Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone0Dundee Utd1

St Johnstone 0-1 Dundee United

Dundee United recorded their first away win over St Johnstone in four years, which could prove vital as they seek to preserve their top-flight status.

The vital goal came after St Johnstone goalkeeper Alan Mannus fumbled Ryan Dow's shot into the net in 22 minutes.

United finished the match with 10 men after Coll Donaldson denied Chris Kane an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

Murray Davidson hit the bar for Saints, but United held on for what could turn out to be an important three points.

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Interviews - Paatelainen and Wright

The performance from United should also give their manager Mixu Paatelainen renewed hope that they can still pull off a great escape from relegation, as they narrow the gap on second-bottom Kilmarnock to five points. They also have a game in hand.

United sprung a surprise at the start of the game as they opted for a back four, rather than the three-man defence that has been their norm for several months.

The visitors also had the better of the early stages and should have scored after 40 seconds as Dow used his pace to get in behind the St Johnstone defence. His cross found John Rankin in the penalty area but his first touch let him down and the chance was gone.

In the 18th minute Mannus saved superbly to keep out Donaldson's header from Paton's free-kick. A minute later Mannus was in action again, this time saving Henri Anier's shot with his legs.

St Johnstone goalkeeper Alan Mannus tries in vain to gather Ryan Dow's shot after he let is slip past him
St Johnstone goalkeeper Alan Mannus tries in vain to gather Ryan Dow's shot after he let is slip past him

But Mannus would go from hero to zero as his slip gave Dundee United a deserved lead on the balance of play. The keeper looked to have saved a weak effort from Dow, but then somehow he managed to fumble it over his own goal line.

In the 35th minute Rankin then drove through the centre of the St Johnstone defence, the ball cannoned off his shins and just wide of the post.

United were by far the better side but just before half-time St Johnstone almost equalised. From a corner Davidson headed towards goal but his effort was blocked by his own player, Steven MacLean.

With an hour played, Donaldson hauled down Kane, denying the Saints striker an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. Referee Willie Collum immediately showed the red card.

St Johnstone pressed and Davidson's effort from 10 yards came back off the bar.

There was then an almighty stramash in the penalty area following a Dundee United corner which eventually led to a shot from Gavin Gunning from five yards out, but the defender blazed high and wide.

The match became increasingly tense and spiky but United held on for what could turn out to be a massive victory in the story of this season.

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Mannus
  • 22Fisher
  • 14Shaughnessy
  • 3Scobbie
  • 24Easton
  • 16Swanson
  • 7MillarSubstituted forLappinat 14'minutes
  • 8DavidsonSubstituted forThomsonat 71'minutes
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 9MacLeanSubstituted forCumminsat 78'minutes
  • 25Kane

Substitutes

  • 4Lappin
  • 5Doyle
  • 11Sutton
  • 12Clark
  • 18Cummins
  • 27Thomson
  • 66Krachunov

Dundee Utd

  • 1Kawashima
  • 28DonaldsonBooked at 60mins
  • 19Gunning
  • 5MorrisBooked at 25mins
  • 12Knoyle
  • 6Paton
  • 55DemelSubstituted forSpittalat 87'minutes
  • 8Rankin
  • 14Dow
  • 7MckaySubstituted forDillonat 62'minutes
  • 26AnierSubstituted forMurrayat 55'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Dillon
  • 3Dixon
  • 9Ofere
  • 15Murray
  • 20Spittal
  • 21Szromnik
  • 22Fraser
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
5,784

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home4
Away6
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away8
Fouls
Home11
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 0, Dundee United 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 0, Dundee United 1.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Sean Dillon.

Paul Paton (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Callum Morris.

Attempt missed. Simon Murray (Dundee United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Blair Spittal replaces Guy Demel because of an injury.

Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

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

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Brian Easton.

David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Simon Murray (Dundee United).

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Callum Morris.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by John Rankin.

Graham Cummins (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Sean Dillon (Dundee United).

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Graham Cummins replaces Steven MacLean.

Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

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

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Tam Scobbie.

Attempt missed. Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Tam Scobbie.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Craig Thomson replaces Murray Davidson.

Foul by Simon Lappin (St. Johnstone).

Kyle Knoyle (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.

Attempt missed. Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Sean Dillon replaces Billy McKay.

Dismissal

Coll Donaldson (Dundee United) is shown the red card.

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Coll Donaldson (Dundee United).

Attempt saved. Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Dow (Dundee United).

Paul Paton (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Steven MacLean (St. Johnstone).

Callum Morris (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Danny Swanson (St. Johnstone).

Foul by Callum Morris (Dundee United).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic31226376245272
2Aberdeen31205652341865
3Hearts31168752322056
4Motherwell32135144047-744
5St Johnstone32127134848043
6Dundee3191394747040
7Ross County32124164755-840
8Partick Thistle31108133138-738
9Inverness CT3199133843-536
10Hamilton3189143451-1733
11Kilmarnock3278173054-2429
12Dundee Utd3166193355-2224
View full Scottish Premiership table

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