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Aberdeen 0-0 Dundee: Mark McGhee's side will finish in bottom two after Pittodrie loss

Aberdeen's Lewis Ferguson scores
Lewis Ferguson scores from the penalty spot

Dundee have been officially consigned to the Scottish Premiership’s bottom two after defeat by Aberdeen.

It leaves Mark McGhee’s side five points behind second-bottom St Johnstone – and 13 adrift of Aberdeen and St Mirren – with three games left.

Lewis Ferguson’s second-half penalty settled the game after Dundee had the better of a thrilling first half.

Two good saves from Joe Lewis denied the visitors while Calvin Ramsay headed off the home goalline.

Ending their run of two straight home defeats and beating Dundee at Pittodrie for the eighth game in a row means Aberdeen cannot now finish bottom and are eight clear of St Johnstone.

Defeat after three consecutive draws leaves Dundee still waiting for a victory in 11 games since McGhee succeeded James McPake as manager.

  • Reaction & as it happened

There were no threats of going naked this week from McGhee should his side claim that first win. But his side revealed in full their collective belief in their ability to escape relegation despite a shaky start at Pittodrie.

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin said he had picked as attacking a line-up as he could for what he viewed as a game that could all but secure their Premiership status and they showed their own intent right from kick-off.

Restored to the side, striker Christian Ramirez tapped the ball to Ferguson and the Scotland midfielder launched a long-range looping shot over the head of Harrison Sharp and on to the roof of the net. Dundee’s 21-year-old goalkeeper was almost caught off his line as his third first-team appearance started nervously.

He wasn’t the only one, with Aberdeen’s bright start soon overshadowed by defending that all too often left the home support with heads in hands.

Fine saves from Lewis denied Danny Mullen and Paul McMullan as Aberdeen were twice caught in possession, while Paul McGowan had cries for a penalty waved away by referee Willie Collum as another effort looked to strike a home arm.

A couple of Ramirez though balls put Aberdeen on the front foot after the break, but home calls for a penalty were denied as Jack MacKenzie was tackled by Cammy Kerr then Vicente Besuijen prodded wide.

Ramsay had to head a Ryan Sweeney header off the line at the other end, while visiting goalkeeper Sharp got down low to save well from Ramirez.

Aberdeen finally got the penalty they had craved when left-back Jordan Marshall’s lazy leg upended Jonny Hayes and Ferguson slotted his 16th goal of the season.

There was still time for Josh Mulligan to head a chance of an equaliser wastefully over as Dundee are left in a head-to-head with St Johnstone to settle automatic relegation spot and the play-off spot.

Man of the match – Jonny Hayes

Aberdeen wide-man Jonny Hayes and Dundee full-back Cammy Kerr
Aberdeen wide-man Jonny Hayes (left) was a constant threat and his direct running won the winning penalty

What did we learn?

It was hardly surprising that there was little to choose between two sides who have failed to reignite their seasons despite changing managers in February.

Aberdeen went into this game with just one win in 14 since beating Dundee 2-1 on their last visit to Pittodrie on 26 December – and have only two victories in eight since Goodwin took over two days after McGhee.

They are all but safe from relegation now thanks to a second-half improvement, but their defensive frailties were in evidence once again.

There was enough in Dundee’s performance to suggest they could yet catch St Johnstone, but they are fast running out of games and must rely on the Perth side crumbling under the pressure if they are to produce a great escape.

Charlie Adam’s angry reaction to being substituted also hints that not all is well between manager and the veteran midfield playmaker.

What they said

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin: “There was a bit of tension and anxiety in both sets of players, but today was all about the result. I felt that, if we could keep a clean sheet, we would win – I fancied us to score, albeit I would have liked it to come from open play.

“Joe Lewis has had to make a couple of really good saves, but I feel that in the second half we were in control for the majority of it. And I thought it was only a matter of time before that goal came.”

Dundee manager Mark McGhee: “In the first half in particular, the passing, the movement, the energy, were everything I had hoped for. What we didn’t do today was we didn’t take our chances, but that’s an improvement even though we have not won the game.

“St Johnstone have let us off the hook again and, with three games to go, we’re only five points behind them and I think, looking at the games, on paper this was the hardest. We can take confidence into these other games and maybe win a game.”

What’s next?

Aberdeen visit Hibernian next Saturday (15:00 BST), while St Mirren are Dundee’s hosts at the same time.

