The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
There was only one change in United’s line-up from the weekend’s game against Hibs. Atangana stepped down for young Greek midfielder Tassos Venetis.Rangers started strongly and forced United to defend deeply. In five minutes Venetis went on a mazy run and forced Rangers to concede a free kick. Aljofree hit the left-footed in-swinger but no-one in tangerine could reach it and Rangers cleared easily. With 11 minutes played United went a goal behind when Tugay passed for Kenny Miller to beat the offside trap to run on and shoot past Combe. Any confidence gained in previous matches against Celtic and Hibs was starting to drain away as United seem to be penned in their own half. In 18 minutes United won their first corner from a defensive error from Ricksen. Easton took the kick, but it was cleared only to be flighted back into the box for Thompson to header the ball narrowly past Christiansen’s left hand post. Disaster struck once again for United in 29 minutes when Tugay flicked the ball over the defence for Barry Ferguson to volley home. In 34 minutes Combe had to be alert to usher a curling effort over the bar from Tugay. United the had a fortunate escape when McCann crossed for Dodds to head against the bar. United changed their formation from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2 with Venetis and Buchan moving into the wide areas and Lincina partnering the impressive Easton in the centre. Dodds hit the post for Rangers in 48 minutes but was flagged for offside in any case. The same player then sent Miller clean through but, in front of goal, he fired over the top when well positioned. United were looking more positive but were lacking an incisive quality ball. McQuillan swiveled away from Numan and crossed for Thompson in 72 minutes but the big man shot straight at the 'keeper. With seven minutes left, as the home fans were leaving in large numbers, Thompson was replaced by young Stephen McConalogue as United looked to grab a lifeline. United continued to fight to the end showing the spirit required to compete for a place in the semi-final but it was a case of too little too late and the game ended in a 2-0 defeat.