Dundee Utd 0
Rangers 1
League (SPL)

Dundee Utd
0 - 1

League (SPL)
Saturday, September 10th, 2011
Tannadice Park. Att. 10,156
12:30 PM Kick-off

None. Kyle Lafferty (61)

Team Managers
Peter Houston
Ally McCoist

Starting Eleven
1. Dušan Perniš
18. Gavin Gunning
5. Garry Kenneth
12. Keith Watson
3. Paul Dixon
10. Danny Swanson
8. Scott Robertson
6. Willo Flood
11. John Rankin
15. Johnny Russell
19. Lauri Dalla Valle
Allan McGregor
Dorin Goian
Kirk Broadfoot
Steven Whittaker
Juan Manuel Ortiz
Carlos Bocanegra
Gregg Wylde
Maurice Edu
Steven Davis
Kyle Lafferty
Steven Naismith

25. Marc McCallum
14. Barry Douglas
26. Keanu Marsh-Brown
17. Gary Mackay-Steven
20. Scott Allan
16. Stuart Armstrong
22. Ryan Dow
Neil Alexander
Ross Perry
Lee McCulloch
Matt McKay
John Fleck
David Healy
Salim Kerkar

Ryan Dow for Lauri Dalla Valle (71)
Lee McCulloch for Maurice Edu (75)
Matt McKay for Gregg Wylde (83)

Garry Kenneth (9)
Danny Swanson (20)
Steven Davis (22)
Kirk Broadfoot (31)
Carlos Bocanegra (73)

Red Cards
Johnny Russell (30)
Match Officials

Calum Murray (Referee)
Graham Chambers & Stuart Macaulay (Assistants)
John Beaton (Fourth Official)

Match Report

Two weeks had passed since United had been in action due to the international break and the side were raring to go with the visit of Rangers to Tannadice. Peter Houston made three changes to his United line-up from the 3-3 draw away to St Johnstone a fortnight earlier: in came Keith Watson, Scott Robertson and Danny Swanson with Barry Douglas and Stuart Armstrong dropping to the bench and Sean Dillon joined club captain Jon Daly in missing out altogether through injury.

United were side doing the pressing in the opening stages of the match and were inches away from going into the lead when a long-range Willo Flood shot took a wicked deflection off a Rangers defender which rooted Allan McGregor to the spot and he was relieved to see the ball bounce just past his left-hand post. Rangers slowly came into the game and on 14 minutes a clever pass from Juan Manuel Ortiz found Lafferty inside the penalty box but the striker's shot on the turn was smothered by United keeper Dusan Pernis. Danny Swanson was making a nuisance of himself in attacking areas for United and the Rangers defence stood off him in the 17th minute and allowed him a shot on goal from just outside the box which Allan McGregor did well to tip over the bar. On 20 minutes there was a moment of real controversy with Danny Swanson again at the heart of the action, driving into the Rangers box when he appeared to be fouled by Dorin Goian but the referee adjudged the United man to have dived and cautioned him for simulation to the fury of the home fans. United went within inches of scoring again minutes later when a Danny Swanson corner was met in the air by the towering figure of Garry Kenneth but his header spun just wide of the top corner. On the half hour mark the match swung massively in Rangers’ favour when Johnny Russell was dismissed for motioning his head towards Kirk Broadfoot during an argument. Despite being down to ten men United still threatened on the attack and not long after Russell’s dismissal the aforementioned Broadfoot made a crucial interception to stop Lauri Dalla Valle getting on the end of a Paul Dixon cross into the box. Minutes later and Rangers really should have broken the deadlock when Maurice Edu found Naismith with a smart, lofted pass but the forward was again wasteful in front of goal, shooting wide from near the penalty spot. Garry Kenneth was proving a major aerial threat to Rangers from set-pieces and the big defender went close again with half-time approaching: meeting Swanson’s delivery on the 6-yard line but he could only head the ball onto the roof of the net.

