The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Despite taking the lead twice, United had to settle for a share of the points in a pulsating New Firm derby.An early Francisco Sandaza penalty was cancelled out by a Scott Severin strike a minute after half-time before David Robertson put United ahead once again. However, Aberdeen squared things before the end with an unfortunate own goal.United started the game brightly, forcing three corners in the first three minutes but it was Aberdeen who created the first real chance – Chris Maguire firing just wide of the far post after loose play in the box.Four minutes later United were ahead. Morgaro Gomis flighted the ball over the top for Francisco Sandaza on the left. Although favourite for the ball, Zander Diamond was outmuscled by Sandaza and was forced to pull the Spaniard down in the box as he made for goal. Sandaza himself stepped up to take the penalty and calmly opened the scoring against Aberdeen for the third time this season as he fired into the roof of the net.United continued to hassle the home side and it wasn’t until half an hour had gone that Aberdeen really came into the game. First, ex-United man Lee Miller sent a powerful half-volley over the bar after a neat knock-down from Sone Aluko. Then neat interplay between Darren Mackie, Miller and Maguire allowed the latter a shot from inside the box but Zaluska was able to parry the half-volley away to safety.Despite Aberdeen’s increasing domination, United themselves had chances to make it 2-0. On 39 minutes, Warren Feeney saw his right-foot shot go just wide of the post before Sandaza took just one too many touches in the penalty area after beating Lee Mair on the right.Despite doing well to go in at half-time 1-0 ahead, United undid all their hard work less than 60 seconds into the second period. Aluko made a great run down the left before squaring the ball across the box. THe ball evaded defenders and attackers alike and Danny Grainger reacted first to make the clearance – which would have been perfect had the ball not hit the hip of the inrushing Scott Severin and rebound into the net.Seven minutes later, Feeney nearly had United ahead again. A long ball from Danny Grainger was touched on into the path of the Irishman and his attempted lob was touched behind by Jamie Langfield in the Aberdeen goal.United did go ahead three minutes later. Aberdeen conceded a corner with a loose ball from practically the halfway line and substitute Danny Swanson, warming up behind the goal, played a vital ballboy role in spotting the ball for Sandaza to take a quick corner kick. He played it to Paul Caddis who beat his man to the byline and squared the ball across goal. Lurking in the box at the far post was David Robertson and his fine strike was deflected into the top of the net to put United 2-1 up.Back came Aberdeen and Miller nearly had them level. First, he was inches away from connecting with a Maguire cross before four minutes later he did connect with a Mark Kerr cross only to see his header rebound off the bar.After 71 minutes, Aberdeen were again level. THe referee awarded yet another David Robertson gave free kick on the right and Charlie Mulgrew sent over a wicked ball into the box. This needed only the slightest of touches at the near post and with Zander Diamond challenging, the ball skipped off the top of Danny Grainger’s head into the net.Neither team wanted to settle for a point and both teams created chances in the closing stages. Kerr was unlucky to see his half-volley go inches wide of the far post while, at the other end, excellent interplay between substitutes Danny Swanson and Andis Shala nearly resulted in an opening for United.Both teams had to be happy with a draw come full-time, the first in a New Firm derby since January 2006.