Aberdeen suffered New Firm derby frustration as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Dundee United at Pittodrie.
The Reds dominated for long spells but could not find the cutting edge to break down a resolute United defence.
Ultimately it was United who came closest to netting when Lawrence Shankland rattled the bar with a superb first-half strike.
The Dons failed to take the opportunity to slash the gap on second-placed Celtic to just two points after the defending champions lost to league leaders Rangers in an earlier kick-off.
Despite 90 minutes of frustration, the Reds still strengthened their position in third place with the point as fourth-placed Hibs lost to Livingston.
Aberdeen sit three points ahead of Hibs, but Derek McInnes’ Reds also have two games in hand on the Easter Road side.
There were two changes to the Aberdeen side that defeated St Johnstone 2-1 on Boxing Day.
Striker Sam Cosgrove, who netted a penalty equaliser against Saints, dropped to the bench, as did midfielder Dean Campbell.
Northern Ireland international attacker Niall McGinn returned to the starting line up along with midfielder Ross McCrorie, who had missed the defeat of St Johnstone due to a one-game suspension.
There was a return to the squad for attacker Scott Wright, who was named on the bench.
Wright had been ruled out since undergoing double hernia surgery in early December.
His last appearance had been in the 2-0 defeat of HIbs on November 6, when Wright netted.
This was the first Premiership meeting at Pittodrie between the New Firm rivals since a 2-0 Dons win on November 7, 2015.
The woodwork denied Dundee United a sensational opener in the ninth minute when Lawrence Shankland cut inside from the left and, with a gap in the back three opening up, he unleashed a vicious 25-yard shot.
The effort beat keeper Joe Lewis but cracked off the cross-bar.
It was a let off for Aberdeen.
Moments later Ash Taylor rose to meet a Niall McGinn corner kick from the right but his downwards 12-yard header bounced inches wide of the far post.
In the 12th minute, interplay between Ryan Hedges and Curtis Main saw Hedges burst into the box.
Hedges appeared to be bundled down in the box just as he was about to shoot, but referee Kevin Clancy waved play on.
On the quarter-hour mark, Jonny Hayes swung in a cross from the left that found Ross McCrorie lurking just inside the penalty area.
McCrorie’s glancing header from 12 yards was straight at keeper Benjamin Siegrist, who comfortably collected.
In the 24th minute Ryan Hedges fired in a low drive from 22 yards that took a late deflection, but keeper Siegrist readjusted his position quickly enough to save.
Right-sided centre-half Tommie Hoban raced towards the byline and fired in a low drive in the 34th minute that keeper Siegrist had to react lively to block at the near post.
Moments later Curtis Main did well to dig the ball out of a ruck of Dundee United defenders 25 yards out and turned quickly to fire in a rising drive.
Again Siegrist was well placed to collect a shot that was straight at him.
Moments later a low shot from Hedges at the edge of the penalty area trundled inches wide of the near post with Siegrist struggling to reach it.
In the dying embers of the opening half, Hedges delivered an inswinging corner from the left that was met by Andy Considine.
The Scotland international’s powerful 15-yard header flew inches over to the frustration of Aberdeen.
The Dons had dominated possession throughout the opening 45 minutes and had bombarded the Dundee United penalty area with crosses, but had nothing to show for their efforts when referee Kevin Clancy blew for half-time.
In the 52nd minute, Shankland was found on the right-hand side of the box and the striker unleashed a low drive that seemed goal-bound, but Considine made a crucial block.
Dons boss Derek McInnes introduced Wright off the bench for McGinn in the 63rd minute in a bid to break the deadlock.
Jonny Hayes was booked for a badly-timed challenge on Liam Smith. Dundee United failed to capitalise on the resultant free-kick 22 yards out.
In the 71st minute, Hayes crossed deep into the box from the left flank.
The delivery found McCrorie 12 yards out, but his powerful header flashed just wide.
In the 80th minute, Nicky Clark fired in a 10-yard volley, but Joe Lewis got down quickly to save.
In the 89th minute, Shankland fired in a powerful drive across goal that Lewis dived to tip wide.
ABERDEEN: Joe Lewis, Tommie Hoban, Andy Considine, Curtis Main, Niall McGinn, Ryan Hedges, Ash Taylor, Jonny Hayes, Lewis Ferguson, Matty Kennedy, Ross McCrorie.
Subs: Scott Wright (for McGinn 63), Sam Cosgrove (for Kennedy 75), Dean Campbell (for McCrorie 83), Ryan Edmondson (for Main 83).
Subs not used: Gary Woods, Shay Logan, Funso-King Ojo, Kieran Ngwenya, Ryan Duncan.
DUNDEE UNITED: Benjamin Siegrist, Liam Smith, Mark Connolly, Mark Reynolds, Peter Pawlett, Nicky Clark, Lewis Neilson, Jamie Robson, Ian Harkes, Lawrence Shankland, Louis Appere.
Subs: Dillon Powers (for Pawlett 50).
Subs not used: Deniz Mehmet, Adrian Sporle, Paul McMullan, Luke Bolton, Kai Fotheringham, Jake Davidson, Kerr Smith.
Referee: Kevin Clancy