Scottish Premiership
Dundee UtdDundee United5KilmarnockKilmarnock1

Dundee United 5-1 Kilmarnock

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Blair Spittal ran the show for Dundee United at Tannadice
Blair Spittal ran the show for Dundee United in the first half at Tannadice

Dundee United breathed new life into their bid to stave off relegation with a thumping win over Kilmarnock.

Blair Spittal was outstanding for the hosts, who are now 11 points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership.

The teenage midfielder drilled in the opening goal and his curling delivery went straight in to make it 3-0.

Spittal set up a Mark Durnan header and a John Rankin volley before half-time, with Sean Dillon making it five before a late Josh Magennis reply.

Prior to kick-off, United manager Mixu Paatelainen admitted it would be very difficult to beat the drop if they lost to the team closest to them in the table.

And his players responded with a performance full of energy to register just their third league victory of the season.

Kilmarnock were looking for a third successive win and were unbeaten in the last three meetings between the sides, but they were simply blown away by United's hunger and tempo, which was not disrupted by first-half injuries to Coll Donaldson and Guy Demel.

Spittal was full of invention and clever promptings, while Paul Paton's first start of the season added steel and drive to the heart of the United midfield and Simon Murray chased everything up front.

Murray laid the ball off for Spittal to steer a low, angled strike into the bottom corner after eight minutes.

The goal gave the large home crowd a massive lift and they had more to cheer when Durnan met a Spittal corner kick at the near post, with Killie keeper Jamie MacDonald only pushing the ball into the roof of the net.

The former Queen of the South defender had replaced Donaldson in time to net his first goal for the club.

Kilmarnock were punished further as they stood off Spittal and his cross from the right was missed by everyone and somehow bounced into the far corner of the net.

Soon after, another delivery from Spittal was deflected to the back post where Rankin was waiting to lash in a well-timed volley.

United's intensity dipped after the interval but the fifth goal was the pick of the bunch as a slick move was finished off by Dillon, who evaded a number of challenges before clipping the ball beyond MacDonald.

It was all down to the application and determination of the defender and all 10 outfield United players celebrated riotously with their skipper.

Magennis was thwarted by a good save from Eiji Kawashima but got the better of the Japanese international from the resultant corner, glancing a header home.

The victory and its comprehensive manner will give United heart for the remaining 15 matches of the campaign, as will the inept display from the team immediately in their sights.

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Kawashima
  • 2Dillon
  • 28DonaldsonSubstituted forDurnanat 14'minutes
  • 19Gunning
  • 20Spittal
  • 6Paton
  • 55DemelSubstituted forSouttarat 34'minutes
  • 8Rankin
  • 14DowSubstituted forRiskiat 79'minutes
  • 7Mckay
  • 15Murray

Substitutes

  • 4Souttar
  • 10Muirhead
  • 17Durnan
  • 22Fraser
  • 24Spark
  • 25Riski
  • 51Zwick

Kilmarnock

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 21MacDonald
  • 5Findlay
  • 18AshcroftSubstituted forMcHattieat 45'minutes
  • 26Balatoni
  • 24SymeBooked at 45mins
  • 3SmithSubstituted forFrizzellat 13'minutes
  • 4Hamill
  • 23Kiltie
  • 19Slater
  • 11HigginbothamSubstituted forObadeyiat 61'minutes
  • 28Magennis

Substitutes

  • 8Robinson
  • 9Boyd
  • 13Brennan
  • 16Obadeyi
  • 20Carrick
  • 22McHattie
  • 39Frizzell
Referee:
Euan Anderson
Attendance:
7,729

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home13
Away8
Shots on Target
Home8
Away7
Corners
Home15
Away6
Fouls
Home7
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Dundee United 5, Kilmarnock 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Dundee United 5, Kilmarnock 1.

  3. Post update

    Simon Murray (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by David Syme (Kilmarnock).

  5. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Conrad Balatoni.

  7. Post update

    Paul Paton (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Tope Obadeyi (Kilmarnock).

  9. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Stuart Findlay.

  10. Goal!

    Goal! Dundee United 5, Kilmarnock 1. Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) header from the left side of the six yard box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Craig Slater.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Sean Dillon.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Eiji Kawashima.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Kilmarnock. Conceded by Gavin Gunning.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Dundee United. Riku Riski replaces Ryan Dow.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Dundee United 5, Kilmarnock 0. Sean Dillon (Dundee United) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Billy McKay.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Craig Slater.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. John Souttar (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Kevin McHattie.