Calvin Zola scored his second goal of the season to get Aberdeen back to winning ways against Dundee United.

Jackie McNamara's side dominated much of the game, and David Goodwillie and Keith Watson both went close with efforts.

However, they continue without a win at Pittodrie since 2009 after Zola's early second-half strike settled an entertaining battle.

The scoreline also means Aberdeen have not conceded at home since 17 August.

Just under 2,000 United fans made the trip up the A90, with a chance to leapfrog their North-east rivals at stake.

A fixture that is always fiercely contested was given extra spice with three ex-Dundee United men in the home side.

Willo Flood was the only one of the trio to make the starting line-up as manager Derek McInnes made three changes from the 1-0 defeat to Ross County. Barry Robson and Nicky Weaver both started as substitutes.

Morgaro Gomis, in his second spell at United, also had to make do with a place on the bench, while Gavin Gunning came in for John Souttar.

It was the visitors who started the better of the two teams. David Goodwillie found himself one-on-one with Jamie Langfield but appeared to be wrongly ruled offside. Three minutes later John Rankin's low shot was deflected just wide by Mark Reynolds.

United continued to camp inside the Dons half, and Stuart Armstrong hit a left-foot shot just wide on the half-hour mark.

That sparked Aberdeen into life, and when Ryan Gauld was slow to react after Gavin Gunning's poor clearance, Jonny Hayes nipped in ahead of him and tested Radoslaw Cierzniak with a fierce strike.

Ryan Jack then fired over a free-kick which Joe Shaughnessy managed to nod into the path of Niall McGinn, who almost squeezed it in at the far post.

The game was beginning to swing from end to end now, and Keith Watson sent an acrobatic scissor kick just wide after Gavin Gunning's knockdown.

It was a different Aberdeen who came out for the second half, beginning on the front foot, and they got their reward when Peter Pawlett drove through the middle of the park and found McGinn on the left. The Northern Irishman's first time ball across goal gave Zola an easy finish.

Dundee United bounced back and eventually got back into their stride. Armstrong and Nadir Ciftci both fired good efforts wide, and Jamie Langfield had to race off his line to deny Goodwillie after Gary Mackay-Steven had picked him out in the box.

However, Aberdeen held firm as, despite United finishing the stronger of the two, they failed to find a breakthrough.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield Booked
  • 02 Shaughnessy Booked (Robson - 65' )
  • 06 Reynolds
  • 08 Flood
  • 04 Anderson Booked
  • 05 Considine Booked
  • 11 Hayes
  • 22 Jack (Hector - 80' )
  • 07 Zola (Vernon - 77' )
  • 10 McGinn
  • 16 Pawlett

Substitutes

  • 09 Vernon
  • 14 Smith
  • 15 Robson
  • 17 Wylde
  • 18 Low
  • 20 Weaver
  • 27 Hector

Dundee United

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 12 Watson
  • 26 Robertson
  • 06 Paton
  • 02 Dillon
  • 05 Gunning
  • 21 Ciftci
  • 08 Rankin
  • 07 Goodwillie (Dow - 80' )
  • 10 Armstrong (Graham - 74' )
  • 19 Gauld (Mackay-Steven - 56' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Butcher
  • 09 Graham
  • 11 Mackay-Steven
  • 16 Wilson
  • 18 Dow
  • 25 McCallum
  • 27 Gomis
Ref: Bobby Madden
Att: 12,654

Match Stats

Shots

4 15

On target

3 2

Corners

7 9

Fouls

15 18

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Dundee United 0.

90:00 +3:03 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Dundee United 0.

90:00 +0:52

Foul by Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen).

90:00 +0:52

Andrew Robertson (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +0:28

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

90:00 +0:03

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Sean Dillon.

88:58

Attempt missed. Brian Graham (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

88:23

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

88:23

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

87:41

Foul by Scott Vernon (Aberdeen).

87:41

Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

87:19

Attempt missed. Keith Watson (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is too high.

86:49

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Michael Hector.

86:15

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Jonathan Hayes.

85:42

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

85:42

Ryan Dow (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

85:04 Booking

Booking Jamie Langfield (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

83:20

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

83:20

Foul by Brian Graham (Dundee United).

81:26

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

79:50 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Michael Hector replaces Ryan Jack because of an injury.

79:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Ryan Dow replaces David Goodwillie.

79:09

Attempt missed. Keith Watson (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

76:34 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Scott Vernon replaces Calvin Zola-Makongo.

75:13

Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

74:27 Booking

Booking Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

74:23

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

74:23

John Rankin (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

73:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Brian Graham replaces Stuart Armstrong.

73:25

Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

73:25

Foul by David Goodwillie (Dundee United).

72:58

Attempt saved. David Goodwillie (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

70:46

Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

70:46

Foul by Andrew Robertson (Dundee United).

70:03

Barry Robson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

70:03

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United).

69:26

Hand ball by David Goodwillie (Dundee United).

68:21

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

66:30

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

66:29

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

66:13

Delay in match Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) because of an injury.

64:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Barry Robson replaces Joe Shaughnessy.

64:17

Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

62:18

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

60:24

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.

60:08

Attempt blocked. John Rankin (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

58:01

Attempt saved. Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

57:20

Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).

57:20

Andrew Robertson (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

55:28 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Gary Mackay-Steven replaces Ryan Gauld.

55:04

Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from very close range is too high from a direct free kick.

54:19

Foul by Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen).

54:19

Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

53:01 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 1, Dundee United 0. Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

50:31

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

49:54

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Sean Dillon.

45:00

Second Half begins Aberdeen 0, Dundee United 0.

45:00 +1:06 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Aberdeen 0, Dundee United 0.

44:45

Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

44:45

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

43:47

Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

43:47

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

42:10

Attempt saved. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the bottom right corner.

41:16

Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

41:16

Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

38:47

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:47

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

36:28

Foul by Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen).

36:28

John Rankin (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:51

Attempt missed. Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the right.

35:14

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Russell Anderson.

34:50

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Russell Anderson.

34:35

Attempt blocked. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

33:51

Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the left.

32:58

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

32:26

Attempt missed. Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

32:00

Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

32:00

Foul by Keith Watson (Dundee United).

31:28

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

31:08

Attempt saved. Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

29:27

Attempt missed. Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

28:46

Foul by Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen).

28:46

Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

24:45

Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

24:45

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

22:47

Foul by Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen).

22:47

Paul Paton (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

21:38

Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

21:38

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

21:06

Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

21:06

Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

20:28

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Joe Shaughnessy.

18:28

Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

18:28

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

17:43

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

17:43

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

16:55 Booking

Booking Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

16:49

Foul by Joe Shaughnessy (Aberdeen).

16:49

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

13:35

Foul by Calvin Zola-Makongo (Aberdeen).

13:35

Sean Dillon (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

13:08

Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

13:08

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

11:35

Russell Anderson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

11:35

Foul by David Goodwillie (Dundee United).

11:10

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

10:44

Attempt blocked. Paul Paton (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

8:55

Foul by Russell Anderson (Aberdeen).

8:55

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:35 Booking

Booking Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.

7:28

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

7:28

Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

2:08

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Keith Watson.

1:16

Foul by Keith Watson (Dundee United).

1:16

Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

1:00

Foul by Keith Watson (Dundee United).

1:00

Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers