Aberdeen v Partick analysis: It wasn’t pretty – or warm – but three points are all that matter during packed festive schedule

Aberdeen's Adam Rooney had this goal disallowed.

Job done. Points not performances matter in this congested phase of the season and the Reds put in the graft to grind out a win.

This wasn’t pretty, it was a raw victory in raw conditions, but it was enough to reduce the gap on league leaders Celtic to eight points.

A well-organised Jags side pitched up in the Granite City in no mood to come bearing Christmas gifts.

There was little festive spirit as Partick were willing to stifle the game to get a result and the Reds were inevitably dragged into it.

Aberdeen were nowhere near the levels of their last Pittodrie appearance, when they produced a season-high performance to demolish Hibs 4-1.

There was plenty perspiration, but little inspiration, as the Reds struggled to create as the snow fell.

However, at this time in the season where the games come thick and fast and are played in difficult conditions, the result is king, performance secondary.

If ever there was an argument for summer football it was in the faces of the 14,830 punters shivering in sub zero temperatures at Pittodrie.

The fare on show did little to warm them up.

Aberdeen have one more game, against Hearts at Pittodrie on Saturday, before they call time on 2017.

The target in the new year is to keep within touching distance of Celtic and at least eat into the 30-point gap from last season.

One of the primary ways of achieving this is to eradicate the Achilles heel of losing head to heads against the Bhoys.

After the 3-0 loss to Celtic at the weekend, Aberdeen have now lost nine straight games to the defending Premiership champions and have not won in the league at Parkhead since 2004.

Damning statistics, which the Reds must end if they are to launch any semblance of a challenge to the Hoops.

Of course it doesn’t help that Ryan Christie, consistently one of the Dons top performers and creative outlets, is unavailable to face his parent club in all competitions.

Against Partick, Christie set up the goal and was the most dangerous and creative Don,

Facing Partick was far tougher work for the Dons than stats would have suggested.

Aberdeen had won the previous six Premiership games against the Jags, who are struggling on the base of the table.

Partick were one of only three teams in Scottish senior football yet to register an away win in the league this season – with the others Brechin City and Cowdenbeath.

Aberdeen made three changes to the side which lost at Parkhead on Saturday.

Defenders Shaleum Logan and Scott McKenna returned, having been ruled out by illness and injury respectively.

Playmaker Christie was also back having been ineligible to face parent club Celtic under the terms of his loan agreement. Dropping to the bench were defenders Mark Reynolds, Kari Arnason and Dominic Ball.

Striker Stevie May and midfielder Greg Tansey were both ruled out.

The Reds nearly netted in the 15th minute when Kenny McLean ripped apart the defence with a superb pass down the right flank with the outside of his boot.

Right-back Logan collected the pass and then drilled a low cross along the face of goal from the byline, with Gary Mackay-Steven agonisingly close to connecting from close range.

Moments later Cerny dived low to his right to smother a 20-yard Stewart drive at the near post.

In the 20th minute, Adam Barton spurned a clear opportunity when heading wide when unmarked.

The Dons had a goal harshly disallowed in the 27th minute.

Rooney was penalised for high feet when he went for the ball two yards out and accidentally kicked Daniel Devine’s head as he was going in for a header.

The striker scooped the loose ball into the net, but it didn’t count.

On the half hour mark, the influential Christie had a 25-yard shot saved by Cerny.

It was Christie who looked the more likely to engineer a breakthrough and he flashed a curling effort just wide in the 44th minute.

It was the last action of a flat, scrappy half which offered little relief to the shivering fans.

Aberdeen played with more cutting edge after the break and were denied by a goal-line clearance in the 50th minute when Christie brilliantly lifted a lob over advancing keeper Cerny.

However, Ryan Edwards raced back to scramble clear off the line.

The deserved breakthrough came in the 63rd minute when Christie raced to the byline and cut the ball back to ROONEY, who stabbed home at the near post from close range for his sixth goal of the season.

Aberdeen were denied in the 79th minute by a superb save from Cerny to punch clear a shot from Stewart from the edge of the box.

Christie came close to making it 2-0 in the 88th minute when an audacious 30-yard curling free kick skimmed the top of the bar and went behind.

ABERDEEN: Lewis, Logan, Considine, O’Connor, McKenna, Shinnie, McLean, Christie, Stewart, Mackay-Steven, Rooney.

Subs: Wright (for Mackay-Steven 73), Reynolds (for Considine 87), Ball (for Stewart 87).

Subs not used: Rogers, Arnason, Harvie, Ross.

PARTICK THISTLE: Cerny, Turnbull, Keown, Spittal, Lawless, Barton, Devine, McGinn, Sammon, Edwards, McCarthy.

Subs: Storey (for Lawless 57), Nisbet (for McCarthy 76).

Subs not used: Scully, Nitriansky, Wilson.

Referee: Euan Anderson

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