Dundee’s miserable March reached a painful conclusion with a 7-0 hammering at home by Aberdeen. Defender Andrew Considine scored twice in the first half, with Adam Rooney and Kenny McLean adding a goal apiece to put the Dons 4-0 up at the break. Ryan Jack and Niall McGinn added further goals after half time before Considine completed his hat trick near the end.
Dundee made two changes to the team that narrowly lost against Celtic in the last match before the international break. Marcus Haber was injured and Henrik Ojamaa was left on the bench after returning from international duty with Estonia. Nick Ross and Faissal El Bakhtaoui started in their place. The Dons were unchanged from their win over Hearts, fielding a line-up that has become very familiar.
After a fleeting early flurry of Dark Blue attacks Aberdeen took over and set up camp in Dundee’s half. The Dons had a worrying succession of corners and Andrew Considine went close from one before finding the target after 16 minutes. Jonny Hayes’ delivery from the right was perfect and CONSIDINE glanced his header past Scott Bain.
The Dons’ second goal came after 24 minutes. There seemed no danger when Shay Logan picked up the ball by the right touchline midway inside the Dundee half. His quickly taken left foot cross was delivered with pinpoint accuracy and devastating pace that meant Adam ROONEY simply had to get a slight touch with his forehead to send the ball hurtling past Bain.
Number three arrived following a typical piece of Aberdeen pressing in midfield. The ball broke to Graeme Shinnie, who slotted a pass through for Kenny McLEAN to run in and rifle his shot just inside the far post.
Four minutes later Aberdeen scored again, with the Dark Blues’ defence having gone missing. Niall McGinn sent a simple cross to the far post, where CONSIDINE stole in to score with a simple, unchallenged header.
The Dark Blues suffered badly from the absence of Marcus Haber, especially in the first half. Without the option of a long ball to a big centre forward who relishes taking the ball with his back to goal the Dark Blues had to try and play their way through the midfield. All night long Aberdeen harried and pressed Dundee mercilessly with a ferociously high tempo game. Dundee lost possession continually, and the badly exposed defence was all at sea.
Dundee made two changes at half time, with Henrik Ojamaa and Craig Wighton replacing Tom Hateley and Nick Ross. The changes brought a positive start to the half with Ojamaa’s strong run setting up El Bakhtaoui who shot narrowly wide from 20 yards. That was pretty much the end of the Dee as an attacking force.
Any hopes that Aberdeen might ease off in the second half were dashed when they added a fifth five minutes after the break. Jonny Hayes took advantage of Cammy Kerr’s slip to race past him and into the penalty area. He played a low ball across goal for Ryan JACK to run in and score with the aid of a deflection.
Those Dark Blue players who had performed well enough in the first half started to lose confidence visibly. Mistakes were made all through the team as heads started to go down. For a while Dundee managed to avoid further punishment for these errors, but that couldn’t last. After 73 minutes Kevin Holt was caught in possession on the edge of the penalty area. Substitute Ryan Christie hit a low cross to the far post for Nial McGINN to score.
The final goal summed up Dundee’s dreadful defensive performance. Throughout the match they struggled with crosses, particularly at set pieces. Ryan Jack’s free kick from the right was flighted to the far post where Andrew CONSIDINE had lost his marker and couldn’t miss.
Aberdeen approached this match in exactly the right way. They flooded the midfield, never relaxed their high intensity pressing, and prevented the Dark Blues midfielders from either launching attacks or protecting their defence. Inevitably after such a result much of the focus will be on the defence. Tonight it was hard to make much of a case for the defence of the Dee’s defence. The scoreline tells the whole story.
There were a few occasions in the first half when Dundee worked smart passing moves down the wings, sending players into space behind the Dons’ full backs. Each time the move broke down with poor final balls. These brief moments of hope were little more than sputtering candles in a hurricane. Aberdeen’s dominance was complete, and however poorly Dundee played there can be no denying that tonight the Dons were truly excellent.
Dundee FC 4-2-3-1
Kerr, O’Dea (c), Gomis, Holt
Hateley (Ojamaa at half time), McGowan
O’Hara, Vincent, Ross (Wighton at half time)
Unused subs: Mitchell (gk), Williams, Klok, Higgins.
Booked: Kerr (foul on Shinnie).
Logan, Taylor, O’Connor, Considine
McGinn (Ross 75), McLean (Christie 60), Hayes (Wright 69)
Unused subs: Alexander (gk), Pawlett, Anderson, Storey.
Goals: Considine (16, 38, 84), Rooney (24), McLean (33), Jack (50), McGinn (73).
Attendance: 7,314 (2,495 Aberdeen fans).
Referee: Alan Muir. Assistants: David McGeachie, Graeme Leslie. Fourth official: Crawford Allan.
Report: James Christie.