Dundee United and Aberdeen earned a point apiece after producing an enthralling match at Tannadice.

United scored their first league goal since late August when Johnny Russell's shot was parried by goalkeeper Jamie Langfield and John Rankin fired home.

Home keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak saved superbly from a Scott Vernon header then Mark Millar cleared a Russell Anderson header off the goalline.

Niall McGinn levelled for the Dons and neither side could find a winner.

The contrast in the teams' form could hardly have been more pronounced prior to kick-off, which was delayed by 15 minutes because of an accident on the main road that links Aberdeen and Dundee.

United began second bottom in the Scottish Premier League, having failed to score a league goal since the 3-1 defeat at Kilmarnock on 25 August.

Scott Vernon and Gavin Rae rush to congratulate Aberdeen goalscorer Niall McGinn

Scott Vernon and Gavin Rae rush to congratulate Aberdeen goalscorer Niall McGinn

Craig Brown's Aberdeen, however, were unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions since the opening day of the season.

United were first to register a shot on goal, Millar finding some space to ping a shot at goal that Langfield smothered easily.

A few minutes later, his long-range strike was much more ferocious, but Langfield was well positioned.

Aberdeen sprung to life when striker Scott Vernon set up Gavin Rae, but the veteran midfielder ballooned his shot high over the home team's goal.

United made the breakthrough thanks to the pace and vision of Russell, who eased past Mark Reynolds on the left wing and had his shot parried by Langfield.

However, Rankin latched on to the loose ball and knocked it home - and, minutes later, the United hero was booked by referee Iain Brines for a heavy challenge on Chris Clark.

With Gary Mackay-Steven recovering from knee surgery and Jon Daly playing as centre half, United looked to others to add to their lead.

Stuart Armstrong showed his attacking talent when he slipped past Isaac Osbourne and passed across goal, but there were no takers.

There followed a trio of dramatic moments at Tannadice.

Vernon arrowed an effort from eight yards but was denied by the impressive Cierzniak at the near post with a top-class save.

And Aberdeen captain Anderson rolled back the years to make a fantastic saving challenge on Russell as the striker was about to unleash a shot from 12 yards.

Anderson moved into attack for a Ryan Fraser corner and his well-timed run and header looked sure to produce the leveller, only for Millar to head the ball off the goalline.

In the second half, a powerful McGinn shot was parried for a corner by Cierzniak and the Dons had a penalty claim turned down when the ball seemed to strike Willo Flood's arm.

McGinn sent the Red Army into raptures when he tapped the ball home from three yards at the back post after Anderson had flicked on Fraser's outswinging corner.

Langfield matched Cierzniak's wonder save when he somehow kept out a prodded, close-range shot by Keith Watson.

Russell's dinked pass through to Armstrong set him racing into the box, but he blazed wide into the United fans behind Langfield.

The United goal was next to be threatened when Stephen Hughes timed his run perfectly into the box, but Cierzniak was off his line sharply to block the shot from the Dons midfielder.

And the see-saw nature of the contest was typified when Russell waltzed through the white-shirted Aberdeen defence and fizzed a low shot that Langfield dived to his right to save.

Defeat would have been harsh on either side and, in terms of the point earned, neither set of fans was complaining when the referee blew to end a pulsating match.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Dundee United

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 02 Dillon
  • 05 Gunning
  • 12 Watson
  • 06 Flood
  • 08 Rankin Booked
  • 14 Millar (Ryan - 82' )
  • 16 Armstrong (Dow - 82' )
  • 07 Russell
  • 09 Daly
  • 15 Gardyne (Hilson - 72' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Banks
  • 04 McLean
  • 19 Vignal
  • 10 Ryan
  • 38 Gauld
  • 18 Dow
  • 23 Hilson

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield
  • 03 Robertson Booked
  • 04 Anderson Booked
  • 22 Reynolds
  • 05 Rae (Milsom - 69' Booked )
  • 07 Clark
  • 10 McGinn
  • 16 Osbourne (Magennis - 86' )
  • 18 Hughes
  • 20 Fraser (Hayes - 75' )
  • 09 Vernon Booked

Substitutes

  • 30 Rogers
  • 23 Shaughnessy
  • 08 Milsom
  • 11 Hayes
  • 24 Brown
  • 21 Magennis
  • 38 Smith
Ref: Brines
Att: 9,858

Match Stats

Shots

8 3

On target

6 2

Corners

5 9

Fouls

5 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:48 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

88:34

Free kick taken by Willo Flood.

