It seems almost churlish to say it but Dundee United have played better this season than they did in the derby.
That is something that should really worry the rest of the Championship sides.
United beat city rivals Dundee 6-2 – only the second time in their history that they have scored six goals in the fixture – without producing their finest football of the campaign. Just let that sink in.
Something else to send a shiver up the spine is that star striker Lawrence Shankland had a quiet match on Friday night.
He still scored, of course, from the penalty spot and set up Louis Appere’s goal but Shankland wasn’t the fast-moving and quick-thinking player he was at Dunfermline the previous week.
I suspect that the foot injury he suffered at East End Park hadn’t quite cleared up and he also took a couple of heavy knocks from the Dark Blues.
Even then United still managed to sweep the neighbours back up the road.
That scoreline – achieved by ruthless finishing – was a heck of statement.
Everyone at Tannadice is right to be cautious given the failures of past promotion bids but this season is in danger of resembling the one at Hearts when Robbie Neilson took them up ahead of Rangers and Hibs.
In the summer, if you had been asked to name four sides that you thought could give the Tangerines a run for their money in the title race you would probably have picked Dundee, Dunfermline, Partick Thistle and Inverness Caley Thistle.
United have not just beaten all four in quick succession but scored an average of 3.5 goals a game.
Next up is Ayr United away and they had a terrible record against Ian McCall’s side last time, losing three out of four games including Shankland’s five-goal masterclass at Tannadice.
Win that game then the feelgood factor rages on.
As for Dundee, Friday night’s scoreline was a bit harsh on them.
At one point after Kane Hemmings made it 1-1 in the first half, they looked the better side and were pretty threatening going forward.
They also had a decent spell in the game when it went to 5-2 but by then United knew the match was theirs.
They didn’t defend setpieces well enough but they also didn’t get the breaks.
Danny Johnson’s strike that would have been the opener should have stood, while deflections helped a couple of United goals into the net.
Also, Declan McDaid lost his footing for the rugby tackle on United’s Paul McMullan for the penalty.
All that doesn’t really matter now. What does is that the Dens men recover in time for their next league game at home to Alloa.
It is not nice to look up and see United seven points clear or even Arbroath ahead of them in the table but this is a long game they are playing.