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Aberdeen held to another stalemate by Dundee United

Dundee United captain Mark Reynolds and Aberdeen's Curtis Main in action.
Dundee United captain Mark Reynolds and Aberdeen's Curtis Main in action.

Aberdeen and Dundee United played out a second goal-less draw of the season at Pittodrie.

The sides drew 0-0 in their first league meeting of the campaign at Tannadice in October and defences were on top once again.

Former Don Lawrence Shankland went closest to breaking the deadlock when he hit the crossbar in the opening stages.

The result stretches Aberdeen’s unbeaten run to six games ahead of the visit of Rangers next weekend.

The Dons made two changes from the side that defeated St Johnstone 2-1 with Dean Campbell and Sam Cosgrove dropping out for Niall McGinn and Ross McCrorie, who returned after being suspended for the win against the Perth Saints.

Connor McLennan missed out for the Dons after suffering a foot injury in training.

Dundee United named four former Dons in their line-up with Mark Reynolds, Peter Pawlett, Nicky Clark and Shankland all in from the start on their old stomping ground.

The visitors were forced to make a late change after Ryan Edwards picked up an injury in the warm up and was replaced by Lewis Neilson.

The Tangerines went into the match on the back of a 3-0 defeat at Celtic, while Aberdeen were left frustrated after their final match of 2020 at Livingston was postponed 90 minutes before kick-off.

The game kicked off following a minute’s silence in memory of former Dundee United manager Jim McLean and former Aberdeen defender and head of youth academy Chic McLelland.

Dundee United were inches away from taking the lead after nine minutes when Shankland cut inside past two Dons defenders before unleashing a ferocious shot which cannoned back off the crossbar.

The home side went close a minute later when Tommie Hoban nodded wide from a McGinn corner before the Dons had a big shout for a penalty turned down when Ryan Hedges collided with Mark Connolly.

Aberdeen’s Niall McGinn and Dundee United’s Ian Harkes compete for the ball.

Aberdeen were enjoying the bulk of play and went close again when Matty Kennedy produced an inviting cross for Ross McCrorie but his header was well handled by Benjamin Siegrist.

The Dons had a second penalty appeal turned down after 18 minutes when Connolly looked to have used a hand to block an Andy Considine header.

The intensity of the game dropped until the closing minutes of the half when Considine headed narrowly over from a Hedges corner before Shankland flashed another effort over.

Aberdeen had an early scare seven minutes into the second period when a Jamie Robson cross fell for the unmarked Shankland but a desperate block from Considine averted the danger.

Aberdeen’s Ross McCrorie and Dundee United’s Liam Smith battle for possession.

Scott Wright made his return following a groin injury when he replaced McGinn for his first appearance since a 2-0 win against Hibernian on November 6.

Aberdeen continued to press and probe for the opener with Hoban heading wide from a Hayes cross before Main lacked the composure to test Siegrist after latching onto an intelligent pass from McCrorie.

Dons manager Derek McInnes brought on some additional firepower for the final 15 minutes with Kennedy making way for Cosgrove.

Scott Wright made his return from injury for the Dons. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

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