Dundee United produced an almost perfect performance as they opened their season with a superb victory at Pittodrie.

Ryan Dow capitalised on a dreadful pass back by Ash Taylor to open the scoring before Gary Mackay-Steven doubled the lead just before the break.

The Dons toiled in the final third though Niall McGinn hit a post in their most clear-cut opportunity.

Chris Erskine completed the hammering with a calm finish at the death.

But for a 5-2 reverse at Celtic Park last season, this was the heaviest defeat of Derek McInnes's Pittodrie tenure.

His team has again been tipped to finish second this season, but the profligate issues of last campaign continue to cause him a headache.

Interview - Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara

The Dons had benefitted from playing competitively for the last month thanks to their European campaign.

But that was cancelled out by what was an energy-sapping defeat to Real Sociedad on Thursday.

Skipper Russell Anderson and winger Jonny Hayes missed out through suspension and former United striker David Goodwillie was again preferred to Adam Rooney up front.

United were shorn of two of last season's stars Ryan Gauld and Andrew Robertson, who made big money summer moves to Sporting Lisbon and Hull City respectively, as well as defender Gavin Gunning.

Captain Sean Dillon will be missing for six weeks due to a broken cheekbone sustained in pre-season.

Jackie McNamara handed competitive debuts to Jaroslaw Fojut, Callum Morris and Conor Townsend as he patched up his defence.

And it was the Tangerines who began the brighter of the two with the movement of Nadir Cifci, Mackay-Steven, Dow and Stuart Armstrong causing problems.

The Dons had the first good chance as Taylor flicked the ball towards Andrew Considine, who volleyed over.

United took the lead just before the half-hour mark and it owed much to the generosity of Taylor.

The new Dons defender gift wrapped it for Dow with a slack pass into his own box and the latter nipped onto it before firing home to the delight of a boisterous away end.

The goal appeared to wake Aberdeen up and McGinn saw a volley hit the post after Radoslaw Cierzniak came and missed a Barry Robson cross.

Just as the Dons began to dominate, United doubled their lead and it was a wonderful counter-attacking move that provided it.

Dundee United's Chris Erskine (centre right) slots it by Jamie Langfield to seal a 3-0 win over Aberdeen

Erskine slots by Jamie Langfield to seal United's victory

Ciftci sprayed a superb pass with the outside of his boot through to Mackay-Steven and the former Liverpool trainee capitalised on a static home defence to slide it under Jamie Langfield on the stroke of half-time.

Aberdeen were one of the teams a free-flowing United struggled against last season but McNamara's tactics suggested he had learned from those games.

Ciftci and Dow both had other counter-attacking chances in the second period as they continued to open up the Dons defence.

Aberdeen dominated possession but their cutting edge was lacking, and but for two penalty shouts and a block on the line by Morris, they failed to unduly threaten Ciezniak.

Interview - Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

The first was a challenge by the Polish keeper on substitute Rooney, the second a handball by Morris which Willie Collum turned a blind eye to.

United continued to soak up the limited pressure and completed the scoring after a brilliant run from another debutant.

Substitute Mario Bilate drew the Dons defence out and put in on a plate for Erskine, who calmly finished from around the penalty spot.

United were impressive going forward, but a first clean sheet since December will equally please McNamara, particularly so given 75% of his defence was untested competitively.

The result and performance has brought the Dons back down to earth after a promising European adventure.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Aberdeen

  • 01 Langfield
  • 05 Taylor
  • 02 Logan
  • 03 Considine (Low - 81' )
  • 06 Reynolds
  • 08 Flood
  • 10 McGinn
  • 22 Jack
  • 15 Robson (Rooney - 45' )
  • 16 Pawlett
  • 17 Goodwillie

Substitutes

  • 07 Monakana
  • 09 Rooney
  • 14 Smith
  • 18 Low
  • 19 Robertson
  • 20 Brown
  • 21 Shaughnessy

