They’ve got Lawrence Shankland, they’ve got Lawrence Shankland.
Dundee United took all the derby glory against Dundee at Dens Park, with Shankland delivering his 19th goal of the season for his club as the supporters sang his song.
His goal came on 64 minutes and by that time the Tangerines, who outplayed their city rivals for long spells, were already one up.
The first one came from the penalty spot, with Nicky Clark scoring after Liam Smith had been fouled by Declan McDaid.
While the 6-2 victory at Tannadice on August 30 perhaps flattered United, this time the scoreline was spot-on.
The win opened up a nine-point gap between the leaders and the Dark Blues, and it will be a huge challenge, even at this early stage of the campaign, to close that.
The home fans had wanted revenge for the Tannadice defeat, while away supporters wished for a repeat.
The Tangerines were unchanged for the team that kicked off their 3-0 win at Inverness last Saturday.
That meant Paul Watson stayed at centre-back and the fit-again Mark Connolly had to be happy with a place on the bench.
Dundee’s major injury doubt had been over left-back Jordan Marshall and he failed to make it so Sean Mackie, who had replaced him in the 2-1 victory over Morton a week previously, was in from the start.
There was an early booking for United’s Calum Butcher on two minutes when he went in too heavily on Shaun Byrne in the centre circle.
McDaid fired over dangerous low cross from the left in front of the Tangerines’ six-yard box two minutes later but Mark Reynolds was there to clear the danger.
United won a freekick in a great position on 12 minutes after a foul by Mackie on Clark but the United man couldn’t get his strike through the sea of bodies.
It was the visitors who had enjoyed the bigger chunk of possession in the opening stages.
However, they had to fend off a lofted freekick into their goalmouth from Dundee playmaker Graham Dorrans on 21 minutes.
McDaid then blasted a shot into the ground then wide after a Dorrans corner was headed his way as the Dark Blues began to look more threatening.
On 28 minutes, the Tannadice team came closest yet to a goal.
The move was started by Butcher, who slid the ball right to Shankland. The striker cut in and looked certain to score before Dorrans got involved and made it possible for goalkeeper Conor Hazard to make the save.
Up at the other end, Paul McGowan flicked a header wide of United’s far post after Mackie picked him out with a cross.
The second booking of the night was earned by Dundee’s Andrew Nelson for a bad foul on Tangerines’ right-back Liam Smith with 38 minutes on the clock.
The game erupted on 43 minutes when there was a rammy just outside the visitors’ box. After some pushing and shoving, referee Steven McLean waved yellow cards at Dundee duo Cammy Kerr and Kane Hemmings, as well as United’s Jamie Robson.
You didn’t really expect a glut like the first derby but the match needed a goal to get it going as the second half kicked off.
Shankland’s cross into the Dundee goalmouth on 48 minutes was a good one but didn’t reach McMullan, who was lurking at the back post. Butcher then headed Clark’s freekick wide for the visitors.
On 54 minutes, United were looking for a penalty after a nice move ended with Clark running through on goal and preparing to pull the trigger. Dundee’s Dorrans rode to the rescue again, though, with a clean challenge that saw him get the ball.
Two minutes later, they did get a spotkick and it was of the stonewall variety.
As United fullback Smith ran into the right-hand side of the box and attempted a strike, McDaid slid in and took the feet away from him.
Clark pinged the penalty into the net, sending keeper Hazard diving the wrong way to make it 1-0 with 56 minutes gone.
It was 2-0 on 64 minutes and you just knew it was going to be Shankland.
The mistake came from Dundee’s Nelson, who mis-controlled the ball inside his own half and Shankland snatched it off him.
The Scotland international then cut inside before hammering a low strike into the net to send the 4,200 away fans housed at that end of the ground totally crazy.
Both teams made changes, with Nelson hooked by the hosts and replaced by Josh McPake, while McGowan came off and Danny Johnson came on. For United, spotkick scorer Clark made way for Sam Stanton.
On 81 minutes, home goalie Hazard pulled off a remarkable point-blank save to keep out a shot from United’s McMullan after he was found by Butcher’s cross as the Tangerines went looking for a third.
It was fitting that the final say went o Shankland, who clipped a shot off the Dundee post as the clock ticked down.
He was then substituted – job done and back up the road with the points.
Dundee: Hazard, Kerr, McGhee, Forster, Byrne, Nelson (McPake 66), McGowan (Johnson 64), McDaid, Dorrans, Mackie, Hemmings. Subs not used: Ferrie, Ness, Meekings, Robertson, Moore.
Dundee United: Siegrist, L. Smith, Reynolds, McMullan (C. Smith 87), Clark (Stanton 75), Robson, Butcher, Harkes, Shankland (Connolly 90+3), Appere, Watson. Subs not used: Deniz, Sporle, Chalmers, King.
Referee: Steven McLean.