Dundee Utd 1
Aberdeen 2
League (SPL)

Dundee Utd
1 - 2

League (SPL)
Monday, January 2nd, 2012
Tannadice Park. Att. 11,741
3:00 PM Kick-off

Jon Daly (6)
Mohamed Chalali (67)
Kári Árnason (86)

Team Managers
Peter Houston
Craig Brown

Starting Eleven
1. Dušan Perniš
18. Gavin Gunning
26. Robbie Neilson
2. Seán Dillon
3. Paul Dixon
8. Scott Robertson
17. Gary Mackay-Steven
16. Stuart Armstrong
11. John Rankin
15. Johnny Russell
9. Jon Daly
Jason Brown
Ricky Foster
Andrew Considine
Robert Milsom
Kári Árnason
Peter Pawlett
Isaac Osbourne
Fraser Fyvie
Ryan Jack
Scott Vernon
Rory Fallon

13. Steve Banks
5. Garry Kenneth
14. Barry Douglas
6. Willo Flood
7. Richie Ryan
19. Lauri Dalla Valle
22. Ryan Dow
Jamie Langfield
Rory McArdle
Clark Robertson
Chris Clark
Darren Mackie
Mohamed Chalali
Josh Magennis

Willo Flood for Gary Mackay-Steven (61)
Richie Ryan for Stuart Armstrong (79)
Lauri Dalla Valle for John Rankin (88)
Rory McArdle for Peter Pawlett (60)
Mohamed Chalali for Rory Fallon (65)
Chris Clark for Robert Milsom (82)

Gary Mackay-Steven (58)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Steven McLean (Referee)
Alan Mulvanny & Billy Baxter (Assistants)
Mike Tumilty (Fourth Official)

Ticket stub / Admission info


Match Report

For the fourth consecutive game Peter Houston named an unchanged starting line up for the visit of Aberdeen. New signing Richie Ryan was listed as a substitute at a packed Tannadice.

United started the game extremely brightly and with two minutes gone a fine pass from Robertson found Russell whose shot was deflected just wide. Four minutes later Jon Daly gave United the perfect start to the New Year. Dixon won a corner and from the resulting kick, Brown punched the ball into the path of Rankin whose shot fell into the path of the United skipper and he fired home in off the post. Just after the quarter hour mark good build up play from Robertson saw him tee up Gunning who sent in a long range shot that deflected and was well saved by Brown. It took Aberdeen 23 minutes to make their first chance and it came from a shot from distance from Foster but his effort did little to trouble Pernis. Foster was involved again when he and Milson combined to set up Fallon but Pernis this time saved well from the Kiwi striker. The Dons then troubled Pernis again but on this occasion the big keeper did well to save an effort from a Jack run and shot. On the half hour mark Mackay-Steven made a great run down the left and swung in a cross that was inches from the head of Daly who was in an excellent position to extend United’s lead. The play was flowing nicely and it took a fine interception from Gunning to halt a through ball from Foster to Vernon who was in a dangerous position. With seven minutes of the half remaining Considine and goalkeeper Brown almost gifted United a goal when a breakdown in communication nearly resulted in an own goal but the Aberdeen keeper managed to back-track and stop the ball crossing the line. Five minutes from the break there was uproar amongst the home faithful. Russell was put through after great play from Dixon and just with only the keeper to beat he appeared to be brought down by Considine but unbelievably play was waved on. United were well in control in the first half and were unlucky to only be one up at the break.

