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RD 33 | Match Preview | Dundee V Aberdeen
Aberdeen round off the pre-split fixtures by making the relatively short trip to The Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park to face Dundee in matchday 33. The Dons were able to overcome Motherwell on Wednesday night claiming their first home win since the end of December and a welcome three points meant they went level on points with third placed Kilmarnock.
After the weekend’s fixtures the league splits, but their opponents, Dundee will be looking for a victory to help in their battle to avoid the drop. Jim McIntyre’s side sit bottom of the table two points adrift of St Mirren and six off Hamilton Accies having lost 2-0 to St Johnstone in midweek.
Ahead of the match Derek McInnes and captain Graeme Shinnie spoke with the media on Friday lunchtime.
Quotes From The Press Room
“I think the Celtic defeat in particular was really harsh on them. Being at home the last time out I thought they were very good in that game and were unfortunate not to get something from the game. They’ve had a couple of disappointing since that, which can happen, but I know Jim well and I know how determined he is to get things right at Dundee.
“We’ll have a strong backing tomorrow with two and a half thousand supporters making their way and we all know the importance of getting the club into Europe. It was one of the main things when I came in six years ago about making sure we had a team that was good enough to qualify for Europe and that has never changed. We want to make sure we do that again next year.”
Read what the manager had to say in full here
“Especially going into the split after it’s important we go down to Dundee and get the three points to put us in as strong a position we can. We’re coming off the back of a good result against Motherwell so it’s one we want to continue and get another win.
“There’s always that belief in the squad. We know what we’re capable of and it’s about going and doing it, which has been the frustrating part. We know what we’ve got in the squad and we’ve not shown it enough especially in the games at home. It’s important we go down and play as well as we can at Dundee and try come away with the win.
Read what the captain had to say ahead of Saturday’s game here
There’s a three way battle to avoid relegation from this season’s Premiership with Dundee, Hamilton Accies and St Mirren all vying for that 10th place finish, which would guarantee safety. Last weekend St Mirren came from behind in a 2-1 win to leapfrog the Tayside club, but all three sides lost in midweek, which keeps the battle boiling.
The season so far | Aberdeen v Dundee
Dens Park – August
On the second weekend of the season, The Dons travelled to Dens in a good frame of mind having grabbed a late equaliser the week before against Rangers. It proved to be a tight affair in the City of Discovery with few chances being created from either side. The hosts were wasteful in the final third and Aberdeen made them pay when Gary Mackay-Steven slotted home a penalty with 15 minutes remaining which was enough to claim the points.
Pittodrie – December
The last meeting came in December and The Dons were in a rich vein of form going into it. Sam Cosgrove picked up from where he left off at St Mirren the match before when he nodded home Connor McLennan’s cross in the 16th minute. The hosts then doubled their lead when Sam grabbed his second just before the break with a strike that epitomised the confidence he was playing with.
Andy Considine killed the game off five minutes after the break when he found himself unmarked at a Niall McGinn corner. McGinn was provider again six minutes later when he crossed for the onrushing McLennan who volleyed home from twelve yards. Dundee did get one back when Calvin Miller riffled one in from long range. The Dons restored their four goal advantage when Considine again headed in from a corner. The defender was searching for a second hatrick against Dundee but it never came and Aberdeen settled for 5-1 – their most convincing display of the season.
For the record | The Dons at Dens
Saturday will mark the 107th league match between Dundee and The Dons at Dens Park and it’s the visitors who hold the better record with 46 wins. There have been 35 draws with Dundee winning on 46 occasions.
The Dons are currently on a five match winning streak at Dens and if you include visits across the road at Tannadice the number is at seven. No Aberdeen team has lost in the league against the dark blues in Dundee since December 2004, although Derek McInnes’s side suffered a Scottish Cup exit in his second season in charge.
The biggest Aberdeen victory came in the 7-0 win two seasons ago when Andy Considine scored an unlikely hat-trick, but the first ever encounter between the sides saw Dundee romp home with a 6-0 victory back in 1905-06 season.
Derek McInnes has never lost a league match against Dundee as manager of Aberdeen with 12 wins and four draws in his 16 matches.
