Hibernian 0-3 Dundee United: Impressive visitors first win at Easter Road in seven years


Dundee United's Nicky Clark (grounded) celebrates his opener
Dundee United’s Nicky Clark (grounded) celebrates his opener

Dundee United produced a flawless display to sweep aside Hibernian at Easter Road and leapfrog their hosts into third in the Scottish Premiership.

Nicky Clark curled Thomas Court’s side into a first-half lead, and a bullet Ryan Edwards header doubled their advantage against a tepid Hibs.

Kieran Freeman finished off a free-flowing move to add the third.

It is United’s first win in 10 attempts against Hibs, and their first in Leith since 2014.

And it was sweet revenge for Courts’ men, who were knocked out of the League Cup by Hibs last month.

Hibs, unbeaten in their first seven league games of the season, have now lost two in a row as they tumbled down to fifth.

Jack Ross’ side looked untouchable as they saw off Dundee United three weeks ago at Tannadice to book a Hampden semi-final with Rangers next month.

But defeat at Ibrox before the international break derailed them, and for 90 minutes at home to United they were a shadow of their former selves in front of an expectant support.

Courts had rued United’s lack of cutting edge in that League Cup loss. In Leith, Ilmari Niskanen had a shot saved and Clark whipped an effort over the bar as they shaded a first half that had little to shout about.

But, before the half-time whistle sounded, United turned it up a notch.

Peter Pawlett and Ian Harkes combined to find Clark on the edge of the box, and he picked a spot low into the far corner.

The start to the second half was as good as the end to the first as the visitors doubled their lead.

Edwards peeled away from his marker, met Scott McMann’s cross, and sent a powerful header into the corner that gave goalkeeper Matt Macey no chance.

Middlesbrough loanee Nathan Wood, making his first appearance for Hibs, headed a Jake Doyle-Hayes cross wide. But soon United were three ahead in brilliant fashion.

Pawlett and Clark exchanged passes before releasing Niskanen in the area, and he unselfishly squared to the unmarked Freeman, who just had to apply the finish.

Minutes later Benjamin Siegrist made a great save to deny Kevin Nisbet, tipping his effort on to the inside of the post, as Hibs tried to pull one back.

But United pressed again and a Charlie Mulgrew free-kick drew a save from Macey as the visitors put to bed their Easter Road hoodoo and made it five games unbeaten on the road.

Man of the match – Ian Harkes

Ian Harkes was September's player of the month and may well be in the running for October's too, constantly linking play for Dundee United
The midfielder was September’s player of the month and may well be in the running for October’s too, constantly linking play for Dundee United

What did we learn?

It was an unfamiliar Hibs. Only Celtic had scored more league goals than the Easter Road men at the start of the day, but they could not get their dangerous players on the ball and were well beaten.

For United their improvement continues, and they are finding the clinical edge that head coach Courts has been asking for.

In midfield, Harkes and Pawlett are proving invaluable, while Declan Glass also made an impressive return to the first team following his injury lay-off.

What did they say?

Hibernian manager Jack Ross: “We deserved what we got. We were our worst version of ourselves; lazy, slow and selfish in a lot of our individual play. No qualms over the result, Dundee United deserved to win.

“We were desperately poor and that isn’t acceptable in terms of where we want to be and where we’ve pushed to be for probably the last year and a half.”

Dundee United manager Thomas Courts: “It was a tremendously disciplined performance. Maybe the scoreline flattered us a little but I think we were well worthy of the three points.

“You can see that there is a real connection forming between the players and the fans, they really value the work rate of the players. Long may that continue.”

What’s next?

Hibs travel to Aberdeen on Saturday in the Premiership (15:00), while United are at home to Motherwell (15:00).

Player of the match

SiegristBenjamin Siegrist

Hibernian

  1. Squad number23Player nameAllan

  2. Squad number12Player nameWood

  3. Squad number1Player nameMacey

  4. Squad number10Player nameBoyle

  5. Squad number3Player nameDoig

  6. Squad number4Player nameHanlon

  7. Squad number27Player nameCadden

  8. Squad number22Player nameDoyle-Hayes

  9. Squad number11Player nameNewell

  10. Squad number18Player nameMurphy

  11. Squad number15Player nameNisbet

  12. Squad number25Player nameScott

Dundee United

  1. Squad number1Player nameSiegrist

  2. Squad number12Player nameEdwards

  3. Squad number10Player nameClark

  4. Squad number66Player nameFuchs

  5. Squad number4Player nameMulgrew

  6. Squad number33Player nameMcMann

  7. Squad number23Player nameHarkes

  8. Squad number94Player nameBiamou

  9. Squad number8Player namePawlett

  10. Squad number7Player nameNiskanen

  11. Squad number21Player nameGlass

  12. Squad number14Player nameHoti

  13. Squad number22Player nameFreeman

Line-ups

Hibernian

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Macey
  • 27Cadden
  • 12Wood
  • 4Hanlon
  • 3Doig
  • 22Doyle-Hayes
  • 11Newell
  • 10BoyleBooked at 90mins
  • 23AllanSubstituted forScottat 45′minutes
  • 18Murphy
  • 15Nisbet

Substitutes

  • 8Wright
  • 13Gogic
  • 16Stevenson
  • 19Gullan
  • 21Dabrowski
  • 24McGregor
  • 25Scott

Dundee Utd

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Siegrist
  • 22Freeman
  • 12EdwardsBooked at 24mins
  • 4Mulgrew
  • 33McMann
  • 8Pawlett
  • 66Fuchs
  • 23Harkes
  • 7Niskanen
  • 21GlassBooked at 54minsSubstituted forHotiat 59′minutes
  • 10ClarkSubstituted forBiamouat 80′minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Chalmers
  • 14Hoti
  • 26Mochrie
  • 27Appéré
  • 28Smith
  • 31Newman
  • 94Biamou

Referee:
Alan Muir

Attendance:
15,114

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