Dundee United left Easter Road with three Scottish Premier League points as Hibernian sustained a second straight defeat in the capital.

Hibs' Leigh Griffiths was denied by the post before United captain Jon Daly tested goalkeeper Graham Stack with a header.

Johnny Russell fired the visitors ahead midway through the second half.

And the impressive Gary Mackay-Steven claimed United's second with a shot that squeezed past Stack.

Fourth-place United remain ahead of St Johnstone on goal difference while Hibs' advantage over bottom club Dunfermline is reduced to three points.

An early United corner led to a chance for Gavin Gunning, but the defender's shot was straight at Stack.

Hibs came close in the 10th minute when Griffiths met George Francomb's corner and rattled the post with a powerful drive.

Another United set piece, this time a free-kick, caused Hibs problems as Daly rose to meet Paul Dixon's delivery and Stack palmed the ball to safety.

However, the first half did not continue in the same vein with few further openings before the interval.

The visitors started the second period on top and Mackay-Steven crossed for Daly, who looked well placed to score, but the striker did not connect with his head.

At the other end, Gunning was relieved to see his sliced clearance trundle past the United goal.

Mackay-Steven's deflected shot moments later bounced just past the post and the winger then forced Stack into a save as United tried to capitalise on uncertain Hibs defending.

The threat of Mackay-Steven continued to cause Hibs problems and the former Airdrie player skilfully escaped three defenders before lifting a shot over.

A crucial intervention by goalkeeper Dusan Pernis prevented Griffiths getting away a shot as the hosts tried to re-assert themselves.

Peter Houston's side got the goal their pressure merited on 66 minutes, Russell converting a rebound after John Rankin's initial shot had been saved by Stack.

Mackay-Steven netted the second in the 73rd minute, although Stack will be disappointed not to have saved the shot from the edge of the box.

Substitute Garry O'Connor forced a save from Pernis and Hibs were unable to mount a comeback in the closing stages.

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