Scottish Premiership - Play-off Semi-final - 1st Leg
Dundee Utd2Livingston3

Dundee United 2-3 Livingston

Scott Pittman scores
Scott Pittman turned the tie in Livingston's favour

Livingston came out on top in a five-goal thriller against Dundee United in the first leg of the Premiership play-off semi-final.

The visitors took an early lead through Rafa de Vita but were quickly pegged back by Thomas Mikkelsen's volley.

Anthony Ralston's deflected shot gave the home side the lead but late goals from Josh Mullin and Scott Pittman handed Livi the advantage.

And further woe came for United when captain Willo Flood was sent off.

A push on Shaun Byrne resulted in a second yellow card for the Tangerines midfielder and he will be suspended for Friday's return leg at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Willo Flood is sent off
Flood was booked twice in 14 minutes, prompting a red card from referee Nick Walsh

There was a terrific atmosphere inside Tannadice and the match was less than 90 seconds old when the visitors took a dramatic lead.

Scott McDonald lost out in a midfield challenge with the ball falling at the feet of Scott Robinson. The former Hearts striker played a wonderful pass into the path of De Vita, who drilled the ball low into the net.

The lead, however, lasted less than a minute after a tremendous response by Csaba Laszlo's side.

Billy King did wonderfully well to find space down the left flank and his cross was met on the volley by on-loan Ross County forward Mikkelsen, who smashed the ball home from 16 yards.

The game was being played at a terrific pace with both teams having a real go for goal.

The home side, though, had a huge let-off when Robinson had his heel clipped by Stewart Murdoch just eight yards out when he looked certain to score but referee Nick Walsh allowed play to continue, much to the disgust of the visiting players, fans and management.

And just before the half-hour mark the home side took the lead with another slice of luck going their way.

Ralston - on loan from Celtic - was allowed space to fire in a shot from the edge of the box. The ball looked to be drifting just wide of target before Jackson Longridge dived in and attempted to clear but could only deflect the ball beyond his own goalkeeper Neil Alexander.

The frantic pace of the opening period continued into the second and Alexander somehow managed to get his fingertips to a McDonald header as the home side searched for a third goal.

Livingston goalkeeper Neil Alexander makes a save to deny Dundee United's Scott McDonald
Alexander's save proved to be a turning point

At the other end De Vita thought he had levelled proceedings only for Bilel Mohsni to deflect the ball wide.

United, beaten finalists in last season's play-offs, had the better possession but Livingston stunned the home crowd with two goals in a three-minute spell.

Robinson floated a pass over the top where Mullin ran on to it and slid the ball low beyond goalkeeper Harry Lewis.

This brought the small band of visiting fans to their feet and they were in full cheer when they snatched a dramatic third.

Murdoch was slack in possession 30 yards from goal and Pittman showed terrific composure and patience to clip the ball home and give David Hopkin's side a precious lead a few minutes before Flood saw red.

Post-match reaction

Dundee United manager Csaba Laszlo: "The second half we were the better team until 80 minutes. We made two individual mistakes.

"We have the next game, we have to go to Livingston and try to win this game. There's one goal between the two teams.

"They showed that they can win here; we have to show that we can win there."

Livingston manager David Hopkin: "We took the lead, scored a great goal and then we switched off. To go in at half-time 2-1 down, I was disappointed.

"I just told the players to squeeze the game more, impose ourselves on the game. Luckily we did and we scored two fantastic goals.

"It's only half-time. We go back to our stadium. Delighted with the players, I asked for a performance and I got it tonight."

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

  • 25Lewis
  • 29Ralston
  • 2Murdoch
  • 91MohsniSubstituted forDurnanat 90+1'minutes
  • 17Robson
  • 10Fraser
  • 16FloodBooked at 87mins
  • 8McDonald
  • 12Stanton
  • 11KingSubstituted forLyngat 76'minutes
  • 9Mikkelsen

Substitutes

  • 4Durnan
  • 7McMullan
  • 14Edjenguele
  • 15Slater
  • 24Gillespie
  • 41Donaldson
  • 58Lyng

Livingston

  • 1Alexander
  • 4Lithgow
  • 26Halkett
  • 31GallagherBooked at 45mins
  • 7MullinBooked at 54mins
  • 8Pittman
  • 6ByrneBooked at 88mins
  • 3LongridgeSubstituted forThompsonat 90'minutes
  • 23De VitaSubstituted forCaddenat 70'minutes
  • 17RobinsonBooked at 22minsSubstituted forJacobsat 79'minutes
  • 18Miller

Substitutes

  • 2McMillan
  • 5Buchanan
  • 11Cadden
  • 14Jacobs
  • 19Frizzell
  • 20Maley
  • 24Thompson
Referee:
Nick Walsh
Attendance:
5,610

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamLivingston
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home11
Away5
Fouls
Home10
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Dundee United 2, Livingston 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Dundee United 2, Livingston 3.

Attempt blocked. Thomas Mikkelsen (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Keaghan Jacobs.

Scott Fraser (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jordan Thompson (Livingston).

Foul by Scott McDonald (Dundee United).

Josh Mullin (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Mark Durnan replaces Bilel Mohsni because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Jordan Thompson replaces Jackson Longridge.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Jamie Robson.

Attempt saved. Declan Gallagher (Livingston) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Bilel Mohsni (Dundee United).

Lee Miller (Livingston) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Booking

Shaun Byrne (Livingston) is shown the yellow card.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Willo Flood (Dundee United).

Foul by Willo Flood (Dundee United).

Shaun Byrne (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Nicky Cadden (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Foul by Anthony Ralston (Dundee United).

Nicky Cadden (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Dundee United 2, Livingston 3. Scott Pittman (Livingston) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Shaun Byrne.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Keaghan Jacobs replaces Scott Robinson.

Goal!

Goal! Dundee United 2, Livingston 2. Josh Mullin (Livingston) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Scott Pittman.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Emil Lyng replaces Billy King.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Declan Gallagher.

Booking

Willo Flood (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Willo Flood (Dundee United).

Scott Robinson (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Billy King (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jackson Longridge (Livingston).

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Nicky Cadden replaces Raffaele De Vita.

Attempt blocked. Scott Pittman (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Samuel Stanton.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Jackson Longridge.

Bilel Mohsni (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott Robinson (Livingston).

Harry Lewis (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jackson Longridge (Livingston).

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Anthony Ralston.

goal

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