Rangers came out for the second half looking to make their numerical advantage count and proceeded to put pressure on the United defence. On 49 minutes Pernis was forced to dive low at his right-hand post to prevent a low drive from Kyle Lafferty skidding into the net. The striker was presented with a great chance to put Rangers in front in the 52nd minute: a cross into the box was too high for Steven Naismith but fell nicely for Lafferty who controlled the ball well in front of goal but his shot was blocked. It looked like only a matter of time before Rangers managed to put one of their chances away and indeed the Ibrox side took the lead in the 61st minute: Gregg Wylde whipped in a brilliant cross to the back-post from out wide on the right and the ever-lively Kyle Lafferty was on hand to head the ball back across Dusan Pernis’ goal and into the back of the net. Five minutes later Rangers went close to doubling their lead, again a cross from wide on the right causing problems amongst the United defence. This time it was Ortiz who played a wonderful cross into the box for the onrushing Steven Davis to head towards goal from around the penalty spot but Dusan Pernis did brilliantly to tip the Northern Irishman’s effort wide of the post. Ten man United continued to plug away at the Rangers defence however, and John Rankin registered a shot on target with a thunderous, low strike from range which bounced awkwardly off the chest of Allan McGregor who had been deceived by the ball’s swerve on the wet surface. Despite this there could be not argument that Rangers were the side on top and they went within millimetres of scoring a second went Steven Davis broke through the United defence, one on one with Dusan Pernis but his shot somehow managed to hit the inside of both posts before coming back out for John Rankin to clear: astonishing stuff. Rangers defender Dorin Goian was presented with a chance to score when a corner fell nicely to him on the edge of the United box but his shot flashed wide of Pernis’ left-hand post. In an attempt to try and get something out of the match Houston subbed on Ryan Dow in place of Lauri Dalla Valle in the hope that the young Dundonian would be able to stretch the Rangers defence. Dow was involved in the action straight away: running onto a John Rankin flick on before firing a shot across the face of goal from a tight angle which took a deflection off a defender and went past the post for a United corner. With 74 minutes on the clock Garry Kenneth did brilliantly to block a Steven Naismith effort on the line after the Rangers striker had beaten Dusan Pernis. With time running out United started pilling bodies forward in an attempt to get level and Danny Swanson went close to grabbing a stunning equaliser with a long-range drive which flew around a yard wide of Allan McGregor’s left-hand post. Minutes later John Rankin went even closer, taking a poorly headed clearance from a corner first time on the volley and his bouncing shot took a nick off the base of the post on its way wide of the target. In the end the match finished 1-0 Rangers despite a determined performance from United who were reduced to ten men for two thirds of the match. If it had remained eleven against eleven the result might have been different.

Squad Statistics (as at September 10th, 2011)

2011-12 All Time
Dušan Perniš (GK)26 9 - 80 -
Garry Kenneth24 8 - 1707
Gavin Gunning20 4141
Keith Watson21 71572
Paul Dixon24 9 - 1112
Willo Flood26 9 - 771
Danny Swanson24 5111610
John Rankin28 9 - 9 -
Scott Robertson26 6 - 915
Lauri Dalla Valle19 2 - 2 -
Johnny Russell21 914912
Ryan Dow (sub)20 2 - 5 -

Team Sheet (Scanned Photo)

League Table (as at September 10th, 2011)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

It was a great deal of relief that before the transfer window closed I was able to add to our squad with the arrival of Lauri Dalla Valle and Keanu Marsh-Brown from Fulham. Equally I was relieved that there were no departures. There is no doubt that our squad was a bit thin on the ground, so to get two players in and from an English Premiership club is a welcome boost. Lauri is a player I had been aware of for some time, having seen him play at Liverpool. Once I knew he was available and knowing how highly he is rated by Fulham's reserve coach Billy McKinlay, I wanted him signed up quickly. Likewise, Keanu was also recommended to us by Billy McKinlay, he is a midfielder who can also do us a turn in defence if required. With his pace and willingness to take on defenders, he gives us yet another option in wide areas and should also excite our fans. I am thrilled to have also added him to our playing squad. These loan arrangements provide the opportunity for both to further develop their potential at first team level whilst adding a much needed option to our first team squad. Both clearly have big futures ahead of them and it's great that they know they can enhance their development here at Tannadice.

Our last game here ended in defeat to Dunfermline, courtesy of a late goal. Though like all the fans, I was disappointed by the outcome, I would have been be great deal more concerned had we not created chances. I would also have been worried had the lads not put the effort in. But I told the players after the game that they did work hard throughout of the game and were caught by a sucker punch, which could have been prevented. So I did not rant and rave at the players as they did not mean to get beat. What was missing was a wee bit of quality in certain areas. The final ball was poor at times and the finishing likewise. We had so much possession but came up against a dogged Dunfermline team and let's give them credit because they defended well. On another day, though, we would have won it. I am sure that we will play worse in games and to Perth and our young side perhaps showed a bit of naivety. We had four under-21s starting and three more on the bench. It came about because we don't have the funds, but blooding youngsters is the United way. Maybe it's too many but they're learning and showed great character to come back and get a deserved point. And of course, this afternoon's game against Rangers is another huge test for us. It is always a massive game. The early kick-off and being in front of the cameras just adds to the occasion. Last time, Rangers were 4-0 winners, but that was harsh given that we had three penalties against us and three men sent off! But that's all in the past and we are most definitely looking forward to what will be very demanding game. I saw them at Motherwell recently and against a highflying 'Well, they finished convincing winners. That shows they'll be right up for coming here. As far as I am concerned, it is all about us. We have to try and be positive and take the game to Rangers. Recently, we have had a few ding-dong battles with them. In some we have done well, in others not so well. But it is a game that we relish rather than fear.