Player of the match

MacKenzieJack MacKenzie

with an average of 7.90
  • Aberdeen
  • Dundee

Aberdeen

  1. Squad number3Player nameMacKenzie
    Average rating

    7.90

  2. Squad number10Player nameBesuijen
    Average rating

    7.74

  3. Squad number29Player nameBarron
    Average rating

    7.73

  4. Squad number22Player nameRamsay
    Average rating

    7.21

  5. Squad number17Player nameHayes
    Average rating

    7.19

  6. Squad number1Player nameLewis
    Average rating

    6.99

  7. Squad number19Player nameFerguson
    Average rating

    6.33

  8. Squad number5Player nameGallagher
    Average rating

    6.03

  9. Squad number7Player nameWatkins
    Average rating

    5.94

  10. Squad number9Player nameRamírez
    Average rating

    5.63

  11. Squad number27Player nameBates
    Average rating

    5.59

  12. Squad number20Player nameJenks
    Average rating

    5.06

  13. Squad number11Player nameMontgomery
    Average rating

    4.11

Dundee

  1. Squad number30Player nameSharp
    Average rating

    4.95

  2. Squad number77Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating

    4.54

  3. Squad number5Player nameSweeney
    Average rating

    4.31

  4. Squad number3Player nameMarshall
    Average rating

    4.15

  5. Squad number24Player nameAnderson
    Average rating

    3.97

  6. Squad number18Player nameMcMullan
    Average rating

    3.94

  7. Squad number2Player nameKerr
    Average rating

    3.74

  8. Squad number6Player nameMcGhee
    Average rating

    3.71

  9. Squad number9Player nameMullen
    Average rating

    3.61

  10. Squad number17Player nameMcCowan
    Average rating

    3.59

  11. Squad number15Player nameMulligan
    Average rating

    3.54

  12. Squad number20Player nameRudden
    Average rating

    3.50

  13. Squad number10Player nameMcGowan
    Average rating

    3.48

  14. Squad number22Player nameDaley-Campbell
    Average rating

    3.19

  15. Squad number26Player nameAdam
    Average rating

    2.97

  • Line-ups
  • Match Stats
  • Live Text

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lewis
  • 22Ramsay
  • 5Gallagher
  • 27Bates
  • 3MacKenzie
  • 29Barron
  • 19Ferguson
  • 10BesuijenBooked at 30mins
  • 9RamírezSubstituted forJenksat 69′minutes
  • 17HayesSubstituted forMontgomeryat 77′minutes
  • 7Watkins

Substitutes

  • 4Considine
  • 11Montgomery
  • 15McGeouch
  • 16Ojo
  • 18McLennan
  • 20Jenks
  • 21Polvara
  • 25Woods
  • 28Ruth

Dundee

Formation 4-3-3

  • 30Sharp
  • 2KerrSubstituted forDaley-Campbellat 89′minutes
  • 6McGhee
  • 5Sweeney
  • 3Marshall
  • 24AndersonSubstituted forMcCowanat 69′minutes
  • 26AdamSubstituted forMulliganat 52′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 10McGowan
  • 18McMullan
  • 9Mullen
  • 77McGinnSubstituted forRuddenat 68′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Fontaine
  • 8Byrne
  • 12Chapman
  • 15Mulligan
  • 17McCowan
  • 19Robertson
  • 20Rudden
  • 21Welsh
  • 22Daley-Campbell
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
13,747

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamDundee
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home20
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Dundee 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Dundee 0.

  3. Post update

    Declan Gallagher (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Jordan McGhee (Dundee).

  5. Booking

    Josh Mulligan (Dundee) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Jack MacKenzie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Josh Mulligan (Dundee).

  8. Post update

    Foul by Vicente Besuijen (Aberdeen).

  9. Post update

    Jordan Marshall (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Vicente Besuijen (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Sweeney (Dundee).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee. Vontae Daley-Campbell replaces Cammy Kerr.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Daniel Mullen (Dundee) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Zak Rudden.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Josh Mulligan (Dundee) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Luke McCowan with a cross following a corner.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Dundee. Conceded by Declan Gallagher.

  16. Post update

    Hand ball by Calvin Ramsay (Aberdeen).

  17. Post update

    Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Paul McMullan (Dundee).

  19. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

  20. Post update

    Cammy Kerr (Dundee) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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