More injury worries at the back, a hugely controversial red card for Funso Ojo and a lack of cutting edge saw the Dons fall to defeat at Tannadice in a game where neither side shone.
Returning after the last international break of the year, the Dons made two changes to the side for the trip to Tannadice to take on Dundee United, the suspended Lewis Ferguson and David Bates, who is ill, missing out. Jack Gurr, back for the first team seen the Raith defeat, and fit again Jack MacKenzie replaced them in the side. Teddy Jenks returned to the bench for the Dons.
Beaten 5-2 by Hearts at Tynecastle before the break, there was just one change for Dundee United, Calum Butcher replacing Declan Glass, who dropped to the substitutes' bench.
The hosts were quickly out of the blocks, the ball cut back nicely for Fuchs, coming onto it on the edge of the box in the first minute, McGeouch hurling himself at the ball to make a vital block.
Freeman was in the book for a reckless hack on Ryan Hedges in the fourth minute, a dreadful looking tackle that was probably worth a yellow and a half. It signalled a change in the game for from there, the Dons looked much more settled and started to take a measure of control.
McGeouch had the Dons' first look at goal, a direct free kick from the left edge of the United box clutched under the bar by Siegrist on nine minutes. Christian Ramirez was closer still on 14 minutes, fizzing the ball through the six-yard box and inches past the post as Scott Brown was coming in at the far post.
McGeouch needed some quick treatment on 25 minutes for a gash on the head, but he was soon back in the action. A couple of minutes later, a fierce shot from Gurr from the edge of the penalty area skimmed just wide, part of an encouraging start to the game from him.
A loose pass from MacKenzie 35 yards out was intercepted by Freeman on 29 minutes, allowing him to advance on goal but fortunately, his shot flashed across the face and wide. MacKenzie was in the wars a minute later, clashing heads with Pawlett and coming off worst. He needed lengthy treatment and a string of concussion checks before being declared ok to resume.
Funso Ojo became the first Aberdeen man booked, a challenge on Butcher penalised on 40 minutes. Hedges followed a minute later for smacking a frustrated shot at goal after being whistled for offside.
Butcher, who had been wound up to the max from the first whistle, then collected a silly red card After Edwards and Ramirez went head-to-head in the centre circle, Butcher came across and gave Ramirez a dig as he walked past. As the American doubled up on the ground, it was simple for Madden to dispense a straight red card.
Moments later, a moment of real controversy, and the major talking point from the game.
Ojo landed up behind the goal as his momentum took him over the advertising boards as he chased a ball near the goal line. As Funso tried to regain his balance he was shoved in the chest by a Dundee United supporter. In the aftermath, Ojo was shown a second yellow card before a red one. It was hard to understand what Funso had done wrong considering the circumstances.
There was still time for MacKenzie to take a late hit and require treatment before the half-time whistle was blown in a febrile atmosphere at Tannadice.
HALF-TIME: DUNDEE UNITED 0 ABERDEEN 0
Jonny Hayes replaced the injured MacKenzie as the two sides of ten men returned after the break. The Dons switched to a back four, Brown into midfield, Dean Campbell going to centre-half alongside Ross McCrorie. Appere was United's first change, replacing Niskanen 56 minutes.
Hedges was close a minute later, Hayes surging down the left before crossing, Hedges taking a swing at it on the volley as the ball came across him, the ball flying over from a tight angle. Hayes collided with the perimeter boards and was in need of the physio before continuing. Fuchs meanwhile was off with a hamstring injury, subbed by Hoti on 59 minutes.
Good combination work between Hedges and Ramirez set the Welshman on the run on 62 minutes but as he got into the box, he ran out of options and the chance was smothered. Teddy Jenks was Aberdeen's next switch, replacing McGeouch on 65 minutes. The Dons were clearly the better side but with the hosts sitting deep, space was at a premium.
Jenks almost had an instant impact, Gurr's cross picking him out on the edge of the box. He controlled well and his second touch was a stab goal wards, Siegrist doing very well to save sharply to his left. Glass then replaced Pawlett for the home side.
Gurr went down with cramp and took some treatment from the physio on 73 minutes and was then replaced by Matty Longstaff, Brown dropping back to centre-half again as injuries continued to beset Aberdeen.
The Dons kept knocking at the door of the massed United defence, but it was the home side who came close on 77 after a bout of head tennis from a corner gave Clark the chance to try an acrobatic overhead kick that flew just over the bar from close range.
A great save from Joe Lewis rescued Longstaff who dallied on the ball and lost possession in midfield. Appere advanced on goal and fired off a shot, Lewis, doing well to divert it against the near post and behind. From McMann's corner though, Harkes was picked out standing all alone at the back post and, with the outside of the boot, he clipped the ball into the gaping goal.
From there, United were even more deeply encamped in their own half, a sea of orange that the Dons simply could not penetrate as the clock ran down, the final ball again all too often going astray.
Brown took the fight to United as we entered the final minute, running fully 60 yards forward before seeing his cross put behind for another corner that came to nothing. Marley Watkins took a leaf from the skipper's book, driving forward before exchanging passes with Hedges, driving his shot at Siegrist who stood up well to save, securing the points for the home side.