Dundee United 3-1 Aberdeen
30th Dec 06 (3pm)
A Collin Samuel double and a well taken Barry Robson penalty gave Dundee United an impressive 3-1 victory over 2nd placed Aberdeen at Tannadice this afternoon.
Dundee United's recent home record has been incredible since Craig Levein's arrival, with last weekends 1-0 defeat by Hearts was the only time Levien has been on the losing side at Fortress Tannadice in 6 matches.
After losing a 2 goal lead on Boxing Day at Parkhead, manager Levein had said he wanted his players to make Aberdeen suffer for Celtic's late comeback, but it wasn't looking good for United after Scott Severin put the Don's 1-0 infront in the 56th minute.
Aberdeen were awarded a free-kick after Garry Kenneth's late challenge on Lee Miller on the left wing and Gary Dempsey cross into the box caught the United defence napping, allowing Scott Severin to fire a right-foot shot into the back of Derek Stillie's goal from just 6-yards.
It took Dundee United just 6minutes to level the scoring and it also came from a set-piece, after Chris Clark brought down United's David Robertson.
Captain Barry Robson stepped up to take the freekick and found Collin Samuel in space at the right-t-hand corner of the 6yard box, where he headed in Dundee United's equalizer in the 60th minute.
Aberdeen were shell-shocked at losing the equaliser, but things were about to get worse for them after Michael Hart brought down Craig Conway to earn a 2nd yellow card, resulting in the Dons being reduced to 10men.
Craig Levein's side were now on the ascendancy after Samuel's equaliser and with their extra man advantage they pushed forward in search of a winner.
United had a penalty claim waved away by John Underhill after Robson was grounded in the Aberdeen area, but the Dons didn't head the warning and just moments later they were award a penalty after keeper Jamie Langfield brought down David Roberton.
Underhill had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, as the Aberdeen players protested the decision.
United's captain and 2nd top goalscorer Barry Robson stepped forward and blasted the ball into the bottom-left corner of the goal - his 6th goal of the season.
A man down and a goal down, Aberdeen still thought they could sneak a point, but by throwing too many players forward they were vulnerable on the counterattack and they were made to pay in the final moments of the match.
Dundee United caught them on the counterattack from a corner kick in the 90th minute and with a 4 player to 1 advantage, Collin Samuel made sure of all 3 points by curling an 18-yard shoot into the bottom left-hand corner of Langfield's goal after a pass from David Robertson.
Christian Kalvenes was expected to return to the Dundee United line-up, but Levein stuck with exactly the same side that had played so well at Parkhead just a few days earlier.
Unied started more positively and Craig Conway should have got them off to a great start in the 3rd minute, but he headed wide from just 6-yards from a Robson cross.
Collin Samuel had a penalty appeal turned down in the 1st half, after he appeared to have been pulled back in the area by Andrew Considine.
Aberdeen were without Russell Anderson and Barry Nicholson because of a flu bug, being replaced by Zander Diamond and Gary Dempsey.
Derek Stillie had to react quickly to stop Lee Miller grabbing a 15th minute opener, saving a Miller header and then just moments later turned a Scott Severin drive over the bar.
Then in the 27th minute, Aberdeen's Garry Dempsey had a 3-=yard free-kick hit the crossbar, a missed opportunity Calderwood's side were made to pay for in the 2nd half.
Dundee United 3-1 Aberdeen