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Dundee United 1 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Dundee United 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Dundee United scorers: R Muirhead 13.

02/05/2015 | KO: 15:00

Title Race Over as Rare Defeat Ends Dons Hopes

Match Summary

The Dons this afternoon went down to only their seventh defeat in the league this season. The fact Aberdeen did not win therefore means Celtic are the SPFL Premiership Champions with three games to go.

In front of a fantastic support, Aberdeen put in a decent enough performance and gave it everything but it was just one of those days when they did not get the break of the ball in the box. Taylor and Smith both had very good chances in the first half and Rooney had a couple of half chances in the second. The first goal was always going to be crucial, and so it proved. On 13 minutes a long ball from Souttar picked out an unmarked Robbie Muirhead in the area and he scored with a comfortable finish. With nothing at stake in the remaining fixtures manager Derek McInnes can now have one eye on next season.

Match Report

Derek McInnes made one change to the side that won last week in Inverness. Peter Pawlett came back into the side in place of Kenny McLean who dropped to the bench. So Aberdeen lined up with Brown in goal, Logan at right back, Considine at left back with Reynolds and Taylor in central defence. Flood and Jack were the central midfielders with McGinn wide on the right, Hayes wide left and Pawlett playing in behind Rooney. Andrew Considine was handed the captain's armband as it was his 300th appearance for the Dons.

The game kicked off in cold and wet conditions on a decent surface. It was the usual lively start to an Aberdeen v United game. In the second minute Niall McGinn put over a cross from the left after a good move, Rooney flicked it on but his header just went past the far post. Then at the other end Muirhead picked out Spittal in the box who was unmarked but Considine managed to get over and make a great block.

On 6 minutes Aberdeen somehow failed to take the lead. Hayes played over a free kick which was headed goalwards by an unmarked Rooney. Cierzniak made a decent save but the ball landed at the feet of Ash Taylor. For all the world it looked like the centre half would stick the ball into the empty net but the ball got tangled up in his feet and the keeper was able to get back and grab it. After 8 minutes the first corner went to Aberdeen after United were forced to scramble the ball clear when Rooney almost picked out Pawlett in the six yard box.

It was a good start from Aberdeen who were playing at a good tempo.

But then on 13 minutes against the run of play United took the lead. A long ball from John Souttar picked out Robbie Muirhead. The ex Killie man was completely unmarked and onside and had all the time in the world to take a touch and hammer it past Brown. A poor goal from the Dons point of view. Up to that point United's confidence had looked a bit fragile so the first goal in this game was always going to be important.

Aberdeen had a good chance to equalise from a corner straight away. The ball was cleared to the edge of the area. Pawlett knocked it back in at pace and Taylor's glancing header had Cierzniak scrambling. On 22 minutes more joy down the left wing for the Dons. Hayes played the ball in but it was just too high for Rooney and Cierzniak gathered. Then Peter Pawlett was forced to go off after failing to recover from an earlier knock. Cammy Smith, who was maybe a bit unlucky not to start the game, came on. With Smith's arrival, the Dons changed to more of a 4-3-3 formation.

On 27 minutes the Dons won a free kick wide on the left. Hayes put over a good ball which picked out Considine but the skipper could not get a touch. With half an hour gone the Dons would have been frustrated to have been behind as they had plenty of the ball in the final third but were unable to create any clear openings. On 32 minutes a Ciftci shot from an angle was on target but Brown was well positioned and was able to make an easy save. On 37 minutes a pre-rehearsed corner move very nearly came off. Smith made a late run into the box towards the near post and McGinn was only inches away from picking him out.

On the stroke of half time Aberdeen had another wonderful chance. Considine first of all swung over a great ball from the left which was actually well defended by United. Reynolds then played an intelligent first time header wide for Logan. Shay from the by-line put over a good ball which fell to Cammy Smith at the back of the six yard box but just when it looked like he would score Ryan McGowan got across to make a great block.

HT 1-0

United started the second half strongly. On 48 minutes Jack inadvertently played the ball into the path of Muirhead. He again had time to pick his spot, instead he decided to hammer in a shot with his left foot and Brown was forced to make a good block. On 55 minutes another great chance for the Dons. The ball was played wide to Hayes who put over a driven cross. McGinn then Smith appeared close to scoring but again the ball would just not fall for a white shirt in the box. This was the story of the day. Then Rooney hit a powerful shot that the United keeper knew little about. The ball hit his knee and rebounded back into the danger area but again frustratingly no Aberdeen player could get on the end of it.

On 62 minutes there was a double change for the Dons. Jack and Considine went off and Goodwillie and McLean came on. Hayes slotted in at left back as Derek McInnes went for it. Aberdeen had to win this game so they had nothing to lose. At times it looked like a 4-2-4 formation. On 63 minutes a Smith volley just went over. It was a good effort from Cammy but the ball would just not come down for him in time. On 65 minutes Goodwillie played a neat threated ball through to Rooney. For a second it looked like Adam had an opening but Cierzniak did well to get out and make a block at the striker's feet.

It was then all Aberdeen as they pushed for an equaliser but the United defence did a good job. Paul Dixon and Ryan McGowan, both brought in in January, both impressed. All the United players worked hard to protect their lead.

On 82 minutes there was a stramash in the box. Again the ball would not fall for a white jersey so Rooney tried an overhead kick but he could not make good enough contact. United broke quickly and had a one on one. Ciftci for a moment got the better of Logan but the Dons defender, named in the SPFL team of the year, got back to make a brilliant tackle. The danger was not over though so Scott Brown elected to come out of his area and also made a great tackle.

In the final stages the Dons huffed and puffed but never really looked like scoring and were made to regret not taking some of their earlier chances. On 89 minutes they did have a free kick in a good area which Hayes and McGinn left to Taylor who hammered it wide.

Not the worst performance of the season, but just no breaks in front of goal.
Dundee United Teamsheet
01.Radoslaw Cierzniak, 03.Paul Dixon, 05.Jaroslaw Fojut, 14.Callum Morris, 16.Ryan McGowan, 04.John Souttar, 08.John Rankin, 21.Charles Telfer, 24.Blair Spittal (22.Aidan Connolly 46), 07.Nadir Ciftci, 10.Robbie Muirhead (23.Scott Smith 80). Unused Subs: 02.Sean Dillon, 26.Michal Szromnik, 30.Henri Anier, 33.Euan Spark, 43.Alistair Coote.

Bookings:  07.Nadir Ciftci (76),   16.Ryan McGowan (85).
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Brown, Logan, Considine, Taylor, Reynolds, Flood, McGinn, Hayes, Jack, Rooney, Pawlett.

Unused Subs: Robertson, Shankland, Daniels, Langfield.

Bookings:  Reynolds (88),  Flood (90).
Attendance: 8,686
Venue: Tannadice Park, Dundee
Referee: John Beaton
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead