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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Dundee United

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Dundee United

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Rooney 39.

18/04/2015 | KO: 15:00

Dons Guarantee Europe As Rooney Hits 27

The Dons clinched European football for next season with five games of the current campaign remaining thanks to Adam Rooney's 27th goal of the season.

The Dons also reached the 71 point mark, their highest ever points tally (since three points for a win came into play in 1994-95). 68 last season beat the 65 from 2006-07, which was the previous best.

When converting the seasons prior to 1994 to 3 points for a win, 1992-93 would have been 91 points, which is the best ever, but based on 44 matches. Season 1984-85, which was the last time Aberdeen won the League title, had the equivalent of 86 points for 36 matches and 1954-55, our first Championship, would have had 73 points for 30 matches.

As for the game itself, it was a thoroughly deserved win. The only goal came on 39 minutes. A Robson free kick was knocked onto the post by skipper Reynolds and the ever alert Adam Rooney was as usual in the right place at the right time to score from close range.

Aberdeen dominated the midfield (with Willo Flood again outstanding) and dominated possession - having an incredible 61% of the ball, but they could not get a second goal that would have killed the game off. With twenty minutes to go Barry Robson was sent off for a foul on Telfer by referee Madden.

Despite being a man down the Dons never really looked in any danger and superb backing from the Red Army helped them get the job done.

Match Report |

Derek McInnes made two changes to the side that beat Kilmarnock last Sunday. Ashton Taylor came back in for Donervorn Daniels and Barry Robson replaced Cammy Smith. So it was Brown in goal, Logan at right back, Taylor and Reynolds in central defence, Considine at left back. Robson and Flood were the central midfielders with Hayes on the left and McGinn on the right, with McLean playing off Rooney.

On 5 minutes a half chance for Kenny McLean, he hit his shot early but it went high into the crowd. He might have been better playing in McGinn who was in a better position but you can't blame Kenny for trying to find his first Aberdeen goal. After 10 minutes Hayes put over a nice ball but it was behind all the advancing Dons players.

The opening 15 minutes were more a case of both teams sizing each other up without a real shot on target.
On 16 minutes the best move so far. Niall McGinn controlled the ball on his chest and laid it into the path of McLean. Kenny, who is getting better and better each week, nutmegged Butcher and played a lovely through ball into the path of Jonny Hayes. Jonny was able to get a shot at goal, he tried to put it across the keeper, but Cierzniak stood up well to the shot and was able to block with his foot.

After 20 minutes there were signs that the Dons midfield were slowly getting on top.

On 26 minutes the Dons won a corner, the first of the game. The ball came over and Considine got his head on it but could not get any direction on his effort. A minute later a good move by the Dons - Flood to Logan whose cross was met at the back post by Hayes but the flag went up for a foul by Rooney on the keeper. Cierzniak spilled the ball but Jonny found the side netting, not that it mattered anyway.

On 29 minutes the Dons had the ball in the back of the net. A second Dons corner was headed home by Reynolds but referee Madden blew up well before the ball went in. There was a lot of pushing and shoving in the box from both sets of players but the referee ruled in favour of the defenders. On the half hour mark corners three and four came along. Willo Flood tried an effort at goal which deflects off John Souttar. On 37 minutes a ball in from the right was knocked back into the danger area by Taylor but he could not find a red jersey.

A minute later Madden flashed a card in the direction of Butcher after a foul down the Dons right, midway inside the United half. From the resulting free kick Aberdeen took the lead. Robson swung in a great ball which was prodded towards goal by Reynolds at the far post. Mark did very well to get good contact on it and his effort actually hit the post. With Cierzniak on the ground Adam Rooney was on hand to score goal number 27 of the season. Great reactions from the striker, so many of his goals this season have been down to him being the first player to react inside the six yard box.

On 40 minutes United had their first spell of pressure and at times the Dons defence made heavy weather of clearing it but they held out. On 43 minutes the first chance for the visitors when Bilate found space in the box but Brown did well to get off his line quickly and he made a good save. Aberdeen then cleared the ball up field and Hayes was in the clear but the referee pulled the game back because Bilate was still lying on the ground injured, much to the frustration of the Aberdeen players and the supporters.


United started the second half strongly but did not do anything to trouble Brown in goal. Scott on the whole had another very quiet afternoon.

On 54 minutes a long range effort from Flood had to be turned round the post by Cierzniak. It was a decent save actually as the ball was sneaking in at the corner. Willo had another brilliant game this afternoon. His hamstring injury affected him for quite a while but in now back to his best form.

After 56 minutes a McLean effort deflected wide for another Dons corner but again they could not create an opening from the set play. On the hour mark Scott Brown saved a low shot from Chris Erskine. Then on 62 minutes a good ball in from McGinn was played behind for a corner with Rooney lurking at the front post. It was all Aberdeen at this stage and they won another couple of corners. The manager would certainly have been happy with the way the team were playing.

65 minutes gone, substitute Robbie Muirhead, who joined the Tannadice side from Kilmarnock during the transfer window, picked up the ball and cut inside before unleashing a curling shot which Brown saved. Then after 69 and a half minutes United won their first corner of the afternoon. Taylor, who was very dominant throughout the game, headed clear.

A minute later the main talking point from the match. Barry Robson was controversially sent off for raising his arm against Telfer as both players fought for the ball. The United players claimed it was an elbow and the nearside, who was close to the incident, raised his flag and after consultation with ref Madden a red card was produced.

Aberdeen immediately made a change with Ryan Jack coming on Niall McGinn. The Dons had 20 minutes to play with ten men but it has to be said the Aberdeen support were magnificent during this period and gave the players a real lift.

With 15 to go, delightful play by Hayes who played a great reserve ball in for Jack who won corner number 10 of the afternoon. Taylor made a good leap and headed the ball down. It fell for Rooney but he rushed his effort and it went over the bar.

The Aberdeen fans were getting more and more frustrated with the officials after Ciftci appeared to leave a foot in on Considine but neither Madden nor the nearside linesman saw it. The fans then felt Ciftci threw himself to the ground looking for a free kick but once again the officials waved play on.

In the final ten minutes United enjoyed some good possession in and around the Dons penalty area but they were unable to create anything on note. The best chance came in the 89th minute, and it was actually for the home side, when Hayes broke forward and sent the ball to Rooney and he was able to get a shot away but credit to United defence who managed to get back and block. In injury time Daniels replaced Flood and he helped the Dons see out the three minutes of injury time as Aberdeen picked up another three points.
Dundee United Teamsheet
01.Radoslaw Cierzniak, 05.Jaroslaw Fojut, 14.Callum Morris, 20.Calum Butcher (43.Alistair Coote 77), 03.Paul Dixon, 04.John Souttar, 16.Ryan McGowan, 17.Christopher Erskine, 21.Charles Telfer, 07.Nadir Ciftci, 19.Mario Bilate (10.Robbie Muirhead 48). Unused Subs: 02.Sean Dillon, 23.Scott Smith, 24.Blair Spittal, 26.Michal Szromnik, 30.Henri Anier.

Bookings:  16.Ryan McGowan (58),   20.Calum Butcher (38).
Attendance: 12,619
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Bobby Madden