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Dundee United 3 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Dundee United 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Dundee United scorers: N Hunt 50, B Robson 77, B Robson 84

19/01/2008 | KO: 15:00

Nightmare on Tannadice Street

Aberdeen's poor away form returned with a vengeance at Tannadice this afternoon and it was all triggered by a howler from Jamie Langfield. The keeper dithered in the 50th minute then had his clearance charged down by Hunt and the keeper could only look on helplessly as the ball rolled into the empty net. Aberdeen had a chance to redeem themselves five minutes later when Kenneth sent Lovell sprawling in the box. After great thought Craig Thomson pointed to the spot and Nicholson stepped up and blazed the ball well over the bar. Two further goals by Robson, as Aberdeen attempted to charge forward, completed the humiliation for the Dons. United now leapfrog Aberdeen and they will need to show a huge improvement if they are to make the League Cup Final next month.

It was a bit of a stop-start opening to the match as both sides looked to settle in the early stages. United were enjoying the bulk of possession without threatening Langfield's goal, but Flood did evade Nicholson in the 5th minute before he dragged his shot well wide. Lovell carved out a chance two minutes later but McLean gathered the ball as Mair played it back into the danger area. Lovell and Smith combined well in the 11th minute until Smith was tripped and referee Thomson allowed United to continue unpunished. The home side swept forward and won the first two corners of the game. Fortunately nothing came of the set play.

United had a sustained period of pressure around the 15 minute mark but the Dons defence held firm. Good work from Young set up a good chance for Aluko in the 21st minute but Kenneth blocked the Englishman's effort. At the other end United were given the benefit of a tight offside decision and Considine had to do the blocking to deny the home team the league after a weak clearance from Mair. Hunt forced Langfield into a save a minute later despite once again looking offside. At the other end Diamond went close as the United defence struggled to cope with a Severin throw in.

Aberdeen in turn were at sixes and sevens as United launched a throw into the Dons box, but when they finally cleared Nicholson broke with pace, but his shot was blocked by Flood and Lovell failed to bury the loose ball. United then struggled to clear and Nicholson was brought down on the edge of the box. From the resultant free kick Smith failed to really test the keeper and McLean gathered easily. At the other end United won a corner and Mair made a hash of the clearance allowing another set play for the home side. The Dons were under pressure at this stage and a third corner was eventually scrambled clear.

Another corner kick followed in the 32nd minute as the Aberdeen defence started to creak. Langfield produced a strong punch to clear the danger and five minutes later Aberdeen won their first corner of the match. Smith swung a decent cross into the danger area but Byrne couldn't steer the ball on target. Two minutes later United won their seventh corner of the match and Kenneth should have put the home side ahead but thankfully headed wide with the Aberdeen defence posted missing. At the other end Byrne and Smith went close in a stramash in front of McLean. Wilkie then went into a challenge with his studs showing but referee Thomson saw nothing wrong with the challenge.

McNamara replaced Mair at the interval while the injured Wilkie was replaced by Swanson and both substitutes were involved in the opening minute. United charged forward and McNamara had to block Swanson's shot to concede an early corner. At the other end there was a loud appeal for a spot kick but referee Thomson was uninterested. United then took the lead in the 50th minute after a howler from Jamie Langfield. The keeper dithered before having his clearance charged down by Hunt who then calmly rolled the ball into the empty net. Aberdeen were then thrown a lifeline in the 56th minute when a long clearance from Langfield saw Kenneth pull down Lovell.

The referee dithered, looked at his assistant then finally awarded the spot kick and booked Kenneth. The chance was wasted when Nicholson stepped up and fired the ball well over the bar. Two minutes later Considine was booked for a rash challenge on Robson and in the 62nd minute Mackie replaced Aluko. Aberdeen were now playing with two up front and were showing more attacking prowess as they tried to turn the game. Smith tried to set up Lovell in the 69th minute but the pass was too heavy.

A minute later Aberdeen won a free kick in a dangerous position but McLean easily gathered Smith's effort. At the other end Flood broke, stepped forward and fired inches over. Calderwood then made his last change as Maguire replaced Considine in an effort to salvage something from the match. Another free kick was well held by McLean as several Aberdeen players went to attack the ball. Scott Severin then caused problems with a throw in on the 76th minute. Aberdeen failed to convert and a minute later they were completely sunk as Robson fired a left foot shot past Langfield after being set up by Conway.

Craig Thomson welcomed Mackie back to Scottish football with a soft yellow card in the 80th minute. The Dons ball control and final ball had completely deserted them at this stage as they stared defeat in the face and the full time whistle couldn't come quick enough. Nicholson then collected a yellow card when he brought Robson down on the edge of the box in the 83rd minute. The United man brushed himself down and drilled the ball low past a six-man wall to make it a comfortable 3-0 win for the home side.

Dundee United Teamsheet
E McLean, W Flood, N Hunt, S Dillon, M Kerr, G Kenneth, M Gomis, L Wilkie (D Swanson 45 [P Buaben 90]), C Conway (E Odhiambo 85), D Grainger, B Robson, Unused Subs: L Zaluska, D Robertson, F Milligan, J Russell.

Bookings:  G Kenneth (56).
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Byrne, Mair (McNamara 45), Severin, Diamond, Considine (Maguire 70), Nicholson, Young, Lovell, Aluko (Mackie 61), Smith.

Unused Subs: Soutar, Duff, de Visscher, Smith.

Bookings:  Considine (58),  Mackie (79),  Young (82).
Attendance: 8,579
Venue: Tannadice Park, Dundee
Referee: Craig Thomson, Paisley