Match ends, Aberdeen 2, Dundee United 0.
Scottish Premiership: Aberdeen v Dundee United
Aberdeen ended their run of six matches without a win as second-half goals by Adam Rooney and Jonny Hayes snuffed out the weak challenge of Dundee United.
Hayes slapped a shot across the face of goal and team-mate Willo Flood poked a shot over the bar, while United's Scott Fraser shot wide in a poor first half.
But Rooney's close-range header broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute.
Fraser's fierce drive went a fraction wide of Danny Ward's Dons net before Hayes' slick goal settled home nerves.
United appeared to have come to Pittodrie to frustrate and, although they did occasionally test Ward with shots, it was a poor performance from Mixu Paateleinen's men who are desperate for points to start some kind of push up the table.
There has been a fragility about both teams in recent weeks and it was the visitors who almost buckled first in an opening half pretty much completely dominated by the Dons.
Peter Pawlett, in for Niall McGinn on the right, played a tantalising ball in to the back post but Hayes snapped at the shot and it went wide.
The game then became a little hypnotically predictable as Aberdeen settled into the United half and continued to pepper the box with cross after cross from both wings.
United dealt with the majority of it at the first attempt but Graeme Shinnie brought out a fabulous save from Michal Szromnik just before the half hour - his low volley from 14 yards tipped just past the post.
On a rare foray forward, Fraser could not believe his luck when Ryan Jack looked to tackle himself in his own half and gift possession to United but Fraser could only shank the ball wide as he raced in on goal.
The second half was in danger of falling into the same stodgy affair until Hayes floated a ball in from the left which the United defence failed to deal with and Adam Rooney nodded home his ninth goal of the season.
The relief was palpable around Pittodrie as the Irishman almost drowned under a sea of celebrating team-mates.
After that Derek McInnes's men set off in search of number two but again United closed ranks and frustrated.
As the clock ticked down United began to sneak forward. Fraser snapped at the ball from the edge of the box and Ward could only look on as it bounced inches last his post.
With 17 minutes to go, though, Hayes secured the points with a stunning individual strike.
He burst down the left, looked up and lashed the ball across Szromnik and into the far corner to cap a wonderful day's work.
- 11HayesSubstituted forMcLaughlinat 90'minutes
- 7McLeanSubstituted forRobsonat 80'minutes
- 16PawlettSubstituted forMcGinnat 81'minutes
- 20SpittalSubstituted forJohnsonat 74'minutes
- 29TaggartSubstituted forMurrayat 65'minutes
- Steven McLean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Aberdeen 2, Dundee United 0.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Ryan McLaughlin replaces Jonny Hayes.
Attempt missed. Scott Fraser (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.
Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Scott Fraser (Dundee United).
Attempt missed. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Attempt missed. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Niall McGinn replaces Peter Pawlett.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Barry Robson replaces Kenny McLean.
Attempt saved. John Rankin (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).
Mark Durnan (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Paul Dixon (Dundee United).
Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).
Scott Fraser (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Dundee United. Justin Johnson replaces Blair Spittal.
Goal! Aberdeen 2, Dundee United 0. Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Peter Pawlett.
Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Ash Taylor.