Motherwell gave Aberdeen a lesson in finishing as they held on to claim maximum points at Pittodrie.
Motherwell celebrate their opening goal at Pittodrie
Aberdeen squandered a number of chances before Paul Quinn opened the scoring with a wonderful drive on 34 minutes.
Soon after, the visitors' lead was doubled when Chris Porter's neat control allowed him to drill the ball beyond Dons keeper Derek Soutar.
Aberdeen pressed but Jamie Smith's excellent goal from a long range free kick was all they could manage.
Prior to the game there was a minute's applause for former Aberdeen manager Ian Porterfield, who died this week.
The first chance of the match came for Aberdeen in the 11th minute when Zander Diamond saw a header from Barry Nicholson's corner cleared off the Motherwell line by Stephen Hughes.
The home side continued to put their opponents under pressure and following a neat passing exchange between Lee Miller and Scott Severin, Well keeper Graeme Smith had to tip the striker's looping effort over the crossbar.
Motherwell registered their first shot on target when Soutar was forced to push over a clever chipped effort by Hughes from the edge of the penalty area.
Striker Stevie Lovell curled a shot from 18 yards wide of the post and a dangerous cross from Chris Clark flashed across the goalmouth as the Dons continued to push on.
Barry Nicholson then placed a shot just wide and Smith drew a good save from his namesake in the Motherwell goal with a low drive.
Having absorbed a lot of pressure, the visitors retaliated with a sucker-punch and from 20 yards Quinn fired a searing shot straight into the bottom right-hand corner of Soutar's goal.
A few minutes later, Motherwell again showed the hosts how to finish when Phil O'Donnell's perfectly weighted pass played Porter in behind a static Dons defence, and the forward sent a terrific shot across Soutar.
Aberdeen flew out of the traps after the break and Lovell should have found the back of the net after being released by Severin, but his effort was weak and Smith saved comfortably.
Clark later unleashed a shot which carried just over the crossbar.
Just when they seemed to be running out of ideas, the Dons finally found the back of the Motherwell net thanks to a superb free-kick from Smith.
From 25 yards the midfielder managed to get the ball up and over the defensive wall and in to the top right-hand corner, with the keeper clutching at fresh air.
Despite the Dons getting a foothold in the game, it was the away side who finished stronger, with Hughes sending a free-kick wide and then blasting a drive from an acute angle past Soutar's near post.
Aberdeen: Soutar, Clark, Hart, Diamond, McNamara (Foster 17), Nicholson, Severin, Jamie Smith, Young (Maguire 59), Lovell, Miller (Mackie 75). Subs Not Used: Langfield, Daniel Smith, De Visscher, Aluko.
Goals: Jamie Smith 65.
Motherwell: Graeme Smith, Quinn, Craigan, Reynolds, Paterson, McGarry, Hughes, O'Donnell (Fitzpatrick 44), Clarkson (Grabban 60), Porter, McCormack (Lasley 67). Subs Not Used: Meldrum, Mensing, Kinniburgh, Darren Smith.
Booked: Quinn. Goals: Quinn 34, Porter 37.
Ref: D McDonald