Dundee Utd 6-2 Dundee: Match Report – view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
United show derby dominance
Dundee United got 2015 off to a memorable start as they celebrated a crushing 6-2 win over rivals Dundee in the New Year’s Day derby at Tannadice.
Jackie McNamara’s men cruised to victory in the televised Scottish Premiership fixture and were 4-1 up at half-time against Paul Hartley’s side who had stand-in keeper Arvid Schenk between the sticks in what turned out to be a nightmare debut.
A double before the break from Gary Mackay-Steven allied to Stuart Armstrong’s early opener and Chris Erskine’s strike put the hosts in command after Greg Stewart had briefly levelled for the Dark Blues, who also netted in the dying minutes through substitute Luka Tankulic.
United defender Jaroslaw Fojut headed home the fifth in the 65th minute before substitute Charlie Telfer completed the rout with a sweet finish as the Tangerines scored six goals for the first ever time in a derby, leaving off-form Dundee without a win in seven league matches.
Dundee were dealt a pre-match blow when regular goalkeeper Kyle Letheren hurt his thigh in the warm-up which handed a first start to German replacement Schenk.
And Schenk’s first touch of the ball was to pick it out of the net after just 31 seconds.
Conor Townsend made space for himself down the left and crossed for Erskine to volley goalwards, and it hit off the back of Armstrong to wrongfoot Schenk on its way into the net.
However, Dundee soon rallied and created their first real scoring opportunity in five minutes.
Paul McGowan did well to head the ball onto Stewart just inside the penalty area and his hooked effort went just over Radoslaw Cierzniak’s crossbar.
Midway through the first half, United midfielder Calum Butcher became the first player to be booked for leading with his elbow in an aerial challenge with Gary Harkins. From the resultant free-kick, Stewart stepped up to curl a 25-yard effort into Cierzniak’s top corner for the equaliser.
But United regained the lead in the 27th minute.
Sean Dillon played a pass out wide on the right to Mackay-Steven who sent a curling cross-cum-shot high into Schenk’s far corner from 30 yards.
That put United back on song and a few minutes later they went on to increase their lead.
Again Townsend’s cross caused problems in the Dundee defence and Erskine picked it up before cutting inside and seeing his left-foot shot deflected off James McPake into Schenk’s far corner.
There was no stopping the hosts now and John Rankin tried his luck with a 30-yard shot which went narrowly past the target.
But United were not to be denied as they went 4-1 ahead in the 42nd minute.
Armstrong’s defence-splitting pass was perfect for Mackay-Steven to run onto and he made no mistake with a cool finish from 16 yards which Schenk got a hand to but could not keep out.
Dundee started the second half with McPake unleashing a 30-yard drive which Cierzniak parried before saving the rebound from Stewart.
The home team were refusing to give up and in the 62nd minute Thomas Konrad’s glancing header from Stewart’s free-kick came back off Cierzniak’s crossbar.
But United made it 5-1 with 25 minutes left when Mackay-Steven’s corner was met by the unmarked Fojut whose downward header beat Schenk.
And Telfer was on hand to rub more salt in Dundee’s wounds with a well-taken sixth goal in the 83rd minute from 22 yards after Mackay-Steven’s cross had been intercepted, before substitute Tankulic’s close-range finish gave the visiting team an 89th-minute consolation.