Match ends, Dundee United 0, St. Johnstone 2.
- Michael O'Halloran nets first-half double
- St Johnstone end five-game winless run
- Dundee United lose second successive league game
Michael O'Halloran hit a first-half double as St Johnstone produced a brilliant display to come out on top in the Tayside derby.
The 24-year-old drilled the opener into the bottom corner, but stand-in United keeper Michal Szromnik was badly at fault.
O'Halloran doubled his tally before the break with a fine right-foot finish from Dave Mackay's delivery.
Saints had the best of the second half but could not add to their tally.
The result is a major boost to St Johnstone's bid to break into the top six, while United's hopes of securing a European spot through the league took a hit.
The big team news at Tannadice was United goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak being dropped after a few ropey performances, with fellow Pole Szromnik in between the sticks for the hosts.
But unfortunately for boss Jackie McNamara, Szromnik picked up where Cierzniak left off, or rather did not pick up.
He passed his first real test in style, acrobatically pushing David Wotherspoon's long-range drive over the bar, but from the resulting corner the ball eventually came to O'Halloran, whose shot from the angle of the area should have been saved but somehow found its way into the corner.
United started to find their stride as the first half wore on and striker Nadir Ciftci was their main threat, but twice the Turk saw close range shots blocked by a dogged Saints defence.
At times Ciftci seemed to be taking on the Perth men all on his own, but the visitors continued to pose a threat when they broke and doubled their lead before the break through that man O'Halloran.
Mackay did the set-up work with a brilliant delivery into the box and O'Halloran applied the right-foot finish, leaving Szromnik with no chance.
Wotherspoon almost added a third but after showing great skill to dance past three defenders in the box, he could not get his shot away.
United started the second half showing some much-needed purpose but the visitors' defence were throwing bodies in front of everything that came their way.
And at the other end the Perth men maintained their threat, with Steven MacLean firing a left foot effort just wide before it took a brilliant clearance from United's Ryan McGowan to keep it at 2-0, following excellent work from Wotherspoon and Lee Croft.
Ciftci went close minutes later, but after a great run his shot took a deflection off Steven Anderson and was superbly saved by keeper Alan Mannus.
Paul Dixon was next to try his luck for the hosts, his effort sliding wide of the post.
O'Halloran had a hat-trick in his sights and almost got it when he rounded Szromnik, but he was unable to keep the ball in play.
The visitors played out the last minutes with little trouble to end a five-game winless run.
- 5FojutBooked at 70mins
- 20ButcherSubstituted forTelferat 57'minutes
- 6PatonBooked at 80mins
- 8RankinSubstituted forSpittalat 57'minutes
- 30AnierSubstituted forConnollyat 69'minutes
- 4LappinSubstituted forCroftat 57'minutes
- 25KaneSubstituted forMillerat 72'minutes
- William Collum
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Dundee United 0, St. Johnstone 2.
Attempt missed. Paul Dixon (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Aidan Connolly (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gary Miller (St. Johnstone).
Ryan McGowan (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Brian Easton (St. Johnstone).
Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Gary Miller (St. Johnstone).
Paul Paton (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).
Chris Millar (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Steven Anderson.
Attempt missed. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Substitution, St. Johnstone. Gary Miller replaces Christopher Kane.
Attempt saved. Brian Easton (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Jaroslaw Fojut (Dundee United).
Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Dundee United. Aidan Connolly replaces Henri Anier.