The Dons ended a run of seven straight away defeats in the league with victory at Tannadice, three points that elevated Aberdeen to fifth place in the table.
Following the 1-0 victory over Livingston last Saturday, Barry Robson named an unchanged side at Tannadice. Liam Scales returned from suspension on the bench in place of Callum Roberts.
There were four changes to the Dundee United team that lost 4-0 at Ross County last Saturday. Birighitti, Harkes, McMann and Freeman were all in the starting XI, Newman, Smith, Djoum and Fotheringham dropping to the bench.
Jay Gorter was in early action with a brilliant save in the second minute. Fletcher was clean through as Angus MacDonald failed to clear a long ball forward, but Gorter was quickly off his line to spread himself and turn the shot wide of goal.
In a hectic start, Fletcher was in again four minutes later, picking up a loose ball off Jack MacKenzie. His angled shot from a dozen yards looked bound for the far corner but MacKenzie was able to tidy up by getting in an important block.
Ten minutes in and Aberdeen won a free-kick 35 yards out for a foul on Bojan Miovski, Duk blasting the ball over the bar. At the other end, Harkes bulleted a header wide of goal from ten yards out as he got on the end of a Behich cross.
Gorter had to be sharp in the 20th minute, an Edwards header from a United corner curling towards the top corner, the Dons? goalkeeper stretching to claw the ball away to safety.
Aberdeen created a chance of their own, a long ball hoisted to the back post, Ryan Duncan heading it back across goal, Miovski unable to get the vital touch before the ball was scrambled away. The game flowed straight back up the other end and from a Freeman cross, Fletcher produced a glancing header that drifted just wide of goal on 22 minutes.
The danger came from Edwards again at another corner on 25 minutes, his header blocked behind by MacKenzie. From the follow up corner, Gorter took matters into his own hands, coming well off his line to punch the cross clear. Ylber Ramadani was on the run on the left after 27 minutes, his cross deflected off a defender and onto the roof of the net. Birighitti followed Gorter?s example by punching the cross clear.
Duncan had Aberdeen?s best chance thus far on the half hour, MacKenzie floating another cross deep into the box, Duncan behind the defender and clear on goal, but he chose to head the ball back across goal to Miovski, but it was the United goalkeeper who collected. Gorter had to sprint off his line on 37 minutes and managed to clear from Fletcher some 30 yards out. There might have been a question about a high boot but fortunately, Fletcher was deemed offside anyway. Miovski looked to be in a minute later, but he couldn?t quite control a Leighton Clarkson pass and the chance was gone.
A run from Mattie Pollock won Aberdeen a free-kick 20 yards out in the dying seconds, but Clarkson?s effort was straight into the wall as the half came to a close.
HALF-TIME: DUNDEE UNITED 0 ABERDEEN 0
Ross McCrorie went down in the centre circle in the opening seconds of the half but United played on, a long ball into the box drawing Gorter off his line. He collided with Ramadani as he came out to punch, Ramadani needing treatment before continuing. McCrorie was also quickly back on his feet.
Another chance came Fletcher?s way on 48 minutes, getting just in front of MacKenzie to meet Behich?s cross, but his header was straight at Gorter. Behich was on the rampage again on 52 minutes drilling a low cross through the six-yard box but fortunately, no orange shirt could get a finishing touch to it.
Ramadani was looking to power forward again on 56 minutes, bringing the ball 40 yards forward before firing an effort well over the bar from 20 yards out.
The opening goal came a minute later though, a trademark bit of magic from Duk. Charging down an Edwards clearance on the left, he ploughed forward, cut inside the box and, with Mulgrew selling himself too early with a sliding tackle, Duk produced a little backheel into the net from five yards out.
Gorter went in the book for time wasting on 63 minutes as he dallied over a free-kick. McMann followed him three minutes later for a foul on Clarkson. Jonny Hayes and Liam Scales became Aberdeen?s first changes on 68 minutes for Duncan and Pollock, the Dons going to a back three. United responded Harkes and Sibbald replaced by Anaku and Djoum two minutes later.
On 72 minutes, Aberdeen conceded a penalty. Miovski and Shinnie lost the ball between them on the edge of the box, MacKenzie coming across to try to beat Anaku to the ball as he looked to capitalise on the error by bursting into the box, MacKenzie only succeeding in clipping the United man. McGrath stepped up to smash in the equaliser from the spot.
McCrorie was yellow carded on 77 for a challenge on Behich. He was celebrating three minutes later though, giving the Dons the lead. The move started down the left, Hayes feeding Clarkson who skipped past two United defenders and then measured a low pass through the box. McCrorie came onto it and produced a calm low finish with his left foot from 14 yards out.
Marley Watkins replaced Miovski on 83 minutes, just moments after Fletcher had got up to win another header, putting his effort over the bar. It took him about 30 seconds to score the third goal and seal the three points. Away down the left again, he robbed Edwards, the ball falling for Clarkson. Watkins dashed behind him to receive the return pass before bending the ball into the far corner. He was booked for over-celebrating in the aftermath.
Gorter had to produce another great save a minute later, a Fletcher knockdown eventually finding Anaku whose poke at goal was pawed away by the Dutchman.
Behich was next to try his luck, blazing a shot over the bar from ten yards out in the 92nd minute, Duk then making way for Hayden Coulson. Edwards headed wide three minutes later as the Dons managed the last few minutes of the game to see out a much needed away win.