Scottish Championship
Dundee Utd2Inverness CT1

Dundee United 2-1 Inverness CT: Hosts move 21 points clear at summit

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Highlights: Dundee Utd 2-1 Inverness CT

Dundee United took a significant step towards sealing the Scottish Championship title by beating nearest challengers Inverness Caledonian Thistle to move 21 points clear.

Louis Appere swept the hosts ahead, but Jordan White levelled on 32 minutes. However, Lawrence Shankland scored a sumptuous winner, his 28th goal of the season, to earn United a first win in six games.

United now need 13 points from their final 11 games to end a four-season absence from the top-flight.

Now only a matter of time?

Perhaps due to the cavernous gap to the rest, United have struggled in recent weeks in their quest to get over the line as quickly as possible, having failed to win their previous three league matches.

But they had put seven goals in two games past Inverness already this season despite the Highland side's place in the table giving them the status of nearest challengers.

That theme looked set to continue at Tannadice as the hosts started strongly, Appere finishing superbly past Mark Ridgers after Rakish Bingham cut the ball back to the edge of the box.

But Inverness responded well to go in level at the break, as White showed good determination in diving to head home from a corner, then flashed an effort just wide moments later.

The visitors continued their dominance after the restart as they demonstrated their play-off credentials, but as has so often been the case this season Shankland's laser finishing rescued Dundee United.

The Scotland striker did brilliantly to stop a cross dead in the slippery conditions, and with a flash of his feet deceived two defenders before firing into the bottom corner.

It was classy from start to finish from the Scotland striker, who will continue to court interest having now scored 28 times in 30 club appearances this term.

Inverness had half an hour to find a response, and Carl Tremarco's late volley into the side-netting came close, but in sodden conditions United held on with relative comfort to assert their dominance.

If the moment had not already arrived, this win surely means it is not a matter of if, but when, they seal a return to the Premiership.

Lawrence Shankland

'That was a big statement' - reaction

Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson: "Conditions were difficult but tonight was a big statement for us as it was the team sitting behind us in the league.

"I'm not going to say anything about him [Shankland] now, there's too many people sniffing about.

"His link play at times was fantastic, then he shows real quality, most people would hit that early but he takes an extra touch to shift it and bang it in the corner."

Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "We need to mark Shankland in the box, it's as simple as that. That's why United will win the league - they're more clinical than us and everyone else.

"We're too nice. We react to things, we don't anticipate. It's difficult to criticise effort and honesty, but to be a top player, you need to have that extra quality, desire, and that bit more know-how.

"We've got masses still to play for. We should, in my eyes, pretty clear in second place. This is the frustration - we've dropped too many silly points and haven't been clinical and ruthless enough."

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

  • 1Siegrist
  • 2Smith
  • 44WatsonBooked at 54mins
  • 5Connolly
  • 17Robson
  • 27Appere
  • 18ButcherBooked at 72mins
  • 4PowersSubstituted forHarkesat 57'minutes
  • 8PawlettSubstituted forMcMullanat 58'minutes
  • 14BinghamSubstituted forReynoldsat 88'minutes
  • 24Shankland

Substitutes

  • 3Sporle
  • 6Reynolds
  • 7McMullan
  • 13Mehmet
  • 21Glass
  • 23Harkes
  • 40Mochrie

Inverness CT

  • 1Ridgers
  • 2Rooney
  • 22McKay
  • 12McHattieBooked at 73mins
  • 3Tremarco
  • 14Vincent
  • 8CarsonBooked at 14minsSubstituted forTraffordat 59'minutes
  • 17StoreySubstituted forDoran Coganat 66'minutes
  • 7Keatings
  • 11WalshSubstituted forTodorovat 86'minutes
  • 9White

Substitutes

  • 5Toshney
  • 10Doran Cogan
  • 19Todorov
  • 21MacKay
  • 24Trafford
  • 26Harper
  • 28MacGregor
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
7,583

Match Stats

Home TeamDundee UtdAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home13
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home5
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Dundee United 2, Inverness CT 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Dundee United 2, Inverness CT 1.

Foul by Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United).

Shaun Rooney (Inverness CT) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Paul Watson (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan White (Inverness CT).

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Mark Connolly.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Mark Reynolds replaces Rakish Bingham.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Nikolay Todorov replaces Tom Walsh.

Louis Appere (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan White (Inverness CT).

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Liam Smith.

Booking

Kevin McHattie (Inverness CT) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Paul McMullan (Dundee United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Kevin McHattie (Inverness CT).

Attempt missed. Brad McKay (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Brad McKay.

Attempt blocked. Ian Harkes (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Rakish Bingham (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Mark Connolly.

Attempt blocked. James Keatings (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Aaron Doran replaces Miles Storey.

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

Goal!

Goal! Dundee United 2, Inverness CT 1. Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Rakish Bingham.

Substitution

Substitution, Inverness CT. Charlie Trafford replaces David Carson.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Paul McMullan replaces Peter Pawlett.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Ian Harkes replaces Dillon Powers.

Corner, Inverness CT. Conceded by Jamie Robson.

Dillon Powers (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by David Carson (Inverness CT).

Attempt blocked. James Keatings (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Paul Watson (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

James Vincent (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Paul Watson (Dundee United).

Peter Pawlett (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by James Vincent (Inverness CT).

Attempt saved. James Keatings (Inverness CT) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt saved. Tom Walsh (Inverness CT) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Foul by Paul Watson (Dundee United).

James Keatings (Inverness CT) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dundee Utd25183451193257
2Inverness CT2311393126536
3Ayr2211293531435
4Arbroath24104102325-234
5Dundee239682931-233
6Dunfermline2394103632431
7Morton2384113243-1128
8Queen of Sth2375112631-526
9Alloa2468102737-1026
10Partick Thistle2465133045-1523
View full Scottish Championship table

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