Dundee United beat Partick Thistle 3-1 at Tannadice thanks to a Paul Watson double and a close range finish from Craig Curran. Watson scored two headed goals with assists from Fraser Aird in the first half and Yannick Loemba in the second half. Curran turned home a low pass across the face of goal from Aird to seal the three points late on. However, ex-United player Chris Erskine earned a consolation goal late on for Thistle.
Here are eight things we learned from Dundee United’s win over Partick Thistle at Tannadice.
Paul Watson goal machine – The ex-Falkirk defender is a new signing at Tannadice who made his debut in a winning effort against Queen of the South. Against Partick Thistle he went two better. Fraser Aird’s set-piece cross in the sixth minute found the United defender just outside the six yard box and he gave ex-United keeper Cammy Bell no chance. His second goal of the came courtesy of a Yannick Loemba cross. Watson powered a header past Bell to become joint second-top scorer for United this season.
Set-pieces – Fraser Aird’s ball into the box for Paul Watson’s opening goal was top quality and at attacking corners United look more organised. There was some clever fake runs to create space on show. Indeed, Watson’s two goals came from set-piece phases of play. A definite improvement from Csaba Laszlo’s side.
Mixing it up – It is no secret that Csaba Lazlo likes his teams to control possession. Short goal kicks is one way to achieve this but not without the risk of inviting pressure from your opponents. However, United are not afraid to kick it long when needed. Loan signing Pavol Šafranko gives height up-front and wins headers giving his goalkeeper and defenders an outlet should the short ball not be on.
Rakovan commands his box – 6 ft 5 Slovakian stopper Matej Rakovan is a commanding figure in goal. As Thistle players began to find space in attacks he was on hand to mop things up. He will be disappointed not to get the clean sheet but he looks a solid keeper for the Tangerines.
Dealing with crosses – United have suffered a lot in this area in recent seasons. However, against Thistle the United players looked better at dealing with crosses into their box. The only blemish was Chris Erskine’s goal in stoppage time with a header.
Loemba looks a player – Yannick Loemba definitely has skill. In what was arguably the best phase of football of the game, he squandered a great chance with a tame shot with his left foot in the Thistle box. He tries to find clever passes to unlock space and his cross for Watson’s second goal shows he can deliver.
Fans in fine voice – The United fans have suffered a lot in recent years but to their credit there was rarely a point in the match when they were not backing their players in song. It is worth mentioning because the atmosphere at Tannadice has lacked in recent times as a symptom of recent negative events. However, against the Jags, the Arabs in the stands were fantastic in their backing of the team and were rewarded with a good win that sees the Tangerines only a point off the pace after three games.
Loemba clears the Eddie Thompson roof! – Lastly, we also learned that it is possible to clear the high roof of the Eddie Thompson Stand. In what is possibly a first at Tannadice, Yannick Loemba had a shot at goal which actually cleared the roof of the two-tier stand, meaning one lucky allotment owner will discover an SPFL match-ball in amongst their cabbage.