Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen1Dundee UtdDundee United1

Aberdeen 1-1 Dundee United

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland

Niall McGinn's first goal in three months earned Aberdeen a draw in a fast-paced match against Dundee United.

The Northern Irishman met Barry Robson's perfect delivery to head in from six yards and equalise after United had taken an early lead.

Tangerines midfielder Paul Paton's classy finish made an initially sloppy Aberdeen pay in the sixth minute.

Both teams have now gone four games unbeaten in the Premiership as the battle for second place intensifies.

Derek McInnes's Aberdeen still occupy that coveted spot and move two points clear of Motherwell, who lost at home to Kilmarnock.

Jackie McNamara has now failed to mastermind a victory over the Dons in three attempts this season.

Paul Paton's second goal of the season put United in front after six minutes
Paul Paton's second goal of the season put United in front after six minutes

Much is made of how the Dons enjoy the benefits of two former United central midfielders; Willo Flood and Barry Robson, but the beginning of this match was shaped completely by the Tangerines' current engine room.

Paton has been a quietly effective presence at the heart of United's team this season, appearing in 31 of 32 Premiership games to date.

Few more deserving, then, to be on the end of Russell Anderson's half-clearance to cleverly steer the ball into the bottom corner from 18 yards - a second goal of the season for the man who was called up by Northern Ireland in March.

And as Aberdeen struggled to settle, similar to the previous week at home against Kilmarnock, Paton's holding midfield partner almost doubled the lead. Dons' goalkeeper Jamie Langfield had to be at full stretch to turn John Rankin's long-range strike wide of the post.

Next up to deny the visitors a second was Mark Reynolds, who despite not knowing much about it, deflected John Souttar's goal-bound drive over the crossbar.

Eventually, though, Robson's influence began to tell for Aberdeen as he orchestrated a number of promising moves, the first of which he himself could have levelled the match from if he hadn't arrowed his shot straight at Radoslaw Cierzniak.

United's Polish 'keeper denied the Dons again when he turned McGinn's effort onto the inside of the post, a taste of what would be coming his way after half-time.

McGinn moved up front alongside Adam Rooney and the ripple effect was evident immediately. Robson watched his tidy half-volley be saved but the 35-year-old was soon creating Aberdeen's equaliser.

From the right-hand side, the former Celtic midfielder's cross was met by a stooping McGinn, who headed in the goal that had eluded him since December.

It was his 10th goal of the season, which almost became 11 immediately when he burst forward confidently and tested Cierzniak once more.

From there on in the game remained frenetic and end-to-end, but apart from a late, low Rooney drive, neither team created anything clear-cut.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Langfield
  • 29Logan
  • 6Reynolds
  • 8Flood
  • 4AndersonBooked at 14mins
  • 2Shaughnessy
  • 22Jack
  • 15Robson
  • 10McGinn
  • 17Rooney
  • 14SmithSubstituted forMcManusat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Robertson
  • 7Zola-Makongo
  • 9Vernon
  • 18Low
  • 20Weaver
  • 24McManus
  • 28Tate

Dundee Utd

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 12Watson
  • 5GunningBooked at 90mins
  • 6Paton
  • 2Dillon
  • 20Souttar
  • 18Dow
  • 8Rankin
  • 9Graham
  • 11Mackay-StevenSubstituted forGauldat 64'minutes
  • 10S ArmstrongSubstituted forGomisat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 16Wilson
  • 19Gauld
  • 25McCallum
  • 27Gomis
  • 29El Alagui
  • 37Smith
  • 39Connolly
Referee:
Calum Murray
Attendance:
14,627

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home18
Away8
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home2
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Dundee United 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Dundee United 1.

  3. Booking

    Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Post update

    Hand ball by Gavin Gunning (Dundee United).

  5. Post update

    Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United).

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

  10. Post update

    Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Barry Robson (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Brian Graham (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

  14. Post update

    Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Morgaro Gomis (Dundee United).

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Declan McManus replaces Cameron Smith.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Morgaro Gomis replaces Stuart Armstrong.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

  20. Post update

    John Souttar (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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