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Scottish Premiership 22/23 season start

Stand Free!

Levein: United made a mug out of Mark McGhee


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CRAIG LEVEIN last night claimed United had made a mug out of Mark McGhee - and thanked the Dons boss for doing the Arabs' team talk as well as his own.


The Pittodrie gaffer said last week that United had added quantity to their squad in the summer - but not quality.


That disrespect came back to bite McGhee big time yesterday.


Two goals in five first-half minutes from Damian Casalinuovo and Morgaro Gomis sank his side in monsoon conditions.


And Levein pounced on the chance to rub his opponent's nose in it.


He grinned: "Two things won us the game. We mastered the conditions better and McGhee had a go at our players earlier in the week about their quality.


"I love it when that happens because I don't need to say anything.


"He has done two team talks - one for his team, one for mine - so I need to thank him for that.


"You know what players are like, they won't say anything, but I know they were disappointed with his comments.


"It's hard enough worrying about your own team in this business without worrying about anyone else's."


The win moves United within a point of second spot and keeps up a solid record of only one defeat all season.


And they deserved victory.


However, Dons could and should have been two up before United took a grip.


In the first minute Fraser Fyvie pounced on Sean Dillon's short back-header.


Middle of goal, inside the box, keeper to beat - but the 16-year-old had a heart attack and smacked his shot wide.


Still he shouldn't feel too bad - Scotland striker Lee Miller had an even worse meltdown from just seven yards.


His first touch was a dream, killing Charlie Mulgrew's cross dead to take out Darren Dods and send the keeper to ground - yet he still blazed wide.


It was a shocker - and Dons paid a high price.


Danny Cadamarteri had been a constant thorn in Aberdeen's side, hitting the post with a great turn and shot in the ninth minute. He stretched Jamie Langfield again on the half hour with a 25-yarder that forced a corner.


Mark Fotheringham's kick went right to the heart of the cement mixer - and Casalinuovo wanted the ball more than any red shirt and rose to head home.


Five minutes later Morgaro Gomis doubled United's lead.


Garry Kenneth's delivery was only half cleared and the French midfielder hit the perfect finish in the conditions, a low skidder that zipped in at Langfield's right post.


All the players would have been relieved to get in at the break.


Asked if the conditions were a good reason for summer football Levein replied "One hundred per cent."


But only one side came back out looking like they fancied it in the second half - and it still wasn't the Dons.


Jennison Myrie-Williams went inches wide in 40 seconds, Andy Considine brilliantly blocked Cadamarteri, and Kenneth twice headed inches wide - all inside 12 minutes.


The home fans were growling and rightly so.


Nicky Weaver's only action was from cross balls, which he handled impeccably, and a frightening deep ball from Mulgrew from the halfway line.


That saw the former Man City keeper clatter his own back post as he fisted the ball out for a corner.


McGhee eventually threw on all three subs, going 4-4-2 for the first time in the game with 17 minutes left in which to rescue a point or more.


But only Sone Aluko's low shot across goal caused a threat as the Arabs showed their quality and shape at the back.


Casalinuovo admitted: "I've never played in anything like that rain before but I still think Scottish football suits me more than back home in Argentina.


"I feel settled and as a striker, getting on the scoresheet more often is my aim."

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