Ahead of travelling to the game make sure to read our important supporter information here
If you can’t make the game in Dundee make sure to tune into our RedTV coverage from 2.45pm. International supporters will be able to watch the game with commentary provided by our colleagues at DeeTV. Post match we will have reaction, goals, highlights and a full match replay.
Thank you for your fantastic support once again. We look forward to seeing the Red Army down in their thousands again!
Come on you reds!
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Match Page - Text Commentary
Sam hits the 20 mark as Dons defeat Dundee
There was not much quality from either side in the first half. But after the break Aberdeen slowly got on top and Lewis Ferguson did well to win a penalty on 59 minutes which Sam Cosgrove comfortably converted. On 77 minutes fine play by McLennan set up Cosgrove who fired home from close range. After that Aberdeen completely dominated and Dundee keeper Seny Dieng had a number of fine saves to keep the score down.
Manager Derek McInnes made one change to the side that beat Motherwell on Wednesday night, Dean Campbell missed out through injury, so Greg Stewart came back into the starting XI.
This was a vital game for both teams.
Having lost their last six league games, Dundee are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table whilst the Dons also needed the points to keep on track for third spot and a European place, a battle which may well go down to final game this season.
Niall McGinn took a knock in the opening minute but thankfully it was nothing too serious.
In the third minute fine play by Graeme Shinnie gave Connor McLennan space to run into and when he was taken down by Darren O’Dea on the edge of the area, Aberdeen had a free kick in a great position. It was a couple of yards in the from the junction of the box. Lewis Ferguson fired in a shot which deflected behind for the games first corner. That was cleared but the Dons kept the pressure on until McGinn’s cross went harmlessly behind. Frustrating as Aberdeen had worked the ball into a good area.
Aberdeen were enjoying plenty of possession.
In the ninth minute Andrew Considine played a good ball forward for Sam Cosgrove who was inside the area but his first touch let him down and the ball went harmlessly behind.
From the goal kick Jesse Curran got the better of Considine and from the flick on John O’Sullivan got the better of Dom Ball, he got himself into a great position to pick out a blue shirt in the box but Ball did well to get back and recover the situation. The resulting corner was cleared but then Jesse Curran found space on the left, again though the cross was poor and McKenna was able to clear. A warning for the Dons though.
Dundee then gave the ball away inside their own half after a mix up. Max Lowe had space to run into but decided to put over an early ball looking for Stewart at the other side of the area and his cross in was way too strong.
On 12 minutes McKenna produced a fine solo run from the half way line which won a corner. McGinn floated it into the back post for the onrushing Cosgrove, but there’s a foul against the Aberdeen man.
After about 20 minutes Aberdeen forced a series of corners. McGinn put over some good balls, and the second corner saw Cosgrove knock a header back across goal, the ball landed at the feet of McKenna who managed to get a shot in but Cammy Kerr made a vital block.
On 24 minutes a Craig Curran shot from 30 yards never threatened Joe Lewis’s goal and the ball went over. It was the first real shot of the game though. After 33 minutes the game was stopped for a while as Connor McLennan received treatment. Although he looked in some discomfort, he was able to continue.
Two minutes later Dundee came within an inch of opening the scoring. A Considine headed clearance from a cross landed at the feet of Ethan Robson. His left footed dipping volley curled away from Lewis but clipped the outside of the post.
Dundee kept the pressure on and Jesse Curran’s cross was deflected behind for a corner. McKenna headed clear and Aberdeen were able to get themselves back up the park. On 37 minutes Darren O’Dea was forced off with an injury and had to be replaced by Genserix Kusunga. Dundee continued to enjoy a good spell and ask questions of the Aberdeen defence.
The Dons were getting drawn into a battle.
After 41 minutes the Dons appealed for a penalty as McLennan’s cross into the area struck McGowan from close range. The ball appeared to hit his stomach and not an arm. As half time approached Ethan Robson, who had impressed in the first half, had a shot from distance which produced a routine save from Lewis.
There were three minutes of additional time played, and Aberdeen had their most dangerous moment in front of goal. McKenna had a half chance then Greg Stewart put over a great cross which hit off Kusunga, keeper Dieng got a touch before the ball was eventually cleared.
