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Aberdeen vs Ross County. Scottish Premiership.


Aberdeen 0-0 Ross County: Pressure mounts on Jim Goodwin after goalless draw at Pittodrie

Match report as Aberdeen dominated, but were unable to find a way past Ross County; Both sides had lost their four previous games heading into Monday's fixture; Dons boss Jim Goodwin now under pressure to improve form

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Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Ross County

The pressure is mounting on Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin after his side failed to capitalise on a dominant performance against cinch Premiership basement boys Ross County as the game ended 0-0.

Both sides were looking to end their respective runs of four successive defeats and that prompted a change in formation for Aberdeen, who handed a surprise recall to American striker Christian Ramirez - his first league start of the season.

But it would prove a frustrating affair as a lack of cutting edge saw the sides share the spoils.

The Dons' 4-4-2 line-up allowed them to make the most of County's willingness to hold a narrow defensive shape, with the home side dominating the flanks, although clear-cut chances were in short supply as County defended stoutly.

There were two penalty claims in the space of a minute as Bojan Miovski went down softly before a Matty Kennedy shot appeared to deflect off a visiting hand but neither claim looked like being given.

Ramirez drew a save from Ross Laidlaw midway through the first half as a good advantage following Connor Randall's foul on Leighton Clarkson saw Aberdeen rapidly progress upfield but the eventual shot was easy meat for the goalkeeper.

The best opening came as Laidlaw palmed away Luis Lopes' angled strike and Kennedy's follow-up was blocked on the line by Alex Iacovitti. From the resultant corner, Liam Scales headed over Kennedy's delivery.

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Aberdeen's dominance continued after the interval and Lopes' strong run down the right, after he broke following a Staggies corner, deserved a better end product than Clarkson's wild volley over.

The introduction of Jonny Hayes for Ramirez just after the hour so nearly brought immediate dividends as his ball into the area was cleared only as far as Ross McCrorie, who shot narrowly wide from 20 yards.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 02: Aberdeen's Vicente Besuijen misses a chance during a cinch Premiership between Aberdeen and Ross County at Pittodrie, on January 02, 2023, in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Image: Aberdeen and Ross County's respective winless runs continues after their goalless draw

While Kennedy saw no joy from a penalty claim as he was caught hauling a ball out of the air, the ball broke for Miovski whose acrobatic effort deserved more than to hurtle across the face of goal.

The pressure continued as the ball pinballed around the County box with 15 minutes left but Lopes, Clarkson and Miovski were all crowded out by the resilient visitors.

Substitute Vicente Besuijen thought he had finally broken the deadlock after 83 minutes when he slid in to meet a Hayes cross, only for Laidlaw to hold on the line.

What the managers said

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin said: "Hopefully the fans showing their frustration isn't aimed at the players because I think the players show a lot of commitment and effort. I think it's more aimed my way which is part and parcel of the game.

"Since the World Cup break we've not picked up enough points, it's as simple as that. I've been in the game long enough to know how it works but I also know how to come out the other side.

"I certainly won't panic - that reaction at the end doesn't faze me.

"We were in control for the majority of the game and got into some good areas. The only disappointing this is we lacked a bit of quality in the final third."

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Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin hopes the fans were booing at him rather than his players after they went five games without a victory

Ross County manager Malky Mackay said: "I thought Aberdeen would throw everything at us and with all three of their forwards on the pitch we had to tweak our formation to deal with that.

"I've great respect for Aberdeen and the squad they've built. For us to defend the way we did and the resilience we showed.

"The good thing I've got looking at my squad is knowing the work ethic the boys have - we need to build on that in terms of the performances and the little finishing touch.

"Putting the ball in the net is what's going to take us away from the bottom.

"We've played everyone and there's not much between about seven teams right now in terms of points. We have the full second half of the season to go at it with everything we've got."

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Ross County manager Malky Mackay praised his battling players after they drew 0-0 with Aberdeen at Pittodrie

What's next?

Both teams are back in Scottish Premiership action on Saturday as Aberdeen host St Johnstone, while Ross County face Livingston at home. Both games kick off at 3pm.

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