Aberdeen 1 – 0 Dundee U

Bojan Miovski’s penalty winner ensured Aberdeen would finish the first half of the Scottish Premiership in third place, while losing opponents Dundee United would stay bottom.

However, the home side had to survive a second-half onslaught to earn all three points in a rare outing on Saturday night.

The opening period was even, with Matty Kennedy exploding over Aberdeen’s first-chance bar, while – at the other end – a speculative effort from Glenn Middleton deflected away from Ross McCrorie’s post.

Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski celebrates scoring a penalty against Dundee United

But as Aberdeen settled into the game they began to play around the visitors’ defence, and while not creating many clean chances they certainly looked the most dangerous.

The key moment came 10 minutes before the break and it was the result of a good link-up between the front two Dons.

Miovski showed great footwork to create an opening and he slipped a pass to Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes. The Cape Verdean international seemed to move away from the goal but was knocked down by goalkeeper Mark Birighitti, and referee Willie Collum did not hesitate to point the penalty spot.

Miovski stepped up and comfortably converted, shooting low to the left as the goalkeeper went the wrong way, showing no hangover after his spot kick saved against Livingston in midweek.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Craig Sibbald of Dundee United is down at full time during a Premiership cinch match between Aberdeen and Dundee United at Pittodrie on November 12, 2022 in Aberdeen, Scotland.  (Photo by Euan Cherry/SNS Group)
Dundee United are last in the Scottish Premiership

Aberdeen could have been down two before the break as Duk clung to an awkwardly bouncing ball to go over Birighitti from the corner of the penalty area, only to see his effort bounce away from goal at the far post.

The Dons could have doubled their lead early in the second half as a Matty Kennedy corner found McCrorie unmarked at the near post, but he could only direct an effort into the side netting.

Five minutes later, another corner saw Liam Scales come through goal for McCrorie, who this time had his effort cleared by Kieran Freeman.

But the visitors got back into things, with Steven Fletcher’s long volley going high and wide, before the same player saw a header saved by Dons keeper Kelle Roos.

Roos was in action again to drive Ross Graham’s volley from the edge of the area over the crossbar as the visitors increased the pressure.

But it was the home team who could have sealed the points three minutes from time. Good work from Duk kept Kennedy away, but with the option of a ball to the striker or a shot, the Northern Ireland international went over the target.

What the managers said…

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin:

“I’m delighted with the end result. If you had offered me a 1-0 win before the game, I would have definitely taken it.

“I thought the first 45 minutes we dominated for long periods and probably should have added to our lead. The 45 seconds we were happy to give up some territory because of the pace we could see that Dundee United had by his side.

“It’s something we’ve been criticized for in the past, for being too open. We decided to sit down for a bit and see if United could break us down.

“The attacking players received lots of praise for their creativity, but today was a different kind of performance. We had to get a result and we got there.”

Dundee United manager Liam Fox:

He said: “We know well that we are here for points. I understand that it is easy for me to say that and the fans will be disappointed in the future, but not as disappointed as we were.

“There were a lot of positives in the performance. If we continue to perform at this level, at this level, we will start to take points consistently.

“Aberdeen are a good team and I think we pushed them all the way today. Anyone can beat everyone in this league as every week shows. We know where we are and where we have to. go.

“I have no complaints about the penalty. We need to be more orderly in possession of the ball and take opportunities to stop play when we get them.”

And after?

The Scottish Premiership take a break for the World Cup with Aberdeen return to action against Celtic on December 17, live on Sky Sports. Kick off 12:30 p.m.

Dundee United are far from Livingston the same day. This game starts at 3 p.m.

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