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Aberdeen V Dundee United | SC RD5 Preview
This Sunday sees The Dons get back on the road to Hampden as Dundee United are the visitors to Pittodrie for the Scottish Cup Fifth Round tie. Aberdeen go into the back off three excellent wins and face a Championship side for the second round in a row.
United are currently second in the league and despite falling behind St Mirren in the race for automatic promotion, are still looking good for the play-offs, therefore the match has all the makings of an excellent cup tie. United have a wealth of experience in their side with former Dons Willo Flood, Paul Quinn and Fraser Fyvie now plying their trade at Tannadice, although the latter is currently out injured.
WHAT THE MANAGER SAID
“I love cup football and I think we’ve got a decent return in the last four and a half years here. We’ve been in three cup finals and five semi-finals out of a possible nine so we’re familiar with that type of game. There’s an appetite to get back and perform on that stage is there for myself and the players and the intention is to win the tournament.
“They’ll be loads of teams in the competition at this stage believe it will be their year this year. For us in Scotland and at Aberdeen this is a cup we feel we can win and we’ll be disappointed if we don’t. There’s only a few clubs in Scotland that can have that approach to going into a cup competition.
Read more from Derek’s press conference here
WHAT GRAEME SHINNIE SAID
“We cannot look beyond that or there will be trouble. Dundee United will be a very tough game we know that. But it is one we know that if we play to our potential we can win and get through.
“Although Dundee United are maybe going through a sticky patch in the league, the cup is always something to distract them from that. Especially when they are coming up against a team like us. They will be underdogs so there will not be as much pressure on them. So, it is probably a game they are looking forward to. We will need to be on top of that.
“Home advantage is always an advantage if you use it the right way. The crowd will get behind us, but it is up to us to give the crowd something to cheer about. Dundee United will take a good number of fans up and the Aberdeen fans will be well up for it, so it will be a good occasion.”
Read more from Graeme’s press conference here
WHAT GARY-MACKAY STEVEN SAID
“We can’t take United lightly at all. They will want to show what they can do as the pressure is off but we don’t take any opponent lightly. We didn’t do that with St Mirren in the last round either; we will look at their strengths and weaknesses. It will nice to see a few old faces as a lot of the backroom staff are still there from when I was there but it won’t be an easy game as United will be fancying a cup run themselves and we will need to be at our best.
“It was always a game we looked forward to when I was at United and the games were exciting ones which could go either way. We’re looking forward to it but we want to score some goals and show what we can do. That would be exciting coming up against Willo. I’ve had a few bruises from him back in the days as a team-mate and as an opponent. Willo is a great guy who did well here and at United and I’m sure he is helping the young lads there. The standards he sets, he will be demanding the best from everyone.”
“The Scottish Cup is massive and every game is a big game. We desperately want to win after going really close last year and there would be no better way to end the season than by lifting the cup but we’re a long way away form that at the moment. There are a lot of big games coming up and a lot to achieve, and we feel in a good position with what we have and how we are playing. We can’t wait for the big games to keep coming.”
Watch Gary’s interview with RedTV here
CURRENT SQUAD | SCOTTISH CUP RECORD
Now in his fifth season as Aberdeen manager, Derek McInnes has overseen twelve Scottish Cup ties, winning eight and losing four. Derek McInnes has never faced a replay in his time at Pittodrie and it’s the first time since 2011 that Pittodrie has hosted two Scottish Cup ties in a row.
Since 2013 The Dons have scored 20 goals and conceded 11 in the cup, with last season’s run to the final including three clean sheets. Adam Rooney leads the Scottish Cup goal scoring charts under the current regime with five in his time at the club. Andy Considine and Niall McGinn are on four, but Gary Mackay-Steven has scored ten Scottish Cup goals in his career, including the goal of the round winner against St Mirren this season.
DONS V UNITED | FAMILIAR OPPONENTS
Sunday’s match will be the 27th Scottish Cup match between The Dons and United. The Reds hold the favourable record with eleven wins over United’s six and remarkably there have been nine replays required to find a winner. Aberdeen have also never lost to United at Pittodrie in the Scottish Cup, having won four and drawn twice.
Despite their long history in the Scottish Cup, the two teams didn’t meet for the first time until 1952. The first of those nine replays were required on that occasion Aberdeen won 3-2 at Pittodrie after a 2-2 draw at Tannadice. The Dons would assert their dominance over United in the cup with wins in the next six ties, including a replay at Tannadice in 1984, which would see the team go on and defend the trophy for the third season in a row. The following season saw a first United win. With both teams at the peak of their powers in Scottish football, Jim McLean’s side prevailed after a semi-final replay at Tynecastle, which was Aberdeen’s first defeat in the competition in four years.
The last time the sides met in the Scottish Cup was 2006 and it produced one of the most memorable comebacks in recent years from an Aberdeen side. Trailing 2-0 at the interval, Jimmy Calderwood’s men looked dead and buried until goals from Stevie Crawford levelled the match. Then in the 80th minute Barry Nicholson fired home and sent the Aberdeen fans, who had once again packed out Tannadice, wild.
CLASSIC MATCH | DONS RUN RIOT IN TYNECASTLE SEMI
The semi-final in the 89/90 season was much more clear-cut as the sides met at Tynecastle. A huge support from both sides came down the A90 and Aberdeen ripped their old rivals apart. The Dons were magnificent that day and Brian Irvine’s early goal and a Mixu Paatelainen own goal put The Dons in pole position. United’s misery was compounded even further when Van Der Hoorn scored another own goal which put the game beyond doubt and Hans Gilhaus rounded off the win with a fourth in the closing stages. The Dons would go on to lift the Cup at Hampden in May and it remains the club’s last triumph in the old competition.
