Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen0Dundee UtdDundee United0

Aberdeen 0-0 Dundee United: Derek McInnes 'expects more' in attack from Dons

By Thomas DuncanBBC Scotland

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes says he "expects more" in attack from his side after a second goalless draw in three matches against Dundee United.

The home side dominated possession and territory but again lacked fluency in the final third.

United went closest to scoring despite long periods without the ball as Lawrence Shankland's long-range effort cracked the bar before the break.

"We've got to try and bring a better 90-minute performance," McInnes said.

"You've got to ask the question of the opponents and make them the ones that unravel and maybe make mistakes.

"We lost that poise and experience in the second half and the game played out as a 0-0 draw."

The draw moves Aberdeen three points clear of Hibernian, who lost to Livingston, while United dropped to sixth after another solid defensive display but one that lacked any attacking punch.

The last meeting between the sides in October at Tannadice also finished goalless and the pattern of this game was almost identical.

Aberdeen, fresh after their midweek match with Livingston was postponed, dominated for long periods but with a now familiar lack of end product.

Ryan Hedges had two efforts flash past in the first half, as well as having a penalty claim waived away by referee Kevin Clancy after going down under a challenge from Mark Connolly.

After the interval, Tommie Hoban guided a back-post header wide and Curtis Main scooped over when played through.

Sam Cosgrove was brought on for Matty Kennedy in the final quarter in an attempt to spark something, but the Englishman was largely feeding off scraps.

United, meanwhile, have found a solid base that has allowed them to gain a firm foothold in mid table on their return to the top flight.

But, other than Shankland's fine individual effort off the bar, they created little of note.

The Scotland striker also cracked a volley that forced Joe Lewis into action, having earlier been denied by the Aberdeen goalkeeper after a defensive mix-up.

However, those were isolated flurries rather than the product of fluid attacking moves.

Ultimately, though, a point away against the league's third best side is not to be sniffed at, particularly given the improved second-half display.

Man of the match - Mark Reynolds

Mark Reynolds of Dundee United challenges Curtis Main of Aberdeen
Up against his former club, Reynolds marshalled the United defence well and helped limit the home side to few chances

What did we learn?

Aberdeen have an attacking problem. The fluidity which followed the switch to the 3-4-3 formation earlier this season has given way to stunted forward play.

While there was a good tempo about Derek McInnes' side early on, it fell away drastically in the second half and they slumped to a second goalless draw in three games.

Main has neither the clever movement nor finishing prowess of Cosgrove, and will surely now find his run of starts at an end. And the lack of a central creator to knit the midfield and attack makes it easy for teams to funnel Aberdeen's attacks out wide.

If this season is all about top-flight consolidation for United, then this was another sign of a well-organised team making things difficult for one of the league's better sides.

They also lack creativity from midfield, though, and fans will surely expect more from their team going forward, particularly with a talent such as Shankland on their books.

What they said

Aberdeen 'lost control' in second half - McInnes

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "I thought Dundee United were better second half, but we lost control of the game in terms of showing our poise and experience. We needed more crosses, shots, and more responsibility to make good decisions."

Dundee United manager Micky Mellon: "We came here to win but Aberdeen are a terrific side and we respect that. All credit to the group, we were well worthy of a point and we had the better chances to win a hard fought game."

'United well worth a point' - Mellon

What's next?

Aberdeen host high-flying league leaders Rangers at Pittodrie on Sunday, 10 January (15:00 GMT), while United play St Johnstone the day before at Tannadice (15:00).

Player of the match

ConsidineAndrew Considine

with an average of 6.78


  1. Squad number4Player nameConsidine
    Average rating


  2. Squad number3Player nameHoban
    Average rating


  3. Squad number11Player nameHedges
    Average rating


  4. Squad number1Player nameLewis
    Average rating


  5. Squad number25Player nameWright
    Average rating


  6. Squad number19Player nameFerguson
    Average rating


  7. Squad number40Player nameMcCrorie
    Average rating


  8. Squad number14Player nameTaylor
    Average rating


  9. Squad number17Player nameHayes
    Average rating


  10. Squad number33Player nameKennedy
    Average rating


  11. Squad number9Player nameMain
    Average rating


  12. Squad number10Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating


  13. Squad number16Player nameCosgrove
    Average rating


  14. Squad number32Player nameEdmondson
    Average rating


  15. Squad number24Player nameCampbell
    Average rating


Dundee United

  1. Squad number1Player nameSiegrist
    Average rating


  2. Squad number24Player nameShankland
    Average rating


  3. Squad number6Player nameReynolds
    Average rating


  4. Squad number2Player nameSmith
    Average rating


  5. Squad number30Player nameNeilson
    Average rating


  6. Squad number5Player nameConnolly
    Average rating


  7. Squad number17Player nameRobson
    Average rating


  8. Squad number27Player nameAppéré
    Average rating


  9. Squad number10Player nameClark
    Average rating


  10. Squad number23Player nameHarkes
    Average rating


  11. Squad number4Player namePowers
    Average rating


  12. Squad number8Player namePawlett
    Average rating




Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Lewis
  • 3Hoban
  • 14Taylor
  • 4Considine
  • 11Hedges
  • 40McCrorieSubstituted forCampbellat 82'minutes
  • 19Ferguson
  • 17HayesBooked at 66mins
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forWrightat 63'minutes
  • 9MainSubstituted forEdmondsonat 83'minutes
  • 33KennedySubstituted forCosgroveat 75'minutes


  • 2Logan
  • 8Ojo
  • 16Cosgrove
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Wright
  • 32Edmondson
  • 37Ngwenya
  • 43Woods
  • 46Duncan

Dundee Utd

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Siegrist
  • 30Neilson
  • 5Connolly
  • 6Reynolds
  • 2Smith
  • 10ClarkBooked at 41mins
  • 23Harkes
  • 8PawlettSubstituted forPowersat 51'minutes
  • 17Robson
  • 27AppéréBooked at 80mins
  • 24Shankland


  • 3Spörle
  • 4Powers
  • 7McMullan
  • 19Mehmet
  • 20Bolton
  • 25Fotheringham
  • 28Davidson
  • 37Hutchinson
  • 43Smith
Kevin Clancy

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamDundee Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 0, Dundee United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 0, Dundee United 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Aberdeen. Ryan Hedges tries a through ball, but Ryan Edmondson is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jamie Robson (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Ian Harkes.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mark Connolly (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nicky Clark with a cross following a corner.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Joe Lewis.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jamie Robson.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Dean Campbell (Aberdeen).

  9. Post update

    Louis Appéré (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United).

  12. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Tommie Hoban.

  13. Post update

    Hand ball by Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen).

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Ryan Edmondson replaces Curtis Main.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Dean Campbell replaces Ross McCrorie.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Scott Wright with a cross.

  17. Booking

    Louis Appéré (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Louis Appéré (Dundee United).

  20. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Considine (Aberdeen).

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport