Dundee Utd 2
Hearts 1
League (Premiership)

Dundee Utd
2 - 1

League (Premiership)
Saturday, February 20th, 2016
Tannadice Park. Att. 8,031
3:00 PM Kick-off

Guy Demel (43)
Paul Paton (88)
Jamie Walker (48)

Team Managers
Mixu Paatelainen
Robbie Neilson

Starting Eleven
1. Eiji Kawashima
28. Coll Donaldson
17. Mark Durnan
19. Gavin Gunning
55. Guy Demel
22. Scott Fraser
6. Paul Paton
8. John Rankin
20. Blair Spittal
9. Edward Ofere
54. Florent Sinama Pongolle
Neil Alexander
Jordan McGhee
Błażej Augustyn
Alim Öztürk
Juwon Oshaniwa
Jamie Walker
Prince Buaben
Don Cowie
Sam Nicholson
Abiola Dauda
Dario Zanatta

51. Luis Zwick
2. Seán Dillon
3. Paul Dixon
12. Kyle Knoyle
26. Henri Anier
14. Ryan Dow
25. Riku Riski
Jack Hamilton
Miguel Pallard

Paul Dixon for Guy Demel (54)
Ryan Dow for Florent Sinama Pongolle (60)
Henri Anier for Edward Ofere (73)
John Souttar for Dario Zanatta (43)
Igor Rossi Branco for Juwon Oshaniwa (46)
Arnaud Sutchuin Djum for Prince Buaben (76)

John Rankin (41)
Mark Durnan (66)
Scott Fraser (80)
Henri Anier (85)
Paul Paton (89)
Jordan McGhee (36)
Alim Öztürk (86)

Red Cards
Henri Anier (90)
Jordan McGhee (40)
Match Officials

Kevin Clancy (Referee)

Ticket stub / Admission info

Match Report

Both Hearts and United were looking for a reaction to poor midweek results, both teams recording seven changes from their respective Tuesday games.

It was United that showed an early desire to take the game to their visitors. The hosts had the first opportunity to test the Hearts defence as early as the second minute, Guy Demel receiving the ball at the edge of the area, but he failed to find the space to get the ball into the danger area. United’s fans then screamed for a penalty as a driven cross from Spittal appeared to strike the hand of Oshinawa inside the penalty area, but referee Kevin Clancy paid no heed to the shouts and play continued. In the eighteenth minute, Edward Ofere, starting his first game, was close to making the breakthrough rising at the front post to make a perfect connection with Fraser’s corner, but Neil Alexander produced a wonderful save to claw the ball out of the top corner and round the post for a corner. Hearts had struggled to gain any momentum in the game, but proved that they could be dangerous after slack play in the United defence presented Sam Nicholson the chance to drive in from the right and fizz a shot just wide of Kashawima’s left hand post. Guy Demel then had a great opportunity to open the scoring, unmarked six yards out, but his header, from a Spittal cross, was straight at the Hearts keeper and he did well to push it away for another United corner. Hearts midfielder Jordan McGhee was then sent off in the fortieth minute, for a second caution in quick succession, his first for upending Sinama-Pongolle, then appearing to catch Ofere late when challenging for the ball. The referee showed no hesitation despite the protests of the men in maroon. Hearts almost immediately made a change to accommodate the red card, taking off Mario Zanatta and replacing him with ex United player John Souttar. John Rankin then found his name in the book, cautioned for catching Walker late as the United man attempted a shot, but he was beaten to the ball. The ever involved Rankin then just missed out on putting the Terrors ahead, ghosting in from the left and placing a shot into the far corner, out of the reach of Alexander, but the ball appeared to take an awkward bounce off the pitch and agonisingly rebounded back into play for the Hearts defence to clear for a corner. United did take the lead a minute later, another dangerous corner from Fraser was met by the onrushing Demel and he rose between two defenders to thunder a header into the net sparking huge celebrations from the fans in tangerine.

Hearts made a further change at half time, bringing on Rossi, for Oshinawa. It took three minutes for United to undo all of the good work in the first half gifting possession to Hearts in the middle of the park. The ball found its way to Souttar who lofted a great ball into a dangerous area. As the United defence hesitated, Jamie Walker wasted no time in latching onto the ball and firing a ferocious shot past Kawashima from a very difficult angle. Guy Demel made way for Paul Dixon, shortly before Ryan Dow came on for Sinama-Pongolle as United failed to match the standards they set in the first half. Ten minutes after his introduction though Dow had his head in his hands as his fantastic lob had beaten Hearts keeper Alexander, but the ball bounced two yards from the goal and agonisingly over the bar as United searched for the all-important winner. United were throwing everything at Hearts, with Hearts blocking everything in their path and happy to keep firing the ball back to the half way line. As a clearance fell to Rankin forty yards from goal, he slipped a pass into Dow who skipped past a challenge but then lost control at the edge of the area; the ball fell to Anier who laid it into the path of Paton. Paton set himself and from fully twenty five yards fired an explosive shot high into the net and out of reach of the impressive Alexander. The men in tangerine and those in the stands went wild, a quality goal that could have a big say in the fate of United this season. Henri Anier followed McGhee for an early bath, again after two bookings in quick succession. Hearts skipper Ozturk was also booked in the altercation with Anier, Paton, Fraser and Durnan all received cautions late in the match. United had to hold strong as this pressed Hearts into a response and despite a couple of shaky moments defensively and an additional five minutes of playing time United held on for a very impressive victory.

Formation: 3-4-1-2
Captain: Paul Paton
Arab Archive 'Man of the Match': Paul Paton

Match Photos courtesy of Riki Grauer - More photos available at:
Dundee United Official Flickr Page

Written by Gordon Aitchison

Squad Statistics (as at February 20th, 2016)

2015-16 All Time
Eiji Kawashima (GK)32 8 - 8 -
Coll Donaldson20 13 - 13 -
Mark Durnan23 262262
Gavin Gunning25 13 - 11210
Guy Demel34 101101
Scott Fraser20 252262
Paul Paton28 71845
John Rankin32 27219313
Blair Spittal20 297589
Edward Ofere29 3 - 3 -
Florent Sinama Pongolle31 3 - 3 -
Paul Dixon (sub)29 19 - 1825
Ryan Dow (sub)24 11 - 10211
Henri Anier (sub)25 1 - 171

Team Sheet (Scanned Photo)

League Table (as at February 20th, 2016)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Celtic 26 19 4 3 +48 61
2. Aberdeen 26 17 4 5 +16 55
3. Hearts 25 12 8 5 +20 44
4. Ross County 27 11 3 13 -1 36
5. St Johnstone 25 10 5 10 0 35
6. Dundee 26 8 10 8 -2 34
7. Inverness CT 25 8 8 9 -3 32
8. Motherwell 27 8 5 14 -13 29
9. Hamilton 27 7 8 12 -16 29
10. Partick Th 23 7 7 9 -6 28
11. Kilmarnock 27 7 7 13 -19 28
12. DUNDEE UTD 26 4 5 17 -24 14

League results since United's last match
20th February 2016
Celtic3-0Inverness CT
Dundee Utd2-1Hearts
Ross County2-1Hamilton
St Johnstone2-1Motherwell

Manager's Programme Notes

Welcome to Tannadice for today's game. Thank you for attending today. I could see how devastated our fans were with the result and performance on Tuesday and no one accepts it. It was so flat, so disappointing and I expect a reaction today. The spirit that was required wasn't there and it was so disappointing. As a Head Coach I question myself and after every game I go home and watch the match again, it wasn't pretty viewing and I have looked at it with the players also to find the answers. nothing is settled yet. I accept we will not win every game but we can go out expecting to win and today the players I entrust to perform must be strong enough to shoulder that responsibility. Hearts come here today unhappy at their midweek cup exit at the hands of their city rivals, Hibs, and they will be looking to make amends and show their true mettle. It is such a difficult game but one we simply have to embrace. I believe we can win today and I believe we can still survive. I know that some will doubt us. The only way we can prove capable is with action on the pitch. To lose a goal just before half time was crucial and although we started the second half well we missed two opportunities at 0-1 that proved pivotal and that has summed up our season. Missing chances and losing poor goals have been a theme that has to stop. Today we must ensure we take our chances because we are continuing to create.

We have thirteen games remaining and the task has gotten bigger but the requirement remains the same. We have to took to win every game. We have to keep fighting and doing our best every game and although it is a long road The players have been stung by criticism this week but they also know they didn't reach an acceptable level and I see a determination to prove they are better than what they showed on Tuesday night. It is a difficult task made tougher by the result on Tuesday but we will continue to pursue victory in each game and see where it takes us. Stay with us today, you could make the difference. Enjoy the match.