Dundee United

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 12 Watson Booked
  • 03 Townsend
  • 05 Fojut
  • 14 Morris
  • 06 Paton Booked
  • 10 Armstrong (Erskine - 54' )
  • 08 Rankin
  • 11 Mackay-Steven (Bilate - 73' )
  • 18 Dow
  • 07 Ciftci (Telfer - 82' )

Substitutes

  • 09 Graham
  • 13 McCallum
  • 17 Erskine
  • 19 Bilate
  • 21 Telfer
  • 23 Smith
  • 24 Spittal
Ref: William Collum
Att: 16,471

Match Stats

Shots

13 12

On target

0 5

Corners

9 3

Fouls

13 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Aberdeen 0, Dundee United 3.

90:00 +2:46 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Aberdeen 0, Dundee United 3.

90:00 +1:49 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 0, Dundee United 3. Chris Erskine (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mario Bilate.

89:57

Attempt missed. David Goodwillie (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

86:21

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

85:28

Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85:28

Foul by Ryan Dow (Dundee United).

81:34 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Charlie Telfer replaces Nadir Ciftci.

80:37 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Nicky Low replaces Andrew Considine.

77:39

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Conor Townsend.

77:23

Attempt blocked. David Goodwillie (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

75:44

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

75:44

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

73:10

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

73:10

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

72:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Mario Bilate replaces Gary Mackay-Steven.

72:03

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

72:03

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

69:10

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

68:47

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Callum Morris.

68:24

Attempt missed. Ryan Dow (Dundee United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

65:00

Attempt missed. Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

64:31

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Willo Flood.

63:36

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Paul Paton.

62:49

Foul by Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen).

62:49

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

61:14

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from very close range is too high from a direct free kick.

60:47 Booking

Booking Keith Watson (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

60:29

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

60:29

Foul by Keith Watson (Dundee United).

58:36

Attempt missed. Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

57:17

Attempt missed. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

56:34

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.

55:10

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

55:10

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

53:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Chris Erskine replaces Stuart Armstrong.

52:03

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

51:19

Attempt saved. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

50:30

Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner.

48:30

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

48:30

Foul by Callum Morris (Dundee United).

46:41

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

46:18 Booking

Booking Paul Paton (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

46:06

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

46:06

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

45:07

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

45:07

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

45:00

Second Half begins Aberdeen 0, Dundee United 2.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aberdeen. Adam Rooney replaces Barry Robson.

45:00 +2:08 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Aberdeen 0, Dundee United 2.

45:00 +1:53

Attempt saved. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

45:00 +0:53

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jaroslaw Fojut.

44:32 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 0, Dundee United 2. Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nadir Ciftci.

43:21

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jaroslaw Fojut.

42:53

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

42:53

Foul by Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United).

42:32

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box.

38:45

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

38:45

Callum Morris (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

38:29

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jaroslaw Fojut.

38:18

Attempt blocked. Ryan Jack (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

37:46

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jaroslaw Fojut.

37:00

Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

37:00

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

34:55

Attempt missed. Callum Morris (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

34:05

Foul by Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen).

34:05

Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:25

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:25

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

30:34

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

30:34

Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

28:10 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aberdeen 0, Dundee United 1. Ryan Dow (Dundee United) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner.

25:13

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Shaleum Logan.

23:18

Foul by Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen).

23:18

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

22:44

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

22:44

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Dundee United).

21:39

Attempt missed. Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

21:15

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Keith Watson.

19:26

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

19:25

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

18:39

Delay in match Barry Robson (Aberdeen) because of an injury.

16:09

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

16:09

Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

14:45

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

14:45

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

13:11

Attempt missed. Callum Morris (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

12:40

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

12:40

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

10:00

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

9:59

Foul by Ryan Jack (Aberdeen).

9:26

Attempt missed. Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

9:00

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

8:41

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

7:49

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

7:14

Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:14

Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

4:19

Foul by Mark Reynolds (Aberdeen).

4:19

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

3:51

Attempt missed. Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) header from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

2:55

Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

1:39

Foul by Barry Robson (Aberdeen).

1:39

Keith Watson (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

1:10

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

1:10

David Goodwillie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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