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Dundee United 0 St Johnstone 1: Zander Clark heroics help Saints claim first Tannadice win in six years

Ali Crawford netted the winner for St Johnstone at Dundee United
Ali Crawford netted the winner for St Johnstone at Dundee United

Ali Crawford netted a first half winner to end a seven game unbeaten run for Dundee United – but Zander Clark was the real St Johnstone hero.

Crawford curled home a stunning 20 yard strike as Saints claimed their first away win at United since 2015.

But it was the heroics of keeper Clark – who made FIVE stunning stops – that won this for Saints and ended United’s unbeaten run.

Dundee United and St Johnstone changes

Both sides made four changes after a gruelling midweek schedule.

For United in came Kerr Smith, Jeando Fuchs, Logan Chalmers and Louis Appere.

Kieran Freeman, Declan Glass, Ilmari Niskanen and Peter Pawlett all dropped out.

St Johnstone brought in Craig Bryson, Hayden Muller, Michael O’Halloran and Glenn Middleton.

Lars Dendoncker, James Brown, Murray Davidson and Stevie May dropped out.

St Johnstone early lead at Dundee United

And it was the visitors who settled quickest as they took the game to United early on.

Chris Kane met a Cammy MacPherson corner to flick a near post effort into the side netting in four minutes.

United dominated possession with Dylan Levitt’s low 20 yard strike easily held by Zander Clark.

But it was Saints who struck first in 17 minutes.

St Johnstone goalscorer Ali Crawford celebrates his strike at Dundee United

MacPherson robbed Fuchs of the ball and set up Crawford to curl a stunning 20 yard effort beyond Benjamin Siegrist.

United pressed for an equaliser and only the heroics of Clark denied Ryan Edwards’ bullet header from going in.

Pawlett and Niskanen enter play

With United trailing, changes were inevitable.

And it was no surprise to see Niskanen and Pawlett come on for Appere and Chalmers at the break.

The changes galvanised United and they almost drew level on 58 minutes as Edwards met a Levitt free-kick.

But his net-bound header was again brilliantly turned over by Clark.

His namesake Nicky Clark then should have scored as met a Fuchs cross only to head over.

Saints keeper Clark was having a stormer and he made another brilliant save to turn away a Pawlett header.

Clark was in incredible form and he made another stunning double late save to deny Pawlett and United’s Clark to seal the win.

 

Dundee United v St Johnstone teams

Dundee United: Siegrist; K Smith (Freeman 67), McMann, Mulgrew, Edwards, Fuchs, Appere (Niskanen 46), Levitt, Harkes, Clark, Chalmers (Pawlett 46). Subs: Newman; Hoti, Glass, Biamou.

St Johnstone: Clark; Muller (Ambrose 80), Booth, Gordon, McCart, Bryson, MacPherson, Crawford (May 80), Kane, Middleton, O’Halloran (Devine 76). Subs: Parish; Davidson, Vertainen, Northcroft

Referee – Grant Irvine

Callum Davidson: St Johnstone have to impose themselves on Dundee United

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