Match ends, Dundee United 3, Queen of the South 0.
Dundee United seized command of the Scottish Championship, opening a nine-point lead at the summit after a thumping win over Queen of the South.
With Lawrence Shankland absent on international duty, Paul McMullan and Nicky Clark stepped up in the first half to set Robbie Neilson's side on course for a fifth consecutive win.
Sam Stanton added a splendid third after the break as United moved nine points clear of Ayr United, with Dundee a further three back and Inverness Caledonian Thistle one more adrift.
The outcome was rarely in doubt, as the league leaders set out with intent from the off.
Stanton and Clark both fired over before Queens centre-back Lee Kilday had to be replaced and, as the visitors adjusted, McMullan calmly converted Louis Appere's cut back.
Queens attacks were rare - although Connor Murray did have an effort disallowed for offside - and United doubled their lead just before the break when Clark latched on to McMullan's pass to finish.
Four minutes into the second half, the contest was over when Stanton picked up a throw in and dribbled through before beating the goalkeeper with some ease.
McMullen almost made it four but United were content to settle for the victory that continues their stride towards the Championship title and promotion back into the top flight.
Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson: "I was really pleased, particularly with the first-half performance. I thought we started with a lot of energy and created a lot of chances.
"Winter is when you win titles - December, January and into February when the grounds aren't great the training can be difficult. It's wet it's windy and you just need to keep picking up points."
Queen of the South manager Allan Johnson: "I think we made it quite easy for them with the goals we lost - not with general play because there wasn't much between the teams.
"Goals change games and they were really poor from our point of view. We gifted then the three goals but apart from that I don't think they created that much."
- 12StantonSubstituted forChalmersat 78'minutes
- 7McMullanSubstituted forMochrieat 85'minutes
- 10ClarkSubstituted forSmithat 72'minutes
Queen of Sth
- 2MercerBooked at 48mins
- 4KildaySubstituted forSempleat 18'minutesSubstituted forMcCarthyat 58'minutes
- 7MurraySubstituted forPatonat 80'minutes
- 6PybusBooked at 64mins
- 8KiddBooked at 64mins
- William Collum
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Dundee United 3, Queen of the South 0.
Corner, Queen of the South. Conceded by Paul Watson.
Attempt blocked. Louis Appere (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Jamie Robson (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Andrew McCarthy (Queen of the South).
Attempt missed. Louis Appere (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Substitution, Dundee United. Chris Mochrie replaces Paul McMullan.
Attempt missed. Liam Smith (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
Foul by Ian Harkes (Dundee United).
Andrew McCarthy (Queen of the South) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Darren Brownlie (Queen of the South) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, Queen of the South. Conceded by Mark Reynolds.
Substitution, Queen of the South. Michael Paton replaces Connor Murray.
Substitution, Dundee United. Logan Chalmers replaces Samuel Stanton.
Attempt saved. Dan Pybus (Queen of the South) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner.
Attempt blocked. Dan Pybus (Queen of the South) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.
Foul by Paul Watson (Dundee United).
Lewis Kidd (Queen of the South) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Kevin Holt.