Honours even at Pittodrie
Wed 2nd Jan 3pm
Dundee United shared four goals with Aberdeen courtesy of central defender Gavin Gunning and an own-goal from Dons goalkeeper Jamie Langfield at Pittodrie.
The visitors had earlier named sixteen-year-old John Souttar as their youngest-ever debutant. But he witnessed Scott Vernon opening the scoring for the hosts on eleven minutes.
However, Gunning forced home an equaliser nine minutes later and Langfield then helped a Johnny Russell cross into his own net. Aberdeen's prolific marksman Niall McGinn later curled in a free-kick to equalise.
Russell Anderson headed a Ryan Fraser corner over during the early stages as the visitors, who were missing the suspended Brian McLean and unavailable Keith Watson in defence, came under pressure. And they fell behind when Fraser set-up Vernon to slot an eight-yard finish under Polish goalkeeper Radoslav Cierzniak.
A slip from youngster Souttar next had McGinn turning Gunning and seeing Cierzniak deflecting his firm effort against the crossbar. Fraser was also denied when attempting to head in the rebound.
The Tangerines responded with Johnny Russell blazing over after being found by Willo Flood until Gunning stooped low to head an equaliser after Jon Daly's effort had already been blocked on the line.
Fourteen minutes later the visitors were ahead with Russell's low cross being missed by Flood at the near post and the ball slipping through the clutches of Langfield at the expense of an own-goal.
Aberdeen reacted with a couple of long-range efforts but they almost fell further behind after the interval when defender Joe Shaughnessy hacked against his own crossbar when attempting to clear.
But McGinn swept in an excellent eighteen-year free-kick to level within eight minutes of the restart, although Stuart Armstrong next broke clear and struck against the keeper before Gunning also headed wide for the visitors amidst claims for a penalty.
Dons goalscorer McGinn continued to be a threat though, and went close from another free-kick and also had a couple of further opportunities as the visitors held on for a hard-earned point.
Aberdeen: Langfield, Robertson, Anderson, Reynolds, Shaughnessy, Rae, McGinn, Hayes, Fraser (Hughes 84), Vernon, Smith (Milsom 90)
subs (unused): Brown, Masson, Fallon, Megginson, Magennis
Goals: Vernon (11), McGinn (53)
Dundee United: Cierzniak, Dillon, Gunning, Daly, Douglas, Flood, Rankin, Ryan, Souttar (Petrie 69), Armstrong, Russell (Gardyne 85)
subs (unused): Banks, Barrett, Thomson, Skacel, Dow
Goals: Gunning (20), Langfield OG (34)