following his Scotland call-up.
United carved out the first chance when Ryan Dow, in for Johnny Russell, crossed for Jon Daly, whose header was held by Darren Randolph in the Motherwell goal.
But Motherwell were already enjoying a lot of the ball and they went ahead following a slick move.
Law's pass found the unchecked overlap of Tom Hateley and the right-back drove the ball into the box, where Lasley met it on the run to arrow a powerful strike high into the net from 14 yards.
Motherwell took confidence from the goal and United struggled to get out of their own half before Peter Houston made a 30th-minute change, bringing on on-loan Fulham striker Lauri Dalla Valle for Dow.
United began to force Motherwell back and Dalla Valle headed Keith Watson's cross on target but Randolph again made a comfortable catch.
Daly lobbed over from 25 yards before Motherwell went two ahead in injury time after a blunder by Pernis.
Watson passed the ball back to the goalkeeper, whose kick-out went straight to Higdon. Pernis still had a chance to atone as he got down to meet Higdon's angled left-footed effort, but the Slovakian could not get a strong enough hand to the ball and the shot went in off the post.
Motherwell might have had a penalty just after the break when Gavin Gunning appeared to push Higdon as they challenged for Law's cross, but the striker did not appeal and referee Steven McLean played on.
United put pressure on sporadically but were not seriously threatening.
Stevie Hammell took the ball off Daly's feet after the ball fell for the striker in the box before Tim Clancy diverted Swanson's shot over, with the unmarked Scott Robertson heading wide from the resulting corner.
United appealed for handball as Hateley cleared another corner but Motherwell broke and Pernis had to be quick off his line to stop Lasley converting Jamie Murphy's through-ball.
Motherwell soon extended their lead after Garry Kenneth brought down Law as the midfielder cut in along the byline. Higdon sent Pernis the wrong way from the spot.
Houston brought on Russell and Gary Mackay-Steven for Robertson and Swanson and they finally gave Randolph a serious test when Gunning fired in a powerful 30-yard free-kick which the goalkeeper pushed wide.
United pulled one back in the 77th minute when Daly forced the ball home from close range after Paul Dixon's low cross across the six-yard box had been turned back by Keith Watson.
But Motherwell saw the game out to move second in the SPL ahead of Celtic's Sunday visit to Hearts.
© 2004 - 2015 football.co.uk