A scrappy Scott McKenna goal was enough for Aberdeen to put an end to Dundee’s three-match unbeaten run as Derek McInnes led his side to a 1-0 win at Dens Park.
Despite enjoying the better chances in an enthralling first half, the Dark Blues fell behind shortly after the break as McKenna turned in a McLean cross on 48 minutes and were unable to break down a stubborn Dons backline.
Dens boss Neil McCann stuck with the side that won so well at Ross County last weekend with Darren O’Dea the only change on the bench as he returned from suspension.
Sofien Moussa led the line, helped out by Faissal El Bakhtaoui and Roarie Deacon.
Former Dark Blues favourite Greg Stewart, meanwhile, made his first return to Dens since leaving the club in 2016, this time in the red of Aberdeen.
The return, though, of Dons manager Derek McInnes was the headline act of the evening and his team repaid him with a dogged display.
The home side, however, had the first real sight of goal as Deacon raced on to Moussa’s flick-on but, with just Joe Lewis to beat, he could only find the keeper’s legs with his finish.
Aberdeen’s main threat was coming from Ryan Christie and he showed that threat on 29 minutes as he drove at the home defence but fired his finish well over from inside the area.
Jack Hendry then had a turn and shot go wide after Paul McGowan’s half-hearted shout for a penalty kick saw referee Nick Walsh draw the anger of the home fans once more by waving play on.
As the half wore on the Dark Blues were starting to find their rhythm with Glen Kamara once again cruising in the middle of the park.
Deacon had another effort, this time tipped over by Lewis but the home side had to settle for 0-0 at the break despite having the better of the chances.
And they rued those missed chances as the Dons took the lead early in the second period as Scott McKenna turned a Kenny McLean centre into the far corner.
Lewis was called upon once more on 56 minutes, though, as the home side pushed for a leveller, pushing Moussa’s firm header wide.
The Dons were content to hit on the counter-attack and could have sealed the win only for Graeme Shinnie and then Shay Logan to fluff decent chances.
With five minutes to go, it looked like Dundee’s patience had paid off as intricate play on the edge of the area saw Aurtenetxe with a clear sight of goal but he couldn’t find the net.
The Dons, though, were happy to see it wide and then see out the game to take all three points.
Dundee: Parish, Kerr, Kamara, Moussa, O’Hara, Aurtenetxe, McGowan (Allan 62), El Bakhtaoui, Deacon (Leitch-Smith 80), Hendry, Meekings (Waddell 83).
Aberdeen: Lewis, Logan, Considine, O’Connor, McKenna, Shinnie, Ross (Arnason 46), McLean, Christie, Stewart, Rooney.