Murphy helps Well into next stage

Jamie Murphy hit his third goal in as many games and his seventh in Europe as Motherwell beat Aalesund 3-0 to make the Europa League play-offs.

Last Updated: 05/08/10 at 22:27 Post Comment

Murphy: In action on Thursday night

Murphy: In action on Thursday night

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

The home side were more purposeful in possession than their Norwegian visitors during a comfortable first half and stood firm in defence when put under concerted pressure after the interval.

Substitute Jonathan Page netted a late third to round off an impressive victory which sends Motherwell into a potentially lucrative tie - one step from the group stages and a round further than they achieved last season.

Murphy had broken Motherwell's European goalscoring record in the first leg but his side were denied a memorable win when Alexander Mathisen levelled from the spot with the last kick of the ball.

However, it took less than four minutes for Murphy to cancel out the penalty as Craig Brown's decision to replace Ross Forbes with pacy winger Chris Humphrey paid off handsomely.

The Englishman burst past his man to latch on to Steven Saunders' throw down the right wing before cutting the ball back into the visitors' penalty box. Murphy was unmarked and sent a first-time effort into the top corner from 16 yards.

Motherwell extended their advantage after some patient build-up play in front of the Aalesund back four. The ball was laid back to Saunders and the right-back's driven ball into the box was diverted home by Sutton from 14 yards.

Aalesund were lacking the creativity of injured Jamaica winger Demar Philips, who had won the penalty from Saunders in Norway and also hit the bar.

They were over-reliant on the long ball up to tall striker Tor Hogne Aaroy before the break and Darren Randolph commanded his box superbly.

The former Charlton goalkeeper comfortably held Magnus Olsen's header following a Peter Larsen cross when the visitors did carve out a chance.

Aalesund were playing three up front and pushing midfielders up to support but they could not find a way through and wide players Murphy and Humphrey were breaking forward whenever the hosts got possession.

Murphy had a decent penalty claim when he was bundled over by Trond Fredriksen's clumsy aerial challenge but Motherwell had to settle for a two-goal interval lead.

Olsen turned and fired two yards wide from long range moments after the restart and the visitors began to exert some sustained pressure.

Mathisen looked destined to head home Pablo Herrera's right-wing cross but he failed to make proper contact and Saunders nodded clear.

Motherwell were struggling to keep the ball and faced more nervous moments as their opponents, who are 19 matches into their league season, found an extra gear.

Brown switched from a back four and moved Saunders into a three-man central defence with Tom Hateley now playing at right wing-back, and the tactic helped briefly relieve the pressure. But Well were still sitting deep and Mark Reynolds needed all of his pace to prevent Aaroy latching on to a flick-on before Ville Jalasto glanced a header just wide from eight yards.

A goal for the visitors would have given Motherwell serious cause for concern and they continued to live dangerously until they killed off any lingering hopes with a third on the break in the 89th minute.

Saunders played the ball forward from the right-back position and Murphy flicked it past the only covering defender before drawing the goalkeeper and unselfishly squaring for Page to stroke into the empty net.

Page, who had replaced John Sutton five minutes earlier, was making his first appearance at Fir Park, which erupted in celebration moments later.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Thursday, 21 August 2014
20:15
Rijeka 1-0 Sh Tiraspol  
19:45
Sarajevo 2-3 M'gladbach  
19:30
Lokeren 1-0 Hull City Report
Lyon 1-2 FC Astra Ploiesti  
RNK Split 0-0 Torino  
Sociedad 1-0 Krasnodar  
19:15
Asteras Tripoli 2-0 Mac Tel Avi  
Trnava 1-3 FC Zurich  
Grasshoppers 1-2 Club Brugge  
Partizan 3-2 Neftchi  

Footer 365

Malky Mackay apologises for offensive texts while Cardiff manager

Malky Mackay has issued an official apology for sending offensive text messages during his time as Cardiff manager.

Dutch Eredivisie: Ajax v PSV preview

Ajax hope to steal a march on title rivals PSV when the two sides clash at the Amsterdam ArenA on Sunday, live on Sky.

Transfer news: Tottenham turn to Sevilla's Federico Fazio in hunt for new centre-half

Tottenham are interested in signing Argentina international Federico Fazio from Sevilla, according to Sky sources.

Mail Box

More Fan Mail For Football365...

'Just p*ss off with your righteous indignation will you. W*nkers.' There's a lot of anger going around for what should have been a sleepy Friday afternoon at F365 Towers...

Man United: One Game To Save Season

They have one match to convince decent players that they are worth joining - over to you, Louis. We also have mails on Malky Mackay, Mario Balotelli and Tim...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property