Hibernian and Dundee United meet in a mouthwatering top-of-the-table clash under the lights at Easter Road tonight, with Hibs hoping to extend their slender lead at the top of the table.
United’s 14-game unbeaten streak came to an end away to Dumbarton last weekend, with Hibs retaking top spot after a late Kris Commons free kick sealed a 2-1 win over Falkirk. Here, we take a look back at the last five meetings between the two sides involving three cup matches, two penalty shoot-outs and more.
December 2, 2016: Dundee United 1-0 Hibernian, Ladbrokes Championship
This somewhat scrappy game at Tannadice on a Friday night was a tale of two penalties, with Dundee United stretching their unbeaten run to 11 matches as Hibs suffered their first away defeat of the season.
The first half passed largely without incident, although Martin Boyle passed up a glorious chance to capitalise on a fluffed pass from Mark Durnan, while a couple of long-range efforts from Tony Andreu failed to trouble Ofir Marciano.
But the game exploded into life in the second half as Lewis Toshney fouled Boyle in the box, with the former Dundee forward’s insistence on taking the spot kick angering team mate Grant Holt, who was later booked for his part in an altercation with United midfielder Willo Flood. Boyle’s weak effort was pushed away by Cammy Bell, but Tony Andreu made no mistake for the Terrors after Liam Fontaine felled Simon Murray in the box on 73 minutes.
October 2, 2016: Hibernian 1-1 Dundee United, Ladbrokes Championship
More than 15,000 turned out for the first meeting between the two sides this season, with Hibs on the back of a home defeat to Ayr and a goalless draw away to Queen of the South, while United had recorded a 3-0 home win over Ayr United and a 2-2 draw with Raith Rovers at Tannadice.
James Keatings opened the scoring for Hibs on 35 minutes, after earlier hitting the post with a free kick, but despite the home side being ‘so far in the ascendancy’ according to manager Neil Lennon, United equalised through William Edjenguele with just over 20 minutes remaining, the Frenchman nodding the ball home from a corner. Both managers felt their team had chances to win the match, but the points were shared.
April 16, 2016: Hibernian 0-0 Dundee United (AET); Hibs win 4-2 on penalties, Scottish Cup semi-final
Hibs hadn’t won in four matches as they prepared to face United at the national stadium while United were on a better run of form, with one win, one draw and two defeats in their four previous games.
Few could have predicted that the unlikely hero of the match would be goalkeeper Conrad Logan, who was thrown in at the deep end after 16 months out with injury with first-choice ‘keeper Mark Oxley suspended.
And yet the Irishman wrote all the headlines, making crucial saves from Billy Mckay, John Rankin and Henri Anier during the match and then saving from Blair Spittal and Mckay in the penalty shoot-out.
Jason Cummings made amends for his failed Panenka penalty in the first half by slotting home the winning penalty, with John McGinn, Paul Hanlon and Martin Boyle also scoring in the shoot-out, with Guy Demel and Paul Dixon netting for United.
November 4, 2015: Hibernian 3-0 Dundee United, Scottish League Cup quarter-final
Just days after beating Rangers 2-1 in the league, Hibs faced United in the League Cup at Easter Road, just over a year to the day since the sides faced off in the same competition, at the same venue, at the same stage.
But a lot can happen in 12 months. United had Michal Szromnik, and a dose of luck, to thank for the scoreline being kept to three. David Gray opened the scoring in the first half, rifling a shot past Szromnik on 20 minutes, while Jason Cummings added a second from the penalty spot after John Rankin handled in the box. A deflected Lewis Stevenson effort in injury time made it three, but it could have been five or six. Hibs would go on to face Ross County in the League Cup final but were undone by a last minute winner from Alex Schalk at Hampden.
October 29, 2014: Hibernian 3-3 Dundee United (AET); Dundee United win 7-6 on penalties, Scottish League Cup quarter-final
A classic cup tie, as the two teams traded goals like football stickers. Chris Erskine opened the scoring for United after 12 minutes, with Dominique Malonga equalising four minutes later.
Three minutes later, Aidan Connolly put United ahead, until a Jason Cummings header on 57 minutes squared the match once more. Ryan Dow nodded in from a corner to give United the lead for a third time, with Hibs levelling for a third time through Matty Kennedy’s deflected strike 12 minutes from time. Extra time couldn’t separate the sides, with penalties needed to find a winner.
Scott Allan, Liam Craig, Paul Hanlon, Alex Harris, Malonga and Sam Stanton had scored for Hibs while Erskine, John Souttar, Stuart Armstrong, Dow, Nadir Ciftci and Blair Spittal were on target for United.
Former Hibee John Rankin skied his effort in sudden death, giving Hibs the chance to win the shoot-out but Kennedy’s effort was saved and after Conor Townsend had scored for United, Radoslaw Cierzniak saved well from David Gray to send United through to the semi-finals.