Scottish Cup - Fifth Round
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Scottish Cup: Aberdeen 4-2 Dundee United

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Highlights: Aberdeen 4-2 Dundee United

Gary Mackay-Steven inspired Aberdeen to a Scottish Cup win over his former club, Dundee United, as they took their place in the quarter-final draw.

United's defensive tactics looked to be working until Adam Rooney headed home from point-blank range after the winger looped a volley towards goal.

Mackay-Steven slotted the second before Sam Stanton replied on the break.

But the Dons hit back through Kenny McLean's header and Mackay-Steven fired another before a Paul McMullan strike.

It is hard to believe it is just three years since Jackie McNamara's United beat Derek McInnes' side in the league given the huge gap that now exists between the clubs.

The Dons have remained Celtic's closest challengers while the Tannadice team are on to their third manager since and face a real struggle to get back to the Premiership at the first attempt.

They trail leaders St Mirren by a 14 points and, even though they have two games in hand, the play-offs look their best chance of a swift return and you can see why they are finding it tough in the Championship.

Aberdeen's Gary Mackay-Steven scores against Dundee United
Gary Mackay-Steven has scored seven goals this season for Aberdeen

Injuries to experienced players have not helped, but they have only scored as many goals away from home in the league as rock bottom Brechin City this season, while their defending in this game was a shambles at times.

On-loan Southampton goalkeeper Harry Lewis looked nervous between the sticks all day and the youngster looked culpable in the loss of all four Aberdeen's goals - not that he got much help from those in front of him.

Grant Gillespie had a nightmare debut as the player brought in from Hamilton Accies last month simply could not cope with the pace and movement of Mackay-Steven, while Stewart Murdoch and Mark Durnan struggled in the central area.

Craig Slater was no better in midfield as the former Kilmarnock player also had a poor game in front of the back four, but there were few in the appropriately black strips that earned pass marks.

The first goal summed things up as Niall McGinn's cross should have been dealt with by Lewis and Mackay-Steven was left unmarked, his mishit shot beat the goalkeeper only to be forced over the line by Rooney.

That was in 20 minutes and, seven minutes later, Slater gifted possession to McGinn, who played in Mackay-Steven to drill the ball behind Lewis.

Aberdeen's centre-backs showed they could be just as negligent to give the visitors some hope.

Dundee United's Sam Stanton scores against Aberdeen
Dundee United's Sam Stanton scores against Aberdeen

The highly rated Scott McKenna did not look so impressive as Stanton took advantage of slack play to race clear to score his sixth goal of the season with an accomplished finish.

It summed up United's form at the moment that, within seconds, more poor defending allowed McLean to head in the third from a Ryan Christie cross and the only question from then on was how many the Dons would score.

In the end, all they added was Mackay-Steven's second in 55 minutes when Lewis could only deflect the winger's acute-angle drive into the roof of the net.

More slack Dons play surrendered a second to United when Billy King twisted and turned to create a bit of space and, when Shay Logan did not get tight enough on McMullan, the substitute curled a sublime shot round goalkeeper Freddie Woodman from the junction of the box.

Woodman was called into action to prevent Anthony O'Connor scoring an own goal in what almost developed into a bizarre end to what was really a straightforward home win.

The only real disappointment for Aberdeen as they secured a fourth consecutive victory - and their fourth in a row over the Terrors in the first meeting of the two old rivals since March 2016 - was a booking for Andrew Considine that means the defender is suspended for the next round.

Post-match reaction

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Dundee United manager Csaba Laszlo frustrated at 'gift goal'

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "I thought we came out of the blocks really well and showed a fantastic approach to the game in difficult conditions, as the pitch isn't playing great at all and the wind made it hard for the players.

"But I thought we provided a lot of real quality, our pressing of the game was good and we robbed them in good areas and were really clinical in front of goal.

"There were some fantastic finishes and our reaction to losing the goal we did was instant with a fantastic bit of skill from Ryan Christie and a good finish from Kenny McLean.

"You think the games done after our fourth goal, but United deserve a lot of credit as they never gave it up and showed some good passages of play, but we are delighted to get through."

Dundee United manager Csaba Laszlo: "I'm very disappointed, especially in the first half as we get back in the game then immediately give away a gift goal.

"In the second half we played a little bit better and tried to dominate the game. We scored a second goal and near the end we had a big possibility to score another one.

"But I recognise that Aberdeen were the better team, but generally with the spirit of the team I was very pleased.

"If you play football the first aim to avoid giving away the sort of goals that we did in this game, but if we get the spirit we showed in the second half I think we can have some good results in the league now."

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 30Woodman
  • 2Logan
  • 5O'Connor
  • 19McKenna
  • 4ConsidineBooked at 36mins
  • 3ShinnieBooked at 37mins
  • 7McLean
  • 17McGinn
  • 22Christie
  • 11Mackay-StevenSubstituted forBallat 82'minutes
  • 9RooneySubstituted forMaynardat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Reynolds
  • 8Stewart
  • 10Maynard
  • 14Arnason
  • 18Ball
  • 20Rogers
  • 23Nwakali

Dundee Utd

  • 25Lewis
  • 15SlaterSubstituted forMcMullanat 45'minutes
  • 2Murdoch
  • 4DurnanBooked at 6mins
  • 17RobsonBooked at 76mins
  • 16Flood
  • 24Gillespie
  • 11King
  • 12StantonBooked at 21mins
  • 58LyngSubstituted forMcDonaldat 71'minutes
  • 28SmithSubstituted forMikkelsenat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7McMullan
  • 8McDonald
  • 9Mikkelsen
  • 18Allardice
  • 21Mehmet
  • 27Martin
  • 32Mason
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
11,611

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home13
Away5
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home12
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 4, Dundee United 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 4, Dundee United 2.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Scott McKenna.

Dominic Ball (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Samuel Stanton (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Nicky Maynard replaces Adam Rooney.

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

Grant Gillespie (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Willo Flood (Dundee United).

Attempt missed. Mark Durnan (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt blocked. Samuel Stanton (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Ryan Christie (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Dominic Ball replaces Gary Mackay-Steven.

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

Grant Gillespie (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Ryan Christie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Grant Gillespie (Dundee United).

Booking

Jamie Robson (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Gary Mackay-Steven (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jamie Robson (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Thomas Mikkelsen replaces Matthew Smith.

Foul by Niall McGinn (Aberdeen).

Grant Gillespie (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Hand ball by Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen).

Hand ball by Paul McMullan (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Scott McDonald replaces Emil Lyng.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 4, Dundee United 2. Paul McMullan (Dundee United) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Billy King.

Anthony O'Connor (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matthew Smith (Dundee United).

Kenny McLean (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matthew Smith (Dundee United).

Foul by Scott McKenna (Aberdeen).

Paul McMullan (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Jamie Robson (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gary Mackay-Steven (Aberdeen).

Foul by Adam Rooney (Aberdeen).

Mark Durnan (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Emil Lyng (Dundee United).

goal

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