Dundee United 0-0 Aberdeen: Visitors frustrated despite dominance
Aberdeen missed the chance to overtake Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership after they were unable to break down a stubborn Dundee United.
The dominant away side were aggrieved to see a penalty appeal waved away when the ball appeared to strike Lawrence Shankland’s arm on the goal line.
Goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist put in a strong performance, keeping the dominant visitors frustrated.
United were unable to threaten much, but the points were shared.
It was a bit of a mystery as to how United managed to keep this one goalless – but if they had one man to thank it was Siegrist.
The goalkeeper was solid from the beginning, palming away a couple of long-range efforts from Ryan Hedges and Jonny Hayes and getting a strong hand to a golden chance for Scott Wright.
Tommie Hoban also headed wide from a corner and Hayes struck a low shot wide from the left side after finding space as the opportunities mounted for the away side – with no reward.
Aberdeen were frustrated further after seeing a penalty appeal dismissed. Ross McCrorie’s header from a corner appeared to clearly strike Shankland’s arm, but referee Alan Muir waved play on.
The second half fell into the same pattern – it was backs against the wall stuff for Micky Mellon’s side.
It prompted a change in personnel, with Marc McNulty coming on for his debut just before the hour – the hope that a partnership between him and Shankland could be the catalyst to pose more of a threat.
Aberdeen continued to be the dominant side though, and Niall McGinn’s first contribution after coming on was to curl a free-kick over the wall from 20 yards and force yet another great save from Siegrist.
Time was running out for Derek McInnes’ team, and despite all that superiority, the best chance of the second half fell to United substitute Logan Chalmers.
He turned Hayes inside out on the edge of the area to set up a one-on-one with Joe Lewis – but the Aberdeen goalkeeper pulled off a stunning save to prevent a smash and grab job from the home side.
Aberdeen kept knocking on the door in the closing minutes, with 18 shots in total by the end, but the elusive goal would not come.
Man of the match – Benjamin Siegrist
What did we learn?
United enjoyed some high-energy performances at the start of the season, promising to be a formidable force despite just being promoted.
But this passive performance was not encouraging – they were barely able to get on to the ball in the opposing half, with Mellon’s side resorting to punting the ball forward far too often.
Aberdeen will be pleased with the dominant nature of their performance, but there were concerns for them, too.
The absence of Sam Cosgrove was glaring, so McInnes will be hopeful his star striker can return for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic next month.
What they said
Dundee United manager Micky Mellon: “We know coming up against Aberdeen, you’ve got to show the qualities we showed – the resilience, the battling, defending your 18-yard box.
“We want to get better with the football, that’s something we want to do as we move forward. But it’s a clean sheet against a good Aberdeen side. I couldn’t fault the players.”
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: “It looks like it’s hit Lawrence Shankland’s hand before the keeper gets there. Whether it’s going in or not, it’s a handball.
“That decision didn’t go our way, but we still had plenty of time to go and do more, and that’s why we’re disappointed. It was just that last part we needed somebody to step up and take ownership.”
Aberdeen play one of their games in hand on Tuesday as they host Hamilton Academical (19:00 BST)while Dundee United are in action at St Johnstone next Saturday (15:00).
- 6ReynoldsSubstituted forSmithat 63′minutes
- 8PawlettSubstituted forChalmersat 78′minutes
- 18ButcherBooked at 65minsSubstituted forPowersat 78′minutes
- 10ClarkSubstituted forMcNultyat 57′minutes
- 18McLennanSubstituted forMcGinnat 74′minutes
- 40McCrorieBooked at 77mins
- 17HayesBooked at 87mins
- 25WrightSubstituted forEdmondsonat 63′minutes
Match ends, Dundee United 0, Aberdeen 0.
Second Half ends, Dundee United 0, Aberdeen 0.
Foul by Marley Watkins (Aberdeen).
Mark Connolly (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dillon Powers.
Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Tommie Hoban.
Foul by Marley Watkins (Aberdeen).
Benjamin Siegrist (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Edmondson.
Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Marc McNulty (Dundee United).
Attempt missed. Marley Watkins (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Niall McGinn with a cross.
Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Dillon Powers (Dundee United).
Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen).
Luke Bolton (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt blocked. Ross McCrorie (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Hedges.
Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Logan Chalmers.
Attempt blocked. Ryan Hedges (Aberdeen) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked.