Dundee United have progressed to the Scottish Cup semi-finals with a convincing 3-0 win over Aberdeen in the fifth round.
The Tannadice side pounced on a lackadaisical performance from their hosts as Reading loanee Marc McNulty and Ryan Edwards handed them a comfortable lead at half-time. McNulty made it a brace for himself with Dundee United’s third after the interval as they marched to a first domestic semi-final since the 2015/16 season.
McNulty’s goal was the first blow to be dealt t0 Aberdeen. The home side lost the ball and didn’t do enough to press and win it back, allowing the on-loan Reading striker a free shot at goal which was placed beyond Pittodrie goalkeeper Gary Woods and into the bottom corner.
Edwards’ header capped off a poor first half for Aberdeen nine minutes from the interval. A terrific cross from Nicky Clark was met by the Englishman who was surrounded by red shirts, yet he was given the time and space to head into the net. Aberdeen were nowhere to be found in the opening period of this game.
Dundee United had rested several players midweek against Kilmarnock and while they lost that Scottish Premiership match 3-0 – their safety in the division already secured – it appeared to give them more energy in this tie. Crucial player and number one Benjamin Siegrist was ruled out for the season pre-match but deputy goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet didn’t make one save over the 90 minutes.
Aberdeen were all over the place and Dundee United were deserving of their comfortable lead. The Pittodrie club had started both halves brightly but quickly tailed off on either side of referee Kevin Clancy’s whistle. McNulty’s second of the afternoon on 53 minutes finished things as a contest, Ian Harkes playing the Reading loanee in for a cool finish.
It summed up how good McNulty and his teammates had been but also how poor the oposition were as Aberdeen and Dundee United stood miles apart. The home side created no chances of note as the away team joined Hibs in the Scottish Cup’s last four. Here are three things we learned.
It’s not been the loan spell McNulty envisaged when he arrived from Reading in the summer but he is ending the season strongly. He now has three goals in his last three games, more than he’s scored over the entire season.
This was something Aberdeen had to play for between now and the end of the season but this just proved the work new manager Stephen Glass has ahead of him. Almost out the race for third spot in the league and now eliminated from the cup, there will need to be a serious overhaul of the Pittodrie squad if they are to improve.
Changing the Dundee United narrative
Micky Mellon’s goal in his first season as Dundee United manager was to keep the club in the league as they returned to Premiership football as Championship winners. Not only did he do that with ease, he’s now booked a first domestic semi-final spot for the club since the 2015/16 season. It’s gone from a decent season to a very good campaign.
NTOF now offers a YouTube channel featuring exclusive interviews, post-match discussion, in-depth debate, and much more – LIKE and SUBSCRIBE and don’t miss any of our videos.