After arguably their worst performance of the season, Dundee United managed to salvage a 2-1 win against Arbroath.
A hugely disappointing afternoon was turned into one of relief for United, with Lawrence Shankland striking twice in the final few minutes to snatch a victory.
Their performance was pretty woeful, but they got the job done. It was a very hard afternoon for Tangerine fans as they watched their side toil against a resilient Arbroath side.
There are plenty of positives to take from the game, but also, there are things to improve upon.
Dundee United showed grit against Arbroath
Shankland’s last gasp double will perhaps paper over the cracks of what was a poor performance. They still sit top of the Championship though and winning in dramatic circumstances is always an adrenalin rush.
Neilson deployed a 4-4-2 that was blowing teams away earlier this season. He has since went back to a one striker formation that makes United a lot less menacing in attack.
They dominate the ball, but don’t create anywhere near as many chances. Arbroath are a tough nut to crack, but the Tangerines did barely anything to cause them trouble, with slow passing a theme throughout.
There were long balls aplenty and nobody was making runs behind the line of defence. The Litchies will feel aggrieved they never managed to at least nick a point from this game.
United showed what they are made of though. Despite not playing particularly great, they still managed to stay in the game long enough for Shankland to work his magic.
The first card of games is almost over and we have a rough idea of what to expect from United this season. They’ve started brilliantly and results like this show they have enough grit to claim the Championship crown they are favourites to win.
With a home match against against Morton to come next before away matches to eight and ninth place Queen of the South and Alloa after that, United could muster up another winning run shortly.