Half time: Dundee 0 Aberdeen 0
On 47 minutes a Shinnie cross forced Dieng off his line. The keepers punch was not convincing and landed at the feet of McKenna but his shot was rushed and always rising.
A minute later Ferguson had space to run into, he had options left and right, went himself and his shot was blocked. Then Aberdeen broke when Shinnie won the ball in the centre circle. He played it wide to Stewart but Ryan McGowan did well to prevent the ball coming over. On 50 minutes Ferguson took a quick free kick which set Stewart free on the left, although he slipped he still managed to get a cross over but Cosgrove could not get there.
On 53 minutes Cosgrove won a free kick 30 yards out after a tussle with Ryan McGowan. McGinn took it and the put the ball well over the bar.
The Dons needed a bit more quality in the final third.
On 55 minutes really nice link up play by O’Sullivan and Curran created a shooting chance for Callum Moore, the Dons defence did well to get out and make a block. The ball deflected behind for a corner. There was a lovely back heel from John O’Sullivan in the move.
A minute later O’Sullivan twisted and turned away from Ball, hit a shot from 30 yards which for a second appeared to be going in until Lewis tipped it over bar. It proved to be a vital save at a vital time – something Joe has done all season.
From the corner Aberdeen cleared and Lowe produced a fine ball forward to find Ferguson on the left. The midfield showed good composure to square up to Callum Moore and then when he went past the Dundee man he clearly drew a foul. Referee Andrew Dallas, who was well positioned, pointed to the shot. There was absolutely no complaint from Moore.
Sam Cosgrove took the responsibility and confidently put Dieng the wrong way.
Aberdeen had the break through.
On 61 minutes Ryan McGowan was booked for a foul on Cosgrove. Then a Shinnie cross from the right was flicked on by McKenna but the ball just went past the post. It was a fine glancing header but just needed a bit more on it.
On 65 minutes Stephen Gleeson replaced Niall McGinn. It led to a tactical change as the manager rightly adjusted to Dundee pushing players forward. A minute later a change for Dundee, Andrew Nelson coming on for Moore.
On 69 minutes Max Lowe was booked for a foul on Kerr. It led to a dangerous set piece but Considine won his header and then the whistle went for a foul. A minute later Gleeson played it wide to Shinnie on the right. The skipper curled in an excellent cross, but no one made a run. The ball in deserved better, someone should have got across their marker.
A minute later Kenny Miller replaced Craig Curran.
After 76 minutes Aberdeen grabbed a second. They worked the ball to McLennan on the left. The winger got himself one on one with Cammy Kerr. Although he was forced back initially Connor did brilliantly to get along the by-line and cut the ball back for Cosgrove who fired a first time low shot past Dieng. His 20th goal of the season.
On 80 minutes a lovely Aberdeen move found Ball on the edge of the area (not quite sure what he was doing there!), he flicked it into the path of McLennan and his shot was well saved by Dieng. The keeper also did well to get up and get to the ball ahead of Cosgrove who was lurking for his hat-trick.
With nine minutes to go Greg Stewart limped off and was replaced by Stevie May. A worry with the semi-final just a week away.
On 83 minutes Kenny Miller latched onto a long ball, he cut inside onto his left foot but fired well over. It was probably Dundee’s best chance of the game and the experience striker will know himself that he should have done better after creating room.
After that Aberdeen looked the far more likely side to grab the next goal.
On 85 minutes May, again on the Dundee left, had space for a cross, his low ball beat the keeper but landed at the feet of a blue shirt. Then Shinnie from the edge of the area produced a good save from Dieng, his shot was creeping into the corner. Cosgrove headed the corner over the bar.
With four minutes to go McLennan was replaced by youngster Ethan Ross.
The keeper then also made a fine save as he tipped a Ferguson free kick onto the bar. Excellent effort from Lewis. He also saved Stevie May’s 30 yard shot which was going in.
In the fourth and final minute of injury time Cosgrove from a corner got a shot away from close range, but it was well blocked by Kusunga. The Dons finished match well on top.