Aberdeen, Scotland (SportsNetwork.com) - A 39th-minute goal from Adam Rooney was the difference as Aberdeen edged Dundee United, 1-0, at Pittodrie Stadium on Saturday to move to within five points of Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic.

The win secures a spot in Europe for the Dons next season and also keeps alive their title hopes with five games remaining in the campaign.

United snapped a five-game losing skid with a win over Hamilton last weekend, but the visitors struggled to put much together offensively in the first half and Aberdeen was very much on the front foot.

The hosts failed to make the most of their early chances but finally broke the deadlock in the 39th when Barry Robson's free kick was turned on goal by Mark Reynolds. United goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak made the initial save, but Rooney pounced on the rebound to fire it home from close range.

Aberdeen goalkeeper Scott Brown had to be alert to keep out a shot from Chris Erskine after the break as he had little to do in the opening 45 minutes.

The final 20 minutes of the contest were nervy for Aberdeen as the team was reduced to 10 men after a red card for Robson. However, the hosts saw out the rest of the match without too much difficulty.