Nadir Ciftci netted twice as Dundee United beat St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership.

The striker latched on to a long ball to fire United into the lead and then doubled the hosts' advantage from the spot after winning a penalty.

Ryan Gauld threatened twice as the visitors continued to struggle.

And both Gauld and Tangerines substitute Chris Erskine added their names to the scoresheet in the second half with long-range efforts.

The win moves Jackie McNamara's side up to fifth in the division. St Mirren slip to second bottom, albeit with a 15-point cushion over Hearts.

The Paisley side had travelled to Tannadice off the back of two straight wins but seldom looked like extending that run against an impressive United side.

Marian Kello, making his debut in goal for St Mirren after joining on a short-term deal, watched an early free-kick from Ciftci whistle past the post.

But the striker did find the net after outmuscling two defenders to reach John Rankin's pass and force the ball past Kello.

Ciftci was then fouled in the box by Sean Kelly and confidently fired home from 12 yards.

Ryan Gauld scores for Dundee United against St Mirren

Gauld scored Dundee United's third at Tannadice

Gauld was unsuccessful with a couple of efforts in the run up to half-time but was not to be denied after the break.

The midfielder received Ciftci's pass and unleashed a powerful shot into the top corner from outside the penalty area.

That goal followed what had been a positive spell from the Buddies at the start of the second half.

But Danny Lennon's men soon found themselves under continued pressure as Dundee United looked to add further goals, Kello blocking an effort from Brian Graham in one attack.

Steven Thompson had a chance to reduce the visitors' deficit but took the ball too far after rounding keeper Radoslaw Cierzniak and Andrew Robertson cleared for the hosts.

Ryan Dow set up fellow substitute Chris Erskine to fire United's fourth in the closing stages.

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (6)

Dundee United

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 16 Wilson
  • 26 Robertson
  • 06 Paton (Gomis - 68' )
  • 20 Souttar
  • 05 Gunning
  • 11 Mackay-Steven
  • 08 Rankin
  • 09 Graham
  • 21 Ciftci (Dow - 75' )
  • 19 Gauld (Erskine - 68' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Butcher
  • 07 Goodwillie
  • 10 Armstrong
  • 17 Erskine
  • 18 Dow
  • 25 McCallum
  • 27 Gomis

St Mirren

  • 28 Kello
  • 02 van Zanten (Naismith - 63' )
  • 18 Kelly
  • 11 McLean
  • 04 McGregor
  • 05 Mair
  • 24 Newton
  • 06 Goodwin (Caprice - 63' )
  • 09 Thompson
  • 10 McGowan
  • 07 McGinn (Harkins - 64' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Cornell
  • 08 Harkins
  • 14 McAusland
  • 16 Caprice
  • 19 Bahoken
  • 22 Naismith
  • 27 Grainger
Ref: Iain Brines
Att: 6,331

Match Stats

Shots

16 4

On target

5 1

Corners

6 2

Fouls

8 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Dundee United 4, St Mirren 0.

90:00 +1:11 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Dundee United 4, St Mirren 0.

90:00 +0:11

Attempt saved. Conor Newton (St Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

87:00

Andrew Robertson (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:00

Foul by Conor Newton (St Mirren).

84:16

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Lee Mair.

83:19

Attempt blocked. Gary Harkins (St Mirren) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

82:11 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Dundee United 4, St Mirren 0. Chris Erskine (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Brian Graham.

77:46

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

76:34

Attempt missed. Kenny McLean (St Mirren) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

74:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Ryan Dow replaces Nadir Ciftci.

72:23

Attempt missed. Mark Wilson (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

71:56

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by John Souttar.

69:24

Attempt missed. Chris Erskine (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

67:32 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Chris Erskine replaces Ryan Gauld.

67:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Dundee United. Morgaro Gomis replaces Paul Paton.

66:44

Attempt missed. Steven Thompson (St Mirren) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left.

63:18

Attempt missed. John Rankin (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

63:13 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Gary Harkins replaces John McGinn.

62:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Jake Caprice replaces James Goodwin.

62:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, St Mirren. Jason Naismith replaces David van Zanten.

61:35

Attempt saved. John Rankin (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

60:19

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Sean Kelly.

59:24

Attempt missed. Brian Graham (Dundee United) header from very close range is close, but misses to the left.

58:12 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Dundee United 3, St Mirren 0. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by John Rankin.

56:13

Lee Mair (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

56:13

Foul by Brian Graham (Dundee United).

53:51

Corner, St Mirren. Conceded by John Souttar.

53:23

Paul McGowan (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.

53:23

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

53:01

Attempt missed. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

51:45

Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United).

51:45

David van Zanten (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

51:00

John McGinn (St Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

50:56

Foul by Mark Wilson (Dundee United).

47:55

Foul by Brian Graham (Dundee United).

47:55

Lee Mair (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:16

Attempt missed. Brian Graham (Dundee United) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

45:00

Second Half begins Dundee United 2, St Mirren 0.

45:00 +0:12 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Dundee United 2, St Mirren 0.

41:32

Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

41:32

Foul by Steven Thompson (St Mirren).

40:21

Foul by Brian Graham (Dundee United).

40:21

James Goodwin (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

39:48

Attempt missed. Brian Graham (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

38:35

Attempt missed. Brian Graham (Dundee United) header from very close range is too high.

38:04

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by James Goodwin.

37:27

Attempt missed. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

33:29 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Dundee United 2, St Mirren 0. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

33:00

Penalty Dundee United. Nadir Ciftci draws a foul in the penalty area.

32:48

Penalty conceded by Sean Kelly (St Mirren) after a foul in the penalty area.

30:42

Kenny McLean (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:42

Foul by John Rankin (Dundee United).

28:03

Foul by James Goodwin (St Mirren).

28:03

Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

26:24 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Dundee United 1, St Mirren 0. Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by John Rankin.

25:17

Attempt missed. Ryan Gauld (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

25:00

Mark Wilson (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

24:52

Foul by John McGinn (St Mirren).

20:54

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Darren McGregor.

19:40

Foul by Darren McGregor (St Mirren).

19:40

Gary Mackay-Steven (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

10:39

Attempt missed. Andrew Robertson (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left.

9:35

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Paul McGowan.

5:31

Kenny McLean (St Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

5:31

Foul by Paul Paton (Dundee United).

4:23

Foul by Steven Thompson (St Mirren).

4:23

Gavin Gunning (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:11

Nadir Ciftci (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:11

Foul by James Goodwin (St Mirren).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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