'Class' Miovski separates Aberdeen and Livingston

3 months ago 73
Aberdeen's Bojan Miovski scores to make it 1-1 during a cinch Premiership match between Aberdeen and Livingston at Pittodrie StadiumBojan Miovski scored twice to give Aberdeen a comeback victory

Aberdeen eventually overcame stubborn Livingston to secure back-to-back Scottish Premiership wins for the first time since September and respond to Sunday's Viaplay Cup final loss.

David Martindale's side - now winless in nine games and still five points adrift at the bottom - stunned Pittodrie with their first goal since 21 October when Kurtis Guthrie turned in James Penrice's cross.

But Livingston were unable to maintain momentum as Bojan Miovski powered in Nicky Devlin's excellent delivery with his head three minutes before the break.

The Aberdeen striker proved the difference in the second half too as, helped by a switch in formation, Luis 'Duk' Lopes made headway down the left and eventually picked out Miovski to steer in his second of the night and 14th of the season.

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It proved to be the winner despite a frantic, end-to-end finish. Livingston substitute Bruce Anderson had a brilliant chance to equalise against his boyhood club, but side-footed wide when through on goal.

And Miovski was denied a hat-trick from point-blank range by Livingston goalkeeper Shamal George, who produced a superb reaction stop to keep the deficit at one.

Aberdeen secured victory regardless and jump two places to eighth as they aim to get themselves back in contention for European football before the winter break next month.

Player of the match - Bojan Miovski

Aberdeen's Bojan Miovski scores to make it 2-1 during a cinch Premiership match between Aberdeen and Livingston at Pittodrie StadiumBojan Miovski took both goals superbly and clinched a vital victory for his team

Aberdeen switch pays off - analysis

This was a huge victory for Aberdeen in a game they simply had to win.

Sunday's final defeat by Rangers and an end to their Europa Conference League campaign brought their poor league form into sharper focus, and dropped points against the league's bottom side, who had not scored in seven games, would have ramped up the pressure on manager Barry Robson.

But, as they did against Hearts last week, they responded to a setback. Miovski's quality in front of goal is a huge plus, and he took both of his goals in typically lethal fashion.

The big change in performance came after a switch from the usual back three to four, allowing Duk to use his pace and power down the left to set up the winning goal. Aberdeen looked far more fluid as a result with Shayden Morris also heavily involved on the other side.

That should give Robson food for thought before the weekend, with the back three set-up looking increasingly rigid in attack and ineffective out of possession too, as they conceded another soft goal.

Livingston can take heart from this performance, particularly as they managed to end their grim goal drought. They created chances and put Aberdeen under plenty of pressure.

But as David Martindale himself admitted pre-match, they can't keep selling themselves hard luck stories. Anderson should have brought them level, and that proved the difference.

This was a chance to close the gap on Motherwell and Aberdeen above them, and it slipped by. It's no wins in nine, with eight defeats, and relegation is a real concern.

What they said

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson: "We had a big emotional game at the weekend, we grew into this one and got stronger. We showed good resilience to come back, I never felt under too much pressure. I didn't think Livingston created too much.

"We've got some good games coming up. We just need to concentrate on them and get ourselves up the table. It's another win, we knew this would be a difficult month, we just need to keep hanging in there and fighting."

Livingston manager David Martindale: "The top end of the park was the difference, if I'm being brutally honest. We've got to get better for the two goals, we give Miovski too much room in the box.

"We created some good chances, we got behind them on a number of occasions. Wee Brucey has the best chance of the game. He's clean through and doesn't hit the target. Really that's the story of the game."

What's next?

Aberdeen travel to Dens Park on Saturday to face the side directly above them, Dundee (15:00 GMT), while Livingston are away to Celtic at the same time.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 3-4-1-2

24Roos6Gartenmann27MacDonald5Jensen2Devlin10ClarksonSubstituted forMcGrathat 79'minutes4Shinnie15McGarrySubstituted forMorrisat 60'minutes21Polvara9Miovski11Henriques de Barros LopesSubstituted forSoklerat 79'minutes

Substitutes

7McGrath8Barron14Guèye17Hayes19Sokler20Morris23Duncan28Milne31Doohan

Livingston

Formation 3-4-2-1

1George21NottinghamSubstituted forWelch-Hayesat 83'minutes6Obileye5DevlinBooked at 45mins12BrandonSubstituted forAndersonat 71'minutes22ShinnieSubstituted forKellyat 58'minutes18Holt29PenriceBooked at 65mins8PittmanBooked at 84mins19Nouble28Guthrie

Substitutes

3Montaño4Parkes9Anderson10Kelly14Welch-Hayes23de Lucas25Lloyd-McGoldrick32Hamilton40Lawal

Referee:Nick Walsh

Attendance:13,794

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 2, Livingston 1.

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 2, Livingston 1.

Bojan Miovski (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Miles Welch-Hayes (Livingston).

Bojan Miovski (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ayo Obileye (Livingston).

Attempt missed. Bojan Miovski (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jamie McGrath.

Attempt saved. Bojan Miovski (Aberdeen) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Angus MacDonald with a headed pass.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Ester Sokler (Aberdeen).

Bojan Miovski (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Miles Welch-Hayes (Livingston).

Scott Pittman (Livingston) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jamie McGrath (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Pittman (Livingston).

Substitution, Livingston. Miles Welch-Hayes replaces Michael Nottingham.

Attempt saved. Shayden Morris (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jamie McGrath.

Substitution, Aberdeen. Ester Sokler replaces Duk.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution, Aberdeen. Jamie McGrath replaces Leighton Clarkson.

Player of the match

MiovskiBojan Miovski

with an average of 8.85

Aberdeen

Squad number9Player nameMiovski

Squad number11Player nameDuk

Squad number27Player nameMacDonald

Squad number24Player nameRoos

Squad number21Player namePolvara

Squad number7Player nameMcGrath

Squad number2Player nameDevlin

Squad number19Player nameSokler

Squad number4Player nameShinnie

Squad number20Player nameMorris

Squad number5Player nameJensen

Squad number6Player nameGartenmann

Squad number10Player nameClarkson

Squad number15Player nameMcGarry

Livingston

Squad number10Player nameKelly

Squad number29Player namePenrice

Squad number9Player nameAnderson

Squad number22Player nameShinnie

Squad number18Player nameHolt

Squad number5Player nameDevlin

Squad number21Player nameNottingham

Squad number19Player nameNouble

Squad number1Player nameGeorge

Squad number8Player namePittman

Squad number6Player nameObileye

Squad number28Player nameGuthrie

Squad number14Player nameWelch-Hayes

Squad number12Player nameBrandon

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