88:34 Booking

Booking Robert Milsom receives a caution.

88:28

Foul by Robert Milsom on Willo Flood, free kick awarded.

85:51 Substitution

Substitution Josh Magennis is brought on as a substitute for Isaac Osbourne.

85:04

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Willo Flood.

82:14

Robert Milsom gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Richie Ryan. Free kick taken by Willo Flood.

81:09 Substitution

Substitution Stuart Armstrong goes off and Ryan Dow comes on.

81:09 Substitution

Substitution Richie Ryan replaces Mark Millar.

76:30

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Niall McGinn from the left by-line, clearance made by Gavin Gunning.

74:29 Substitution

Substitution Johnny Hayes replaces Ryan Fraser.

72:16

Dale Hilson fouled by Stephen Hughes, the ref awards a free kick. Willo Flood restarts play with the free kick.

71:23 Substitution

Substitution (Dundee Utd) makes a substitution, with Dale Hilson coming on for Michael Gardyne.

69:51

Ryan Fraser fouled by Keith Watson, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ryan Fraser.

68:25 Substitution

Substitution Robert Milsom on for Gavin Rae.

67:25

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stuart Armstrong by Chris Clark. Mark Millar takes the free kick.

66:36

Ryan Fraser decides to take a short corner.

66:02

Johnny Russell takes a shot. Save by Jamie Langfield.

64:38 Booking

Booking The referee shows Russell Anderson a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

64:32

Free kick awarded for a foul by Russell Anderson on Johnny Russell. Willo Flood restarts play with the free kick.

62:54 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Scott Vernon for unsporting behaviour.

61:11

Stuart Armstrong produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

59:02

Inswinging corner taken by Willo Flood, Stephen Hughes manages to make a clearance.

56:09

Gavin Rae concedes a free kick for a foul on Johnny Russell. Free kick taken by Willo Flood, Jon Daly takes a shot. Save made by Jamie Langfield.

52:02

Assist on the goal came from Russell Anderson.

52:02 Goal scored

Goal! - Niall McGinn - Dundee U 1 - 1 Aberdeen Niall McGinn finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Dundee Utd 1-1 Aberdeen.

51:16

Outswinging corner taken by Ryan Fraser,

48:20

Corner taken by Ryan Fraser, inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ryan Fraser, save by Radoslaw Cierzniak. Radoslaw Cierzniak makes a save.

47:27

Keith Watson takes the free kick.

47:27 Booking

Booking Caution for Clark Robertson.

47:14

Unfair challenge on Michael Gardyne by Clark Robertson results in a free kick.

46:03

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ryan Fraser, Gavin Gunning makes a clearance.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +0:14 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

43:15

Isaac Osbourne challenges John Rankin unfairly and gives away a free kick. Willo Flood takes the direct free kick.

41:08

John Rankin takes a shot. Save by Radoslaw Cierzniak. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Isaac Osbourne by Mark Millar. Stephen Hughes takes the indirect free kick.

39:51

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ryan Fraser, Mark Millar makes a clearance.

39:09

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Willo Flood.

38:04

Mark Millar challenges Stephen Hughes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Russell Anderson.

34:38

Corner taken by Ryan Fraser from the right by-line, Gavin Gunning makes a clearance.

33:14

Outswinging corner taken by Ryan Fraser.

27:03 Booking

Booking The referee shows John Rankin a yellow card.

25:50

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Clark by John Rankin. Indirect free kick taken by Mark Reynolds.

25:12

Chris Clark takes a shot. Radoslaw Cierzniak makes a save.

21:43

Johnny Russell provided the assist for the goal.

21:43 Goal scored

Goal! - John Rankin - Dundee U 1 - 0 Aberdeen John Rankin finds the back of the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Dundee Utd 1-0 Aberdeen.

17:48

Shot by Gavin Rae from outside the box goes high over the target.

16:39

Corner taken by Willo Flood, Russell Anderson manages to make a clearance.

14:48

Johnny Russell fouled by Russell Anderson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Gavin Gunning.

12:56

Shot from long range by Michael Gardyne misses to the right of the target.

10:05

The ball is swung over by Isaac Osbourne, save by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

7:44

Unfair challenge on Russell Anderson by John Rankin results in a free kick. Stephen Hughes restarts play with the free kick.

7:15

Mark Millar takes a shot. Save made by Jamie Langfield.

6:46

Stuart Armstrong takes a shot. Save by Jamie Langfield.

4:20

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Mark Millar, Clark Robertson makes a clearance.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

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