Stephen Glass made just the one change to the side that drew with Celtic on Wednesday, Ross McCrorie failed to recover from his injury and was replaced at right back by Calvin Ramsay. Joe Lewis was named in the squad but was only fit enough for a place on the bench so Gary Woods continued in goal. As expected Dundee United made six changes to the side that they put out against Kilmarnock - former Dons Mark Reynolds, Lawrence Shankland and Nicky Clark amongst the players returning to the starting XI.
The match kicked off in bright sunshine with the Dons shooting towards the Merkland Road End. Aberdeen enjoyed some good early possession and on three minutes Kamberi very nearly found McGinn inside the area, although United also had a promising break but thankfully Hoban got the better of Shankland inside the area.
On seven minutes Kamberi and McGinn set Hayes free down the left. The cross fell to the feet of Callum Hendry who had his back to goal. The striker managed to turn and get a shot away, but his effort was always on the rise.
Ten minutes gone, Kennedy cut in off his right wing and fired in a left footed shot which Mehmet parried. Callum Hendry was the first to react and the keeper did very well to spread himself and deflect the ball over the bar. This resulted in the first corner which Ferguson headed over at the back post.
It was a very open game at this stage, Aberdeen finding some space in the wide areas but United also looking dangerous on the break.
Right back Liam Smith won United their first corner on 13 minutes. Aberdeen headed it clear and had a promising break but referee Clancy brought the play back for a foul. In the 16th minute a Hayes clearance was charged down by McNulty but thankfully the ball looped up and landed in the arms of Woods.
In the 18th minute United took the lead and it was a poor goal to lose. Woods played the ball to Kamberi but his touch for once let him down. Clark moved it quickly to Shankland who played in McNulty and he produced a fine low finish across Woods into the corner of net. A minute later United should have been two up. McNulty managed to get to the by-line and his ball went across the face of goal, Harkes coming in at the back post was inches away from getting a touch.
United continued to have the upper hand and on 23 minutes missed another great chance. Reynolds was allowed to step forward and his excellent through ball picked out the run of Fuchs but his shot was brilliantly saved by the onrushing Woods. On 27 minutes Woods had to look lively again when Clark had a low shot from the edge of the area which clipped the outside of the post after a good build up by United. A goal kick was given but it was in fact a brilliant save by Woods who at full stretch got his finger tips to it.
By the half hour mark United had taken control.
The Dons were trying to get going again but any forward passes in the final third were just slightly overhit.
In the 37th minute United scored a second. McNulty won a soft looking free kick out on the right. Although there had been quite a number of soft free kicks given before that. Clark played the ball in and picked out Ryan Edwards who got up above two Aberdeen defenders and nodded the ball home. Another disappointing goal from the Dons point of view.
Calum Butcher received the first yellow card after 40 minutes. From the free kick a Considine header forced Mehmet to tip the ball behind. The corner was cleared too easily and once again United had a promise break. Nothing came of that but on the stroke of half time McNulty on that right hand side once again had a shooting opportunity but thankfully this time he dragged his shot wide.
Half time: Aberdeen 0 Dundee Utd 2
The Dons needed to start the second half strongly, and they did. A Kennedy cross fell to McGinn but he failed to get a decent contact on his shot. Hayes then won a free kick wide on the left, Campbell put over a great delivery which Butcher headed behind. From the corner Hendry got up well but headed the ball wide before Mehmet clattered him. Lewis Ferguson produced what appeared to be great tackle in the middle of the park to turn over possession but the referee awarded a free kick and gave Lewis a yellow card, which seemed very harsh.
Aberdeen survived a scare when they failed to clear their lines but on 53 minutes it was game over. McNulty spun in behind after playing a simple one two with Harkes and then he coolly slotted the ball past Woods.
55 minutes in, Melmet misjudged a cross but was back in position to save from McGinn. On 59 minutes McNulty was booked and on the hour mark Considine showed his frustration when he was booked for a foul on Shankland. At that point Stephen Glass put on Dylan McGeouch and Ethan Ross for McGinn and Campbell. The two substitutes brought some energy to the Dons play which had been missing but Aberdeen failed to create anything on note.
It was a very long final 20 minutes as the game petered out. With fifteen minutes to go an opening for Hendry but his first time effort when well wide. Kamberi also fired a shot over. Hendry was then replaced by Michael Ruth. The closing stages were littered with fouls and became a very hard watch but United to their credit continued to look the hungrier team. They had an intensity with their high press throughout the 90 minutes.