Another stalemate, another contentious penalty decision and another late scare for Aberdeen.
This New Firm derby was almost a carbon copy of the Tannadice encounter between the sides in October.
On that occasion, the Dons dominated and felt hard done-by not to receive a penalty when Lawrence Shankland handled in the box.
United almost took all three points at the death, but Joe Lewis produced a magnificent save to thwart substitute Logan Chalmers.
It was eerily similar on Saturday, although United put up far more resistance and looked the more likely to end the wait for a goal in the second half.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes felt aggrieved his side were not awarded a penalty when Ryan Hedges’ surging run into the penalty area was brought to an abrupt end by a clumsy Mark Connolly challenge.
It went unpunished by referee Kevin Clancy, while Shankland almost won it late on with a curling effort that was tipped round the post by Lewis.
The 90 minutes would have given Dons boss McInnes plenty to ponder.
Curtis Main was chosen to lead the line for the Dons with Sam Cosgrove dropping to the bench.
Matty Kennedy and Niall McGinn were tasked with providing the ammunition for the former Motherwell striker, but Main endured a frustrating and fruitless afternoon.
Main has scored only three goals in 15 appearances for the Dons and did not look like adding to his tally on Saturday. Ross McCrorie created a great chance for him with an intelligent pass that wrong-footed the otherwise resolute United defence, but Main fluffed his lines and fired over.
Cosgrove is proving even more of a conundrum this season.
A knee injury sustained in pre-season has left the £2.7 million Guingamp target playing catch-up this term but it seems unlikely Cosgrove will hit the 20-goal mark for a third season in a row unless he hits a purple patch in the second half of the campaign.
It would, however, be a surprise if Cosgrove is not chosen to lead the line against Rangers this Sunday.
The Dons will be encouraged by another clean sheet ahead of the visit of Steven Gerrard’s league leaders, who put four past them when they met at Ibrox in November.
But McInnes will have been slightly troubled by his side’s lack of creativity in recent weeks following a second goalless draw in three games.
A skilful number 10 who can prise open defences and create chances for Main and Cosgrove or another centre forward who can bring a different dimension to Aberdeen’s play would be a worthwhile addition while the transfer window is open this month.
But McInnes says his hands are tied until he can free up room in his budget.
After Saturday’s draw with United, he said: “We need one or two to move out.
“We have got to be creative with the squad.
“I would like to make one or two changes if I can.
“I know where I want to make those changes, especially in the type of game like today where it could have made the difference.
“It is the January window and it is normally the last two or three days of the window before people start to really do anything.
“Like every manager, I would like to make one or two changes to help us for the second half of the season but we are dependent on one or two things happening within our own squad.”
Former Aberdeen striker Shankland made the most telling contribution of the strikers on show on Saturday.
The 25-year-old has also struggled for goals this season and has also only found the back of the net on three occasions but, judging by his performance on Saturday, his luck is likely to change soon.
The Scotland cap rattled the crossbar with a powerful effort with nine minutes on the clock and displayed a plethora of fine touches throughout an impressive display to bring team-mates into the game on his Pittodrie return.
Dundee United boss Micky Mellon said: “He had the bit between his teeth today. He looked more involved, more refreshed and determined.”