Lawrence Shankland was the hero with a remarkable four-goal haul as Dundee United made a real statement of intent defeating Inverness in their Championship opener at Tannadice.
The 23-year-old striker scored twice in the first 45 with Tom Walsh pulling one back for the Highland outfit.
However, hitman Shankland then completed a headed hat-trick early in the second half and then added a fourth – with his boot – late on.
The home team was along familiar lines with teenager Scott Banks, who is reportedly a £400,000 transfer target for Crystal Palace, on the bench.
Inverness included two former Tangerines in their starting line-up in the shape of Coll Donaldson and James Keatings.
And the latter came agonisingly close to opening the scoring in just the second minute when he was on the end of a Jordan White ball from the left of the United box but Keatings’ shot cannoned off home keeper Benjamin Siegrist’s post and behind.
However, United quickly recovered from that scare and took the lead five minutes later. Louis Appere produced a superb turn and cross from the left with Shankland bulleting a header home from six yards past the exposed Mark Ridgers in the ICT goal.
There was then a lull with a lengthy stoppage as Caley’s Brad McKay was stretchered off with a back injury and taken straight to hospital.
However, the game exploded back into life with two goals in the space of a minute.
On the half-hour mark, Caley drew level when a Keatings’ corner from the right was headed onto the United crossbar with Walsh reacting quickest to rifle the ball home past Siegrist.
However, the Tangerines responded instantly with Paul McMullan hitting an inch-perfect cross in from the United right for Shankland to send a clinical glancing header into the back of the net.
And the deadly striker did not have to wait long after the break to complete his headed hat-trick in the 53rd minute.
Appere was again the provider with a cross from the left with Shankland carefully placing his header back across goal and into the corner of Ridgers’ net from six yards.
It was almost four for the Tangerines in the 75th minute when Donaldson headed a United corner back towards his own goal but his keeper spared his blushes by making a save.
Vincent then came to the rescue to clear a shot from home sub Cammy Smith off his line.
However, Smith was the provider in the 86th minute with a cross from the right with Shankland controlling the ball before turning and drilling a low shot past Ridgers to send the vast majority of the 7,023 crowd home extremely happy.