The first chance of the second period came from a United free kick that was taken by the impressive Dixon but his swinging effort was deflected wide by the visitors’ defensive wall. A minute later United went close again when Robertson found Daly at the near post but United’s top scorer just missed the target. Shortly after Mackay-Steven was the first man to be cautioned for a late challenge on Osborne. Aberdeen were next to create when a long looping free kick was headed on by Pawlett and the wind caught the ball and Pernis managed to tip the ball over the crossbar. With an hour on the clock both teams changed things around. Firstly McCardle replaced Pawlett for the Dons and then a minute later Flood swapped with Mackay-Steven for United. The third change was the most crucial. After Aberdeen were incorrectly awarded a throw in, Chalali came on for Fallon. The substitute went straight into the box and from the resulting throw McCardle flicked on and the Frenchman scored with his first touch, heading past Pernis. United looked to hit back straight away and perhaps should have restored their lead when Daly knocked down a Dixon free kick into the path of Russell who was denied by a saving tackle by Considine. From the corner the ball eventually fell to Robertson who had a close range shot saved by Brown. Two minutes later United went agonisingly close when Rankin hit the post with a low, long range shot, however the linesman had his flag up for offside. The game was now flowing from end to end and with a quarter of an hour left Aberdeen missed a glaring opportunity. Vernon crossed from the right hand side and an unmarked Milson only had to head into an empty net however remarkably he managed to head the ball away from the goal and United managed to clear. United then introduced their new singing Richie Ryan, who came on for the hard working Armstrong. Two of United’s other Irishmen then combined when Flood crossed to Gunning who headed just over the crossbar. Milson was then replaced by Clark for the Dons and then with minutes remaining the game was won by the visitors. There appeared to be very little on when Kari Arnason picked up a loose ball 40 yards from goal but to United’s dismay he thundered in a shot that hit the underside of the bar and crossed the goal line to put the visitors into an unlikely lead. United threw everything they could at the visitors to try to salvage a point and after Dalla Valle replaced Rankin in the last minute, Flood crossed to Daly who headed towards goal but Jack cleared off the line. A tough one to take for United after starting the game so brightly. A couple of decisions that went against the hosts certainly proved vital in a hugely entertaining match.

Squad Statistics (as at January 2nd, 2012)

2011-12 All Time
Dušan Perniš (GK)27 26 - 97 -
Gavin Gunning20 211211
Seán Dillon28 14 - 1783
Robbie Neilson31 8 - 8 -
Paul Dixon25 2621284
John Rankin28 26 - 26 -
Gary Mackay-Steven21 172172
Scott Robertson26 2211076
Stuart Armstrong19 142262
Johnny Russell21 2466417
Jon Daly28 241414050
Richie Ryan (sub)26 1 - 1 -
Willo Flood (sub)26 24 - 921
Lauri Dalla Valle (sub)20 143143

Team Sheet (Scanned Photo)

League Table (as at January 2nd, 2012)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

First and foremost as we welcome Aberdeen as our first foots, can I wish everyone a very Happy New Year. We go into the first match of 2012 on the back of an unbeaten run of four games, which given that three of them were away from home is some going. My only disappointment is that in all of them we have had to come from behind. In the end our last home game against Hibs was hugely satisfying. On the basis of our second half performance, we merited the win and full marks to the players who have stuck to their task, as they have done in all our recent games. After going behind to a bit of a lucky goal with the ball coming off Stuart Armstrong’s back. Though we got caught ball watching, which allowed Griffiths to put them ahead. But as at Inverness, the second half performance was excellent. Even before Johnny Russell equalised. Scott Robertson had a chance. So we were delighted to get the three points. That made it seven points out of nine before last Wednesdays trip to St Mirren but commendable as that was, I still felt a bit frustrated. That was because the points we dropped were at Kilmarnock where we played our best football of the season, and had we taken our chances, we would have had a 100% record. But with two away games in that spell, wining two and drawing one was highly acceptable. As for last week's game at St Mirren, in all honesty I don't think it should have been axed. And I'd have said that even if we'd won 3-2 or 3-0 and I really believe we should be calling games off when the wind is so strong. It was a farce and with plenty of free midweeks, there would have been plenty of time to play it. Credit to both sets of players who did their best, but it could've been better if we'd played on a nice night. First half. St Mirren played with the elements and probably went in front against the run of play. Then Graham Carey scored with a great strike but without the help of the elements I think Dusan Pernis might have been fancied to save it. But it was exasperating that we have again had to come from behind, not once, but twice. Again, however, the players have shown great spirit and attitude to come back. But as I said to them in the dressing room after the game, I want their New Year resolution to be to start making teams having to catch us. That said, this is very much a transitional period for us - last Wednesday only three of the side who won the Scottish Cup in 2010 were in the starting line up. We've had four under-2ls in the team lately and it takes time for them to adjust to the SPL. In addition, we have had to endure injuries to key players like Danny Swanson and Scott Severin.

But we've settled ourselves down and we've got a wee bit of depth. We now have Richie Ryan from Sligo Rovers available for todays game against Aberdeen. I watched them recently at St Johnstone and was very impressed with them, and even though their manager Craig Brown wasn't. His side gave a good solid performance to come out on top in very difficult conditions. They followed that up with a narrow win over Hibs, only to slip up at Inverness on Christmas Eve. But this is a derby match so the form book goes out of the window. With the large support Aberdeen bring, it always creates a good atmosphere and we are going to have to be at our best if we are going to avenge the 3-1 defeat we suffered at their hands at Pittodrie.