Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone1Dundee Utd1

St Johnstone 1-1 Dundee United

The battle for fourth place remains too close to call following a hard-fought Tayside derby.

John Rankin headed the visitors ahead midway through the second half after Robbie Muirhead's effort had struck the bar.

However, Murray Davidson pulled Saints level to earn his side a point and keep them level on points with United.

A point apiece seemed a fair outcome but Saints captain Dave Mackay will rue his first-half penalty miss.

That could have proved decisive, not only in terms of the match but also in the league table, with fourth spot still potentially good enough for a Europa League place if Inverness Caledonian Thistle win the Scottish Cup.

Dundee United players
Cierzniak is congratulate after blocking Mackay's spot-kick

But Mackay's spot-kick was too close to Radoslaw Cierzniak after Michael O'Halloran had been brought down by Callum Morris.

That was about the closest thing to a goal in the first period, although Nadir Ciftci's amazing effort from 35 yards, which came back off the post, was worthy of better.

So closely contested was this game that a goal-less draw looked on the cards until Rankin was quickest to react after Muirhead's header had come back off the bar.

But the visitors' joy was short-lived as former United midfielder Danny Swanson swung a cross in from the left and Davidson guided a volley past Cierzniak.

Both sides pressed for a winner, but neither could quite craft an opening of sufficient quality, ensuring the battle for fourth will go to the wire.

The Tangerines hold a three-goal advantage over the Perth men, with both sides on 53 points.

Saints visit Celtic on Friday, with United travelling to take on Inverness on Saturday.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 2MackayBooked at 88mins
  • 5Wright
  • 6Anderson
  • 3Scobbie
  • 10WotherspoonBooked at 61minsSubstituted forMcFaddenat 73'minutes
  • 7Millar
  • 18Davidson
  • 11SwansonBooked at 86minsSubstituted forLappinat 89'minutes
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forKaneat 73'minutes
  • 29O'Halloran

Substitutes

  • 4Lappin
  • 15Banks
  • 16Caddis
  • 17McFadden
  • 19Miller
  • 24Easton
  • 25Kane

Dundee Utd

  • 1Cierzniak
  • 2Dillon
  • 5FojutBooked at 24mins
  • 14Morris
  • 3Dixon
  • 4SouttarBooked at 58mins
  • 8Rankin
  • 20ButcherSubstituted forSmithat 74'minutes
  • 7CiftciBooked at 89mins
  • 17Erskine
  • 10MuirheadSubstituted forAnierat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 21Telfer
  • 22Connolly
  • 23Smith
  • 24Spittal
  • 26Szromnik
  • 30Anier
  • 43Coote
Referee:
Kevin Clancy
Attendance:
4,862

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home9
Away13
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 1, Dundee United 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 1, Dundee United 1.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Sean Dillon.

Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

Tam Scobbie (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

Frazer Wright (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Paul Dixon (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Mackay (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Simon Lappin replaces Danny Swanson.

Booking

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

David Mackay (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Chris Erskine (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

Booking

Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Danny Swanson.

Attempt blocked. Callum Morris (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Murray Davidson.

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

Attempt blocked. Henri Anier (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Paul Dixon (Dundee United) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Dundee United 1. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Danny Swanson.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Scott Smith replaces Calum Butcher.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Christopher Kane replaces Steven MacLean.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. James McFadden replaces David Wotherspoon.

Chris Erskine (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Henri Anier replaces Robbie Muirhead.

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 0, Dundee United 1. John Rankin (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Robbie Muirhead.

Robbie Muirhead (Dundee United) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box.

Foul by Calum Butcher (Dundee United).

Tam Scobbie (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Callum Morris (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone).

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Paul Dixon.

Booking

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

Paul Dixon (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic35274478176185
2Aberdeen35235756302674
3Inverness CT361881049371262
4Dundee Utd36165155553253
5St Johnstone36158133334-153
6Dundee361111144553-844
7Hamilton36148144851-350
8Partick Thistle36129154740745
9Kilmarnock36108183956-1738
10Ross County36108184261-1938
11Motherwell36105213761-2435
12St Mirren3683252864-3627
View full Scottish Premiership table

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