Aberdeen had a disappointing opening 45 minutes, but rediscovered their form after the break in an exciting match that raged from end to end. United went ahead in the 22nd minute following pedantic build up play by the Dons and poor defending on the counter. United broke wide, Russell beat Reynolds too easily and Rankin had the simplest tap-in to make it 1-0. The Dons were transformed after the break and deservedly levelled in the 53rd minute when a Fraser corner was nodded on by Russell Anderson and turned into the net by Niall McGinn. There were further chances at either end, but no one could produce the winner, but the Dons unbeaten run continues and they will be looking to get back to winning ways when Dundee visit Pittodrie next week.
Following a delay to the start of the match due to traffic problems, Aberdeen kicked off in front of a packed Tannadice. The Dons threatened straight away through McGinn and Fraser, but the United rear-guard ushered the ball behind. Aberdeen continued to put United under pressure, but it was the home side that won the first corner in the 5th minute. Aberdeen's re-jigged defence held firm and three minutes later Langfield was tested by a fierce shot from Armstrong, but the keeper gathered at the second attempt. At the other end Aberdeen threatened through Fraser. The chance came to nothing and a minute later the youngster was pushed to the ground, but no foul was awarded. Fraser and Osbourne then combined well, but the cross was just too high for Vernon.
United seemed to be under instruction to shoot on sight, but so far Langfield had all the answers. A mistake by Fraser gifted United a second corner and once again United had a shot at goal, but it was straight down the throat of Langfield. At the other end Vernon pounced on a mistake by Daly, but got the ball caught between his feet. When he laid the ball off to Rae the striker fired wide of the target to spurn the Dons best chance to date. United then went ahead in the 22nd minute when they broke on the counte. Russell beat Reynolds too easily and Rankin had the simplest tap-in to make it 1-0.
Aberdeen tried to hit back and despite being denied a free kick for hand ball, Clark played on and had a shot at goal, but it was too near the keeper. A minute later the goal scorer earned the first yellow card of the game for a poor challenge on Clark. Aberdeen appeared to be lethargic as the delayed bus journey looked to be catching up with the players. The Dons were now struggling to get into the game and the lethargy had turned to sloppy play as United looked the more likely to add to the scoring. Aberdeen looked slow as they went forward and the exciting play from previous weeks was missing. However a burst of speed from Fraser won the first Dons corner in the 33rd minute, but McGinn could only steer his header wide from the set play.
A minute later Osbourne and Vernon combined well and the keeper did well to turn Vernon's shot behind for a second corner. The set play came to nothing, but this was better play from the Dons. Anderson made a goal saving challenge in the 38th minute as Russell went one-on-one with Jamie Langfield before the captain retrieved the situation. Two minutes later United won another corner, but Langfield got a hand to the ball and Aberdeen broke forward to win their own corner. Anderson met the corner, but was denied on the goal line by Millar. Langfield was then forced into action at the other end as the home side looked to double their advantage.
Aberdeen won an early corner, but despite the ball bouncing about inside the United area, no one could prod the ball into the net. At the other end the Aberdeen bench were infuriated when Robertson was booked following robust appeals from the home crowd. Two minutes later the United keeper once again kept the home team in the match with a great save from McGinn. It was a great start to the second half from Aberdeen. The opening ten minutes were all Aberdeen as the Dons won yet another corner and this one finally produced the equaliser as McGinn turned an Anderson knock down into the net.
Aberdeen kept up the pressure and almost went ahead a minute later, but this time McGinn couldn't manoeuvre himself into a scoring position. Daly then fell over as Aberdeen launched another attack and referee Brines awarded a free kick. Fraser then launched another run, but he was stopped by Watson who had handled the youngster well without resorting to heavy tactics. Aberdeen had dominated the opening play, but Langfield came to the rescue on the hour mark after United were awarded a very soft free kick. The keeper launched himself into flaying legs to deny Watson with a great save.
United had steadied the ship and play was again raging from end to end as chances were created by both sides. Russell went close with a shot that fizzed inches wide of Langfield's post and at the other end McGinn shot when he had better options around him. Vernon could have no complaints when he was yellow carded for a late challenge. The striker then had a chance in the 64th minute, but he laid the ball off to Hughes and the keeper was out quickly to block the effort. Anderson then saw yellow as the cards started to be waved about like confetti. Langfield had to make another great save as Russell was afforded too much room. At the other end Aberdeen won a corner, but the short corner failed to pay dividends.
The home side wasted another soft free kick in the 71st minute and as the ball sailed over the bar Milsom replaced Rae. At the other end Fraser was body checked in a good position, but the yellow cards had dried up at this stage. The Dons failed to make anything of the free kick and the red army were exasperated as United were awarded another soft free kick on the edge of the Dons box. Fortunately Aberdeen cleared and made a great break, but another body check, this time from Armstrong, failed to produce a yellow card. Vernon then had a great chance to get the winner, but he couldn't tuck it away and a minute later Hayes replaced Fraser.
A McGinn corner was scrambled clear before a Hayes cross was cut out by the home keeper. Seconds later Aberdeen were laying siege on the home defence as they struggled to cope with the introduction of Hayes. McGinn then went on a great run, beating several defenders and firing the ball across the goal, but there were no takers in the middle. Chances were being carved out at either end as both sides searched for the elusive winner. Anderson was a tower of strength at the back as McGinn and Hayes tormented up front. With five minutes remaining Magennis replaced Osbourne then seconds later the red army were outraged as McGinn was clearly fouled and Mr Brines waved play on.
At the other end Rankin was given far too much space, but fortunately his cross was poor. With two minutes remaining this was anyone's game. Milsom became the fourth Don to see yellow then seconds later McGinn ran at the home defence, but went for goal when he had options in the box. Neither team could make the breakthrough and a share of the spoils was probably the right result at the end of the day.