Dundee emerged from a three-week break to sweep Motherwell aside in the cinch Premiership at Dens Park.
The Dark Blues established a commanding first-half lead thanks to goals from Luke McCowan and Danny Mullen before adding a third shortly after the interval through Ryan Sweeney.
The result brought to an end the Steelmen’s two-game winning run with Dundee now three points clear of Ross County at the bottom of the table.
Prior to kick-off, there was a minute’s silence in memory of former Dundee player Doug Cowie who has passed away at the age of 95.
Both teams took a while to get into their stride with the first attempt on goal not arriving until the 13th minute when home winger Paul McMullan had a shot from the edge of the Motherwell box deflected just wide for a corner.
There was a clearer-cut opportunity shortly after when Dundee’s Paul McGowan fed Mullen inside the Motherwell box with the striker’s shot being well saved by keeper Liam Kelly.
However, the goalkeeper was helpless to prevent James McPake’s men taking the lead on 19 minutes.
Jordan Marshall cut the ball back to McCowan who took his time to manufacture space for himself before rifling a shot low past Kelly into the bottom corner.
The home side were well on top and had another great opportunity to double their advantage when McMullan swung a corner in from the left with Lee Ashcroft sending a bullet header goalward but Kelly pulled off a vital, instinctive save.
However, Dundee deservedly increased their lead in the 25th minute when skipper Charlie Adam produced a clever pass to McCowan who teed up Mullen to fire past Kelly despite the keeper getting a hand to the shot.
Motherwell boss Graham Alexander made a double change at half-time with Jordan Roberts and Kevin van Veen coming on for Connor Shields and Liam Grimshaw.
The changes almost had an immediate effect just two minutes after the restart with Van Veen being presented with a chance inside the Dundee box but the Dutch striker’s shot cannoned off the post.
Dundee made it three on 49 minutes. Adam delivered a free-kick from the right with the ball being turned back across goal by Ashcroft towards his centre-half partner Sweeney, who netted from close range.
Motherwell’s Tony Watt had a chance to pull one back but Dundee keeper Adam Legzdins, who had little to do all afternoon, made a fine stop to deny the striker.
However, the Dark Blues comfortably saw out the game to secure a vital three points.
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