You can watch the highlights of the 1990 semi-final here
If you can’t make it to the match on Saturday, join us on RedTV with ex Dons and United player Stuart Duff from 4.15pm for live coverage including video on RedTV International. There will be reaction post-match, highlights from midnight & full replay available from Monday at midday in GB & Ireland due to competition regulations.
Enjoy the game and COYR!
Match Page - Formation
Match Page - Text Commentary
Aberdeen to the four in the Cup
Goals from Rooney, McLean and a GMS brace booked the Dons a place in the quarter finals.
Following the result the quarter final draw took place at Pittodrie. The Dons were drawn a home tie against Kilmarnock which will be played on the weekend of 3rd/4th March.
Derek McInnes named an unchanged side from the team that beat Hamilton 3-0 last Saturday in the Ladbrokes Premier League.
Having beaten St Mirren in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup previously, The Dons welcomed second placed Championship side Dundee United to Pittodrie, the first time in seven years that Pittodrie has hosted two Scottish Cup home games consecutively.
Dundee United got things underway at a very cold Pittodrie and there was also a stiff breeze that would make things difficult for both teams.
Aberdeen started brightly winning a corner in the first minute which came to nothing. On five minutes the Dons had their first half chance, Scott McKenna headed McGinn’s corner just wide.
Moments later Mark Durnan received the first booking of the afternoon, bringing down Shinnie as the home side looked to counter.
On eight minutes Adam Rooney had a golden chance to open the scoring. GMS intercepted a loose ball just outside the Dundee United penalty and fired a shot on goal. Lewis could only parry the ball out to Rooney who looked set to score but his shot was blocked and ricocheted out for a corner. From the resulting set piece Ryan Christie had a shot from long range that just curled wide at the near post.
The Dons continued to dominate and eventually took the lead in the 19th minute. Running down the right Kenny McLean hung up a cross to the back post. GMS met it and volley into the ground, his shot looked goal bound but needed the helping head of Adam Rooney who nodded home from a yard out.
Stanton was booked for a nasty foul on McGinn straight after the restart as the Dons continued to dominate the opening quarter of the cup tie.
Gary Mackay Stevens made it 2-0 to The Dons on 26 minutes. High pressing from the Aberdeen midfield forced the visitors into a mistake at the back, allowing McGinn to pinch the ball off Slater.
McGinn had the awareness to slip in GMS who showed great composure to slot past Harry Lewis and double Aberdeen’s lead.
But then similar to the St Mirren game, out of nowhere the visitors pulled one back through Sam Stanton just after the half our mark. After O’Connor failed to get enough distance on his clearance.
The United midfielder found himself running through on goal following the poor clearance and some quick first time passing. He calmly slotted home past Woodman to reduce the deficit.
Their lead didn’t last long.
From a United throw in, Christie intercepted and found a yard of space after a beautiful piece of skill. His cross was expertly met by Kenny McLean, who glanced his header into the far corner and restoring the two goal cushion. A really fine goal.
Both Shinnie and Andrew Considine went into the referee’s book for late challenges. Considine’s foul means he will miss the quarter final tie against Kilmarnock due to an accumulation of bookings.
After winning the goal of the round award for his strike against St Mirren, GMS nearly had another strong candidate on 38 minutes. Twisting and turning down the left he fired a vicious strike towards the top corner but Harry Lewis pulled off a fine save at the near post to deny the winger and keep the score at 3-1 going into half time.
Half Time: Aberdeen 3-1 Dundee United
The Dons got the second half underway and looked in the mood to give the 11,611 more goals to cheer.
Five minutes into the second half Rooney had a chance to add a fourth. Clever work from Christie and Shinnie down the left allowed Rooney a shooting chance on the edge of the area but he blazed his shot over the bar.
O’Connor and Woodman almost had a problem when miscommunication saw Woodman rush off his line whilst the Dons central defender still attempted a pass back. The keeper in the end did very well to divert the ball to safety with his foot.
On 55 minutes Gary Mackay Steven added his second and Aberdeen’s fourth of the afternoon. Great play from Ryan Christie, letting the ball run across his body, allowed him to run at the United back four. GMS made a supporting run alongside Christie who unselfishly slipped him in. The Dons wingers right footed shot had too much power for Harry Lewis and the ball flew into the roof of the net at the near post.
The game should have been finished then but Aberdeen took their foot off the gas and United pulled another one back with twenty minutes to play. A good run from Billy King had the Dons defence back peddling. King found Paul McMullan who curled his shot past Woodman into the far corner.
Following their goal, the visitors grew in confidence enjoying more possession and territory inside the Aberdeen half.
With 15 minutes left GMS nicked the ball off Robson and looked to counter, but the winger was brought down and Robson went into the book for his troubles.
McInnes made his first change of the day on 81 minutes. Gary Mackay Steven received a standing ovation as he was replaced by Dominic Ball.
Ball made an positive impact, after overlapping Adam Rooney he played a great ball across the penalty area to Christie who blazed his shot over the bar from 12 yards out – a real let off for the visitors.
United threw everything at The Dons in final few minutes and they nearly pulled another one back. Woodman pulled off a great finger tip reaction save after the ball deflected off O’Connor inside the six yard box.
Adam Rooney was replaced by Nicky Maynard in the final few minutes of the game as the Dons saw out the remainder of injury time without any scares.
Aberdeen travel to Edinburgh next weekend to face Hibernian in the league before the visit of Celtic to Pittodrie on Sunday 25th of February.
Full Time: Aberdeen 4-2 Dundee United