The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Jim McLean made two changes from the team that defeated Hearts at the weekend, with strikers Davie Dodds and Willie Pettigrew coming in, and Ian Gibson missing out and Joe Ward dropped to the bench.United dominated most of the first half and in 23 minutes United's more varied attacking strategy paid off. Paul Sturrock got to the bye line and cut the ball back, Pat Bonner could not hold it and Willie Pettigrew cleverly chipped the ball across goal for Eamonn Bannon to volley home.Celtic came back into it in the second half when McGarvey and Nicholas replaced the ineffective Doyle and McCluskey. In 80 minutes Ian Philip had a miraculous clearance off the line from a Nicholas shot. Two minutes later and Philip was the villain when he knocked a cross into the path of Charlie Nicholas who smacked the ball in off Stark's despairing legs.With the tie all square, United now had to travel to Glasgow for the second league without the lead that they had hoped to be taking with them.
As I have thought to myself so often in the past concerning our game — what a crazy, crazy world football is! Imagine, we set out for what appeared to be a big task in the U.E.F.A. Cup in Belgium seven days ago, play superbly, and yet fail to find the net with a goal which would have seen us through into the last sixteen of the competition. And yet, three days later we travel to Tynecastle and score three times without playing with half the conviction we showed on the continent. Don't get me wrong, the fact that we managed to complete our third successive Premier League win away from home delighted me — but honestly the performance shown in Edinburgh came nowhere near that which all but downed Lokeren. I am already down in print as describing our display against the Belgians as our best in an away European tie. Allow me to correct that, it was one of the best from any club I have ever been associated with! What saddens me however, is the fact that it took place in front of only a couple of hundred of those of you fans who delighted us all with your marvellous support so far from home. I would dearly like to think that a similar showing would be possible here tonight when Celtic are our visitors. Take it from me, I know full well that it will take that kind of display to aid us on our intended passage towards the final again. Following successive league defeats the men from Parkhead will be even more determined than usual to take home a good first-leg result. It will be up to us to prevent any celebration on the Glasgow-